Ramblings by Hal

Ramblings, More Character Short Stories

By Hal Collier LAPD, Retired

We are happy that 35-year veteran Hal Collier is sharing his ‘stories behind the badge’ with us.

This is going to be a long character story so I won’t start with a couple of short cop stories, but then most of what I’m about to write about is short stories. Some of the stories have been included in other Ramblings but most are worth repeating. A few I’m going to tell for the first time because the statute of limitations has run out and Dave is retiring from his last job in Oklahoma. That’s right: Dave Balleweg


A little history. Dave Balleweg transferred to Hollywood in 1975, during the Massage Parlor crackdown. I’m not sure which side he was on, pro or con for the massage parlors.


Dave worked Wilshire Division before coming to Hollywood. He use to work PM watch and then go to radio station KGBS at midnight and work as a disc jockey for 6 hours. He would stay after to listen to the radio team of Hudson & Landry, an underrated comedy team.


Dave has the personality that charms people. All the years I worked with Dave, we never had to fight a suspect into jail. He even got suspects to come to the station and turn themselves in. One female hype, Dee, came to the station on Thanksgiving, with a turkey in the oven. Others he had arrested, called Dave to snitch on other hypes. Dave’s sense of humor will show itself in the following stories.


I’m working Morning Watch. Yea, oh-dark-thirty to sunrise. I walk into the roll call room at start of watch and the first thing I notice is someone is sitting in my seat. That’s right Dave is sitting in my spot. I’m not superstitious about sitting in a certain seat. I knew one cop, Stan, who thought he would be gunned down if he didn’t sit in his regular seat.

Bet you thought all cops were sane.


Now, I’m not an old timer, with only 5 years’ experience, but then we have a pecking order and I do have some seniority. Dave is senior to me so I sit right behind him so I can keep an eye on him. The next night I beat him into roll call and sat in my seat, welcome to Hollywood, Dave.  Ha ha.


A few days later we were assigned to work together. We hit it right off, it was love at second sight. After work that night my ribs hurt from laughing for 8 hours.  For the next 7 years we sat next to each other in roll call. 


Now after 35 years on the LAPD, I’ve worked with a lot of partners, some good, and some bad. Some made 8 hours seem like an 18 hour day, others the time flew by. I was fortunate to work with some great partners who became lifelong friends. Most of my stories are from working with friends not partners. For my non-cop friends, cops develop strong bonds with their partners. They spend long hours riding around and talking. Then, in an instant they are fighting for their lives or protecting each other from harm. It can be a strange relationship.


I had a lot of fun experiences with Dave and most would never make a TV cop show—no one would believe them. One night in the late 70’s, it rained harder than it has ever rained in Los Angeles. Streets flooded and Laurel Canyon turned into a river. Cars and people were swept away. I wasn’t working with Dave that night. I was assigned to a damage control car as the city went on Tactical Alert. I was asked to check on Dave and his partner, Dale, who were directing traffic at Mulholland and Laurel Canyon—and had been there for 6 hours. I snaked my up to their location. By now, all the cops are wet. Our blue wool uniforms are soaked and we smell like a wet dog, our underwear and t-shirts have a blue tint from our uniforms. I drive up and there are Dave and Dale in the middle of Mulholland and Laurel Canyon. They’re skipping around and singing like sailors. I learned that the actor, Paul Michael Glaser, had given the officers a bottle of brandy. It was the good stuff too.


The next night Dave and I are working a damage control car. We’re checking on residences that had to be evacuated due to mud slide damage, see if barricades are in place on closed streets, etc.  Cahuenga East is flooded and barricades were placed in order to keep cars from driving into 5 feet of water. Dave and I drive up and see the roof of a submerged car.


There’s a man bobbing in and out of the driver’s window. Our detailed investigation revealed the man was a Sheriff’s Lieutenant, who had been at a club in North Hollywood and was taking a younger lady to her house for a nightcap. 


Some kids moved the barricades as a joke and watched as the lieutenant drove into ‘Lake Cahuenga’ as Dave named it. The lieutenant was bobbing for the lady’s purse. We got the lieutenant’s car pulled out and drove his lady friend home. The lieutenant’s main concern was that the story didn’t get out to his co-workers. We promised silence, but two days later the lieutenant asked to meet us at Lake Cahuenga. He ratted on himself and his friends proclaimed him Commandant of Lake Cahuenga. He tried to bribe us with 2 bottles of Cognac. 


