by Hal Collier
This is the final installment of my Ramblings involving female officers. I wrote all three Female Ramblings before e-mailing the first out. That was in case someone tried to talk me out of writing more.
Like most dinosaurs of the LAPD, I had my reservations about working with a female officer. Sure they were good to look at and they smelled nice but would they help me kick some doped-up speed freak’s ass? After all, cops depend on their partners to back each other up. Some of the females were only 5′ tall and weighed less than a hundred pounds.
As I mentioned, I worked with the first female patrol cop assigned to Hollywood. It was a good experience and we got along fine. A short time later, I was assigned another female officer. No problem, they knew their job and didn’t shy away from a fight. I seemed to get assigned every new female officer that came to Morning watch.
This displeased my wife very much. I lied when I told her they weren’t very attractive and she didn’t need to worry, after all I was a professional police officer and a model husband. Yeah, right.
Once, before direct deposit, my wife accompanied me to the station to pick up my pay check. She stays in the car as I run into the station. As I’m coming out the back door I run into Linda, one of my female partners. She is returning from court and has on a black dress and her long blond hair is down. Now I have never seen Linda with her hair down, but wow! Linda was a body builder and in that tight-fitting dress, she was very attractive. My wife asks me is that the captain’s secretary? Like the dumb ass that I am, I say, “no, that’s Linda, my partner.” I would tell you the ride home was quiet but the fact is it wasn’t and I didn’t say much. My wife knew that a lot of male officers left their wives and kids for a younger female partner. I know of a captain who has 3 ex-wives, all cops (names available for a cashier’s check or a new deep sea fishing rod).
There was a good reason why I was assigned a lot of female partners. One, I had the patience of an oyster, two, I was trusted not to date my probationers. I was more afraid of the Watch Commander at home than the one at the station.
We had some officers who were never assigned a female probationer, or at least a second time. Example: Bobby Cxxxxxxxd, you fill in the missing letters. He was assigned a young attractive, unmarried, female officer. He spent half the night telling her not to date any cops until she got off probation. He went on to warn her that she would be asked out after work because she was single and attractive. After work, Bobby asked her out for a drink. Bobby was never assigned to work with a female probationer again. I believe Bobby had 3 ex-wives. Duh.
I once was asked by a female partner why I didn’t stare at women like the other male cops she had worked with. I told her, “I stare, I just don’t make it obvious.” I’ve been married for a long time and I wanted to keep it that way.
As I said at the beginning of this Ramblings series, I was a training officer for 21 years. During that time I learned that it was easier to talk suspects into jail than fight them and ruin a good uniform. Now, a lot of young cops are macho and have to prove themselves.
Females were more persuasive. I saw many a suspect that would fight me but not a female. I once had a large drug addict that told me he wasn’t going to jail. I’m taking off my watch, removing my pen and pencil and getting ready for another big fight. These are items that get broken or tear uniforms in a fight.
My partner, Bambie, (her real name) says to me, “let me talk to him.” In a calm, non-threatening voice she convinced this drug-crazed dumb ass to submit to arrest. I might get another day out of this uniform yet, but where the hell did I put my watch?
I actually liked working with female officers as long as they came to work, were ready to work, didn’t throw up at decaying dead bodies, as some of the men did, and didn’t want to exchange recipes. I did have a few problems during the transition period. The transition period was for both of us. The females had to learn that police work is not pretty and I had to learn that you treat them just like everyone else.
The biggest conflict I had was that my mother taught me to always be a gentlemen. Tip your hat, stand when a lady enters the room, open or hold the door for a lady. That last one caused me the most conflict. We’d handle a radio call at an apartment building and upon leaving I couldn’t stand walking through the door ahead of a women. One female officer challenged me not to treat her as a women. I told her, “It’s in case there’s a sniper outside, you’ll take the first shot.” That knocked her down a peg or two. That line worked for years. Most of my partners laughed. Yea, I still open the car door for my wife.
I had a partner who I was bringing along during her probation. We took a Burglary from Motor Vehicle report where the witness gave us a suspect description and we searched the area. A 1/4 mile away my partner, screams “there he is”, waking up sleeping birds. I was surprised the suspect didn’t take off running. He might have been as shocked as I was.
One of the worst radio calls a man can handle is a rape investigation. Imagine a female’s worst nightmare and two burly men show up and want to ask you all these personal questions. Some victims referred it to being violated a second time. I’ll be the first to admit that some male officers were less than sympatric. Female officers were more understanding and able to get the necessary vital information for a complete investigation. I once got a call to take a rape report at Central Division. My partner got a commendation and I got a cup of coffee from a machine at Parker Center.
Another transition working with females was they were like your mother. They didn’t want to eat at Pink’s, or Astro-Burger. They wanted to eat healthy and they wanted you to, also. The good old boys club has become the little boys club. I started eating salads every day, and using less dressing. I had one partner who would save some of her meal for stray animals. We would then drive around and look for hungry dogs or cats. Once we spotted a kitten with a potato chip bag stuck on its head. Picture this, two of LAPD’s finest chasing this cat around the streets of Hollywood. It probably looked like one of those funniest home videos.
This was the day when I knew that the Good Old Boys club was dead: I’m the Watch Commander. My Assistant Watch Commander, Storm Officer, and ACC (computer) operator are all females. Most men would think this is heaven, surrounded by these young, attractive and vibrant females. Well, I’m deep in paperwork, when I over hear the hub of the command center discussing how long it takes to recover from a breast enhancement and how dilated they were when they gave birth. Yea, the good old days were gone forever.
Now, before I get a hundred angry e-mails, from both sexes, I enjoyed working with females. Some taught me more than I taught them. I sometimes found their approach to police work refreshing and other times frustrating, either way it was fun. My only complaint was when a women got a promotion over a man because of affirmative action or quotas, even though she had half the experience. Send all comments with a cash payment, no stimulus checks. OK, fire away. Hal