A re-run from May 26th, 2013

This is the first of many Hal Collier’s Ramblings. We’ve been posting every week since this date. We have many more original posts in the wings, but due to a (positive) live event, I haven’t had time to get Hal’s Ramblings ready. So here’s a re-run. Love the tone and sentiment of this work. Consider this as amends for not posting his regular column yesterday. Remember, to read past posts, go to Archive on the bottom right of the page, click on “Ramblings” and peruse all of the LAPD gems!


Welcome Hal Collier!

A big welcome to Hal–our new blogger. Hal spent over 3 decades in LAPD mostly Hollywood Division, so he has the creds. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, maybe both. These are reminiscences of a beat cop. Writers can learn and readers will be entertained. The best of both worlds.

This picture reminded me of an incident that happened in Hollywood.  I’m working patrol and one of my problem area’s was Delongpre Park.  It was just 3 short blocks from the police station but often was a haven for drug dealers and the large Hollywood homeless population. 
Delongpre Park was only a block wide and a block deep, 1 bathroom and a small kids play area.  A few benches but no tables or BBQ pits like bigger parks.

I was on patrol and noticed a large group of homeless men in the park.  I drove up the wheel chair ramp on the side walk as usual and drove into the park.  The homeless were all huddled around a shopping cart laying on it’s side. (see photo.) In the shopping cart they had charcoal briquettes, just turning to a nice hot grey color.  They were ready to cook.

I get out of my car and walked up to the group.  The spokesman of the group, I’m guessing the one without warrants, approaches me.  “Officer, please don’t ruin our BBQ!”
He tells me they all pooled their begging money, bought some charcoal and hot dogs and were having an old time BBQ.  I noticed the usual brown paper bags wrapped around a 40 oz bottle of beer, but what the heck hot dogs go better with a cold beer.  The park was empty of children and dispelling the rumor that my heart was smaller than my badge, I advised the troop leader to make sure to clean up after you leave or I’ll be looking for you in the morning.
The next morning, even before my coffee, I checked Delongpre Park.  The park was spotless, even the shopping cart was gone.  It had to make me smile.