Part-2 next week will have more Dave Balleweg stories.


Ramblings by Hal

Ramblings, “Let’s do something fun!”

By Hal Collier, LAPD, Retired

Hal is a thirty-five year veteran of LAPD. We are pleased he is sharing his stories with us.

I’ve often said a bored cop is a dangerous cop! We’re used to living on the edge, adrenaline coursing through our veins—oh, I can’t believe I wrote that crap. We do have our moments but quite often we spend hours looking for something to do. Someone once described being a cop as hours of boredom followed by thirty seconds of sheer terror.

When the criminals, who really pay our salary, don’t cooperate, we invent our own entertainment. Have you ever left a puppy alone for a few hours and then wondered how he could get into so much trouble? Cops of any age are the same as puppies—entertain us or we’ll get into mischief. My apologies to dog owners everywhere.

I know you’re tired of hearing I worked Hollywood Division on the grave yard shift, the entertainment capital of the world. I’ll admit, most days it was the busiest division in the city of Los Angeles. Every so often, things got slow. Sometimes, it was due to the weather and sometimes, because of the misalignment of the planets. Heck, I don’t know, it just happens.

So you’ve spent a few hours looking for crime. You saw a car slowly moving down a residential street with its lights out. You stopped him and found it was the LA Times delivery man, again. That’s it. It’s too early to eat and we’ve already had six cups of coffee. Then one of you says, “Let’s do something fun!”

How cops amused themselves depended on where they worked and who it involved. You could amuse yourself, or involve other cops, or the citizens who think they pay your salary.

My experience in working different divisions was very limited. In a 35-year career I worked 33 1/2 years in Hollywood, and 15 months in Watts. I don’t know what officers in other divisions did for entertainment but I heard rumors. One famous story is two LAPD Officers drove to Las Vegas in the middle of the night and had their picture taken in front of Caesar’s Palace, police car and in uniform then drove back before end of watch (EOW).

Frederick's of Hollywood on Hollywood Blvd.
Frederick’s of Hollywood on Hollywood Blvd.

Let’s start with amusing ourselves. Hollywood had a lot of interesting businesses. Ever heard of Frederick’s of Hollywood? Hey, had a large display window with scantily clothed mannequins. It was first light and what better way to end a slow night than check out the new window display. February was the best month, Valentine’s Day. One morning as we stopped in front of Frederick’s we saw this old homeless man admiring the display. He was intently looking at a mannequin that was lying on her side. As we watched, he pretended to stroke her ribs down to her thigh. We laughed but decided we didn’t want to watch what he was going to do next.

Another favorite spot was Trashy Lingerie on La Cienega. They also had nice window displays. The city even assisted us when they built wheel chair ramps so we could drive right up on the sidewalk to get a closer look.

Laurel Canyon photo by
Laurel Canyon
photo by

In an earlier Ramblings I described how two cop cars raced from Sunset and Vine to Laurel Canyon and Mulholland. Why? To relieve the boredom. Another game I played was “Have you ever been on this street?” Randy Witkamp and I walked a foot beat on Hollywood Boulevard. We walked from 11:30 to about 5 A.M. After 5 AM even the prostitutes called it a night. We would grab a bite to eat then look for something to do. We’d both been in Hollywood for a long time and often found ourselves on obscure side streets. Some in Laurel Canyon were only dirt roads with one or two houses!

Whoever was driving would head up into the hills and find some small street and ask, “Have you ever been on this street. You got extra points if you remembered the house and the radio call you handled there.

Wild animals were always a nice diversion. We once caught an opossum and put it our Watch Commander’s patrol car. Another time I chased a coyote down the middle of the street with my police car. I probably saved a neighbor’s cat.

Sometimes we would watch a citizen run a red light and follow them for miles. We’d bet on how many times they would look in the rear view mirror. Loser had to buy breakfast. The expensive neighborhoods were the most fun. They were already thinking of all the important people they know to get out of a ticket. We never wrote them a ticket, just entertained ourselves.

Hollywood signSunrise was always a treat when watched from above the Hollywood sign. It took a while to drive up there and involved opening and closing locked gates. If you had a partner new to Hollywood you gave them the tour of the division. I had a much better map of the stars home than they sold on street corners on Sunset. Another favorite was the Bronson Caves, better known as the Bat Cave in the Batman TV series.

Another treat was driving up to the Sunset Ranch Horse stables in Beachwood Canyon right at sunrise. Keying the radio microphone just as the rooster crows. The dispatchers always enjoyed that!

