Ramblings by Hal

Ramblings: Females part 3: Why I Liked Working with Females

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.


LAPD officers
LAPD officers

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?



American female officer photo by copshop
American female officer photo by copshop

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.


Female police officers Venice Beach, July 12, 2012  photo by
Female police officers Venice Beach, July 12, 2012
photo by

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


Ramblings by Hal

Ramblings: Females, Part 2–On Patrol

By Hal Collier

The following stories are true and again are only my opinions.  I’m sure that other officers of both sexes have different views of female officers in the LAPD.  I welcome hearing from anyone.

In the early 70’s, most people didn’t think women should or could be police officers.  Even Chief of Police Edward M. Davis was against women working patrol.  I worked with a lot of females throughout my career and they had a lot of different reasons for joining and diverse backgrounds.

Here are a few.

One female officer said she was looking for a husband, cops have a good steady job, they’re clean, (disease free) and they’re in good shape.  Another said she was an interior decorator in Texas and came to California for work. She found out that everyone in California was an interior decorator, so she applied to be a cop.  She was the one who thought we carried dynamite (road flares) in the trunks of our police cars.

I worked with one female who drove an expensive BMW and had expensive clothes.  In her previous job, she made double my salary, so I asked her why work for LAPD?  She said the money was nice but her job was boring.  She was looking for some excitement.  She found it on the LAPD.  Quite a few said it was the only job they could find with benefits.  We had one female probationer who arrived at work each morning, dressed like she just slid off the pole at a strip club.  She was not retained when it was discovered she was dating both her male training officers at the same time.  A few slept their way through probation and promotions.

LAPD women
LAPD women

I was a training officer for over twenty-one years and worked with a lot of probationers or “rookies,” as some called them.  As I stated in my first Ramblings, I worked morning watch with one of the first female police officers.  My wife didn’t like that I was working with a female, alone all night.  I discovered that my wife was not the Watch Commander at work, only at home.

The first thing I noticed was that on almost every call you had a back-up unit.  As I stated, we were a good old boys club and most men didn’t think females could do the job.  Some of the officers were there to save my butt, if need be, and others were there hoping the female would fail.

I’ll never forget my first fight with a female partner.  It’s Christmas Eve and we get a domestic dispute radio call.  Two brothers, drunk, get into an argument and one punches the other in the nose, breaking it.  The brother with the broken nose wants his brother arrested for battery.  No problem, right? A simple citizen arrest and report.  We might even get off on time.

We handcuff the brother and put him in our police car.  I’m driving, of course, and sitting in the police car.  My female partner is in the back seat with the drunk brother.  Just as I’m about to drive away the brothers’ mother comes running out and says, “You’re not arresting my son on Christmas Eve.”  She reaches in the driver’s window and grabs me by the neck.  I open the car door and knock the mother to the ground.  She’s about 110 pounds and I later learn, a 60 year old grammar school teacher.  I step out and she jumps up and attacks me.  I grab her arm and spin her around in a rear wrist lock.  I hear a familiar snap. Oh shit, I just broke her arm.

This can’t get any worse right, wrong.  The son, handcuffed in the back seat screams, “What are you doing to my mother?”  My partner comes to assist me in handcuffing the now one armed school teacher.  The son begins kicking the door window of our police car.  My partner subdues him with a few punches to the ribs.  Everyone goes to jail for Christmas except the son with the broken nose.

There were changes to be made and it wasn’t going to be the women who changed.  Think of it as a marriage, who changes?  First, the men had to stop swearing in roll call, although some of the females swore like a sailor.  Next, no more blond jokes or for that matter all female gender jokes were banned.  No more jokes on how many female officers does it take to screw up a crime scene.

LAPD officers
LAPD officers

Women as a rule were of smaller stature, which presented a whole new set of issues.  Some of the shorter women couldn’t close the police car trunk from the back bumper.  They had to step to the side fender where they could reach the trunk lid.  In the 70’s, all the police cars had bench seats.  Go ahead—let your 5 foot 3 inch partner drive and spend the night with your knees in the dash for eight hours.

