By Hal Collier, Retired LAPD
When I came on the job and was learning the difference between my elbow and a hot rock we had Pin Maps. Pin maps for the non-police are maps with different colored pins. Each color pin represents a type of crime. Robbery, burglary, GTA’s (Grand Theft Auto), etc. A colored dot on the top of the pin indicated what watch the crime occurred. The pins are placed on the streets where the crimes occurred.
Now, being a rookie I would study all the different colored pins and try to figure out just what the hell they represented. One night my training officer caught me studying the pin map. He told me to quit wasting my time. He said they’re only good if their kept up to date which ours weren’t. He said no use in studying crimes that occurred six months ago. He told me the detectives were responsible for updating the maps but they were too busy taking two hour lunches.
He wasn’t very fond of detectives.
He introduced me to the D/O Sheet. D/O stood for Daily Occurrence Crime Sheet. See attachment. The D/O sheet was typed daily by our record clerks as they were called in the dark ages of the LAPD. I think they’re called Clerk Typist now days. They got the crime reports straight from the Watch Commander after approval. They would list the location, time, suspect description, vehicle description with license info and a brief narrative of the crime. If you look at the Kidnap/ Robbery crime in the attachment you’ll see that the SLA (Symbionese Liberation Army) committed the crime May 17, 1974 in Hollywood.
The D/O sheet was passed out in Roll Call. It was only useful if you read it. Some of the old timers sitting in the back row made paper airplanes out of them and had contests to see whose flew the closest to the Watch Commander. Their theory was, “I don’t need any paper to tell me how to make an arrest.”
Because of my training officer I became a D/O sheet fanatic. I’d get mine before roll call and have all the important information recorded in my officers’ note book. In the beginning, I looked for crime patterns in my car district. Later, I would look for crime patterns anywhere in Hollywood Division. I just loved arresting bad guys. Loved that adrenalin rush.
My first success was not so worthy. I spotted a car listed on the D/O sheet. I practically caused my training officer to have a potty training accident when I yelled out, “That car’s wanted.” It turned out the crime was a misdemeanor and California law states you can’t arrest a misdemeanor weeks after the crime. We did ID the criminal and made more work for our detectives. My partner advised me to narrow my D/O sheet scan to felony crimes where we could actually arrest the bad guy.
For years after that I could be seen with a folded D/O sheet stuffed into my sap pocket. I never carried a sap. Flashlight in one sap pocket, gloves and D/O sheet in the other. It was my quick Google reference, decades before Google was invented. I found the D/O sheet so informative I would read it in roll call when the W/C was trying to tell me how to do police work.
Next: the D/O sheet pays off big time. –Hal