If you read any of my past Ramblings you’ve heard of the practical joke cops play on each other. Rocks in the hub caps, a snowball fight in the watch commander’s office. Pigeons in my police car! Dale Hickerson and I once screwed a cops tennis shoes to the bench in front of his locker. How about the time a patrol cop lined the detective’s desk drawer with a plastic trash bag and filled it with water?


Any stories from long boring graveyard shifts out there?


Ramblings by Hal

Ramblings: Rain Stories


According to the Los Angeles Almanac, the 1977-78 El Nino dumped 33.44" of rain on Los Angeles. That's more than 18" above average rainfall.
LA River–’78 flood from Waverly Drive.  Photo Clarence Inman Collection, 1978. Shot from a backyard on Waverly Drive facing Atwater

By Hal Collier

The following stories are true.  I use to change the names to protect the embarrassed, but since I have not been paid to be quiet, I’m going to use real first names.  Of course some of these stories are 30 years old and my memory is only so good.



I figured since we’re in a dry spell, I would write about some incidents I had working in the rain.  Now, most of my non-police friends like the rain.  At night or on weekends, they would cuddle up in front of a fireplace or pull the bed covers up tight at night.  They would listen to the sounds of the rain and drift off to sleep.  Hell, they even sell machines that have the sound of rain to help people fall asleep.


To a patrol cop working during a storm, it can be a day from hell.  Southern Californians can’t drive on dry streets. Add a little water and the thought that they are going to be late and it’s a disaster in the making.  Traffic accidents increase and burglar alarms on every closed business are activated. 


These all cause a patrol cop to get out of his car and get wet.  Think about standing in a flooded intersection, directing traffic for thirty minutes.  The streets are blocked and some citizen pulls up to your flare pattern, rolls down his car window a 1/4 inch and says, “Can’t I drive through, I always go home this way?”  Your mind is racing: can I drag this dumb ass out through that 1/4 inch opening and will anyone see me if I do.


In the late 70’s, I was working A.M. Watch (grave yard) and we expected a storm.  My partner, Randy, and I loaded up on sunflower seeds and prepared for eight hours of being wet.  Only rookies wore a clean, un-mended uniform on a rainy night.  Sometime around midnight it started raining.  Then, it rained harder than I have ever seen it rain.  We had to a pull into an elevated parking lot.  The streets flooded. Worse yet, our sunflower seed source, Lime-Lite Liquor, had three inches of water inside.  This was getting serious.




A flood scene from last year
A flood scene from last year

The entire city went on tactical alert.  Laurel Canyon was a raging river.  There were reports of citizen being swept down the street.  We were designated as the Hollywood Damage control car.  We responded to calls of stranded citizens, houses sliding off their foundations and closed streets.  The damage was enormous.  Cars were stacked five deep at the bottom of Laurel Canyon.  They used a skip loader to move mud, rocks and cars to check for missing motorists. 


Two officers, Dave and Dale, were assigned to traffic control at the top of Laurel Canyon at Mulholland Drive.  They were standing in three inches of water at the top.  It was rumored that an actor gave the officers a small bottle of brandy to fight off the cold.  At 3 P.M., we were told to go home.  This eight hour day turned into a sixteen hour marathon.  When I took off my uniform, my white J.C. Penney’s t-shirt and underwear were LAPD blue.  I had to work that night so I was back at work at 10:30 P.M.  My boots were still soaking wet.


A few days later I was working with Dave.  We were assigned damage control and security for some of the abandoned houses due to slide damage.  There was one house high in the Hollywood Hills that was wide open in the rear.  The slide covered the back yard as well as knocking a two foot hole through the back of the house.  Actually, a hole was not an accurate description.  The two feet was all across the bottom of the rear of the house.  There was 2 feet of mud inside the house.



Myrtle Beach Storm
Myrtle Beach Storm

Dave and I were checking on the house to make sure no one was walking away with the resident’s valuables.  It was midnight and very dark as we walked through the side gate.  We were halfway in the back yard, ankle deep in mud, when I froze in my tracks.  I spotted a swimming pool filter in the corner of the yard.  Oh crap, somewhere under this mud there was a swimming pool.  I don’t know if mud over a water filled pool would make quicksand, but I didn’t want to be the “Breaking News” story.  We backtracked our steps and left.


A few nights later Dave and I were driving northbound Cahuenga Boulevard where it parallels the Hollywood Freeway.  There’s a section where the road drops down then