I’m going to leave you with one more female cop story.  I’m not working with a female this night and a “robbery just occurred” call comes out.   A female officer arrives and puts out a crime broadcast.  She describes the suspect, male white, 6-0, 180 pounds last seen westbound Sunset in a fuchsia colored Ford.  It might have been the interior decorator.  I look at my male partner and ask what the hell color is fuchsia.    Most of us good old boys never graduated past the primary colors, you know the ones that make up a rainbow.  After 35 years as a big city cop, I still don’t know what color fuchsia is.

Next Ramblings, why I liked working with female partners.     Hal

Ramblings by Hal

Ramblings: Females Part One


By Hal Collier

The following stories are true.  These observations are mine and definitely don’t reflect the opinions of the LAPD or some of the female officers I worked with.  I’m treading on some thin ice with this subject, but what the hell.  Any comments will be considered for my next installment.


For years, the LAPD was a good old boys club.  Patrol was only staffed with men, some had served in WW ll, or Korea, most in Viet Nam and upon discharge joined the police department.  


Policewoman badge
Policewoman badge

Female officers, they were always on the LAPD but they were assigned to the desk or Juvenile Division.  My badge said Policeman across the top, the females’ badges said Policewomen, duh.  The females could not rise above the rank of sergeant.


Anyone who came on the Department some time in 73-74 received a badge that said Police officer!  A “Policeman” badge became a badge of honor, no pun intended.


The first integrated academy class graduated three female police officers.  Guess who got the first one in Hollywood? Yep, I’m working morning watch and I’m going to be working with a female all night.  My wife was not pleased.



Pioneering police women
Pioneering police women

A lot of officers were not happy about females being patrol cops, including Chief Edward M. Davis.  Me, I always liked women. Hell, I married one, my mom and sisters are female.  I know that those first female patrol officers faced a lot of resentment and yes, harassment.  Working with a female partner required a lot of adjustment on the man’s part.  I’ll described some of the changes.


You work with someone for eight hours you get to know them pretty well.  Being in a police car for that long is similar to being trapped in an elevator.  If you’re both married, you know each other’s spouse, children and pets by name.  You hear about their problems, successes and maybe even her menstrual cycle.  If she’s single, you hear about her last date, or a detailed description of her pets. 


Let’s start with bodily functions.  Yea, I know, how can you write about something like that?  A little history.  When two male officers work together and one says, “I got to pee,” it’s no problem. We hit an alley and the officer with the smaller bladder got out and took care of business.  Done in two minutes, no problem.  It’s not as if all the homeless people or drunks in Hollywood haven’t already peed in that alley.


I once got out to pee in an alley and as I’m taking care of business, I look up and there’s an old lady looking at me from her apartment window.  I forgot that old people get up a lot in the middle of the night.  I now understand.  I zipped up and waved hello, she waved back. I logged it as a neighborhood watch meeting, attendance three.


Two police officers in a car
Two police officers in a car. photo by


The other bodily function is the one that no one will admit ever happens.  That’s right—the sudden release or escape of gas.  For my less literate friends, a fart.  I’m going to paint a picture that you’ll never see in Readers Digest.  


You started out your shift with a “Pink’s Hot Dog,” extra chili and onions, a couple of Jalapenos and a root beer.  An hour later your stomach is making noises that will register on the Richter Scale.


Some men feel that a fart is a sign of masculinity, something to be proud of, the louder the better.  I was brought up different, my mom didn’t approve of public displays of flatulence.   I don’t think I released gas in my wife’s presence until we had been married 10 years, at least that’s the way I remember it.  Some women have different views, but what are you going to do sitting in a police car for hours at a time?


So I’m working with a female partner and the Pink’s hot dog is settling in my lower stomach.  I pull into a nearby alley and tell my partner I have to check for something in the trunk.  I fumble around in the trunk, making a lot of noise, then happily return to regular patrol.  My female partner would also have to check the trunk once in a while.  Patrol was different working with a women, at least most of them.  We once had a female probationer who was nick-named the “Blue Flame.” No kidding. She didn’t know my mother.

[No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t find a photo to illustrate the above. I think it is for the best.-Thonie]

Next Females as patrol cops.                                                                       



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