By Hal Collier, Retired LAPD
In my last Ramblings, I described being assigned radio calls outside your division. I will now describe being loaned to another division and still getting lost. Officers from within the same Bureau would often get loaned to a division to cover for Christmas parties and picnics. Some divisions would have a few division street guides for the loan officers. Loaned officers and sergeants were usually the boot (rookie) sergeants and younger officers—it was a seniority thing. Some officers liked working a different division.
I hated it.
During my thirty-five years on the LAPD we didn’t have the fancy GPS gadgets that come standard in cars and cell phones today. We sometimes had to ask for directions or depend on our instincts. It helped if you knew which way north was.
Some officers didn’t.
I was loaned to Wilshire Division one cold winter night for their Christmas party (we called it Christmas in the olden days). It was slow. Most crooks didn’t want to spend Christmas in jail. We mostly stayed on busy north/south streets looking for drunk drivers. About 3 A.M., we ran into a couple of Hollywood cops also on loan. We chatted that we only had a few more hours and we could go home to Hollywood.
Five minutes later the other Hollywood officer requested a backup on a 415 (peace disturbance) man with a gun. We knew we were close but didn’t recognize the street they were on.
Oh shit, we didn’t have a Wilshire street guide.
As usual, I’m driving and I speed up. I can feel the adrenalin surging through my veins but I don’t know where I’m going. Did the officers turn left or right when they drove off? I’ll make a note of that for officer safety sake next time I’m on loan. I race around north of my location. Common sense says they turned right at the next street. Wrong, they turned left. I found them but it was a lot later than either of us expected or wanted. Thank goodness everything turned out ok.
I hated being loaned outside my comfort zone.
Next: another loan where I lost the station.
7 replies on “Ramblings: Lost Again”
Usually the division you were loaned to gave you a copy of their street guide. Unless you showed up with an attitude😉
Let’s hear it for a little humility!
TO PARAPHRASE BILL CLINTON ”I FEEL YOUR PAIN”. IT IS A HUMBLING EXPERIENCE TO WEAR THE BLUE SUIT, RIDE IN A B & W. AND NOT HAVE THE FAINTEST IDEA WHERE IN HELL YOU ARE… I DID A 6 WEEKS LOAN TO THE ”OLD HIGHLAND PARK” JUVIE SECTION .. THE DIVISION MAP LOOKED LIKE A PILE OF WORMS DUMPED ON A SHEET OF PAPER. THE UPSIDE IS YOU DID FIND THE STATION AT EOW…GOOD PIECE….7612
Boy has the world changed–for everyone. Love your posts.
I wonder about those out of area (sometimes out of county) troops who were sent to critical incident zones like the Watts Riots. How did they steer around? I heard stories from a Bishop PD guy about going to LA after Rodney King. He said he was stuck on a barricade for hours. Not much navigating there but someone must have a story or two about being out of town.
I think I’d rather be lost than on a fixed post At least you can get unlost. I saw guys spend 12 hours at the same post with the same view. Your right though it can have it’s moments. The National Guard shot a guy who tried to run through a barricade.