By Hal Collier, retired LAPD

Every two years each Patrol Division had a formal inspection. A member of the department’s command staff, usually a deputy chief or commander, would inspect the entire division in uniform, including the detectives. Getting detectives in uniform was a hoot. They misplaced required uniform equipment years ago. They would scramble around the locker room begging for this or that from patrol officers. 

 

This one inspection, I spent hours polishing my boots, Sam Brown and badge. There wasn’t a speck of dirt or dust on my Berretta auto hand gun.  I looked pretty good if I say so myself.  So this command officer starts walking past the lined up troops.  First thing I notice is that he needs a haircut.  When he stops in front of me I also notice his uniform is wrinkled and has lint on it.

Thanks for the effort, Commander.

 

I was once in the emergency room at Kaiser Hospital. I had a shooting victim who was critical and not expected to survive. As I wait for the doctor to give me a time of death I heard a commotion in the lobby. I rush out to see a very pregnant woman in a wheel chair enter the lobby. She yells out, stood up and delivered her baby in the hands of a nurse. 

Nice catch! It was a girl. When I returned my victim had passed away. Ironic.

 

Ghetto Elk:  Most people don’t know what Ghetto Elk are. The definition Ghetto Elk are dogs that have been abandoned and run in packs in south central Los Angeles. They are often hit by cars and left in the street. I once saw a dead dog in the street and another dog sitting next to him. They might have been from the same litter, the dog was too distraught to talk!

Gallows Humor.

 

Speaking of the ghetto, when I transferred to Watts I was told not to refer to it as the “projects” as the residents called them but refer to them as the “housing projects.” Ironic

 

I have taken hundreds of crime reports in my career. Someone’s property was taken and rich people who can afford the loss, complain the loudest. They then tell you how much they pay in taxes and all the important people they’re going to call. The opposite is the poor who have next to nothing and accept their loss as a fact of life. Ironic.

 

I’ve been retired for over eleven years but I still have police dreams, you know the one where your gun won’t fire or you can’t run. I have gotten into fights in my sleep and hit the bed room wall with my fist. My wife says I talk in my sleep about work, she stopping taking notes years ago. My wife thinks I should put in for overtime! You can take off the uniform and badge for the last time but you’ll never stop being a cop. 

Part three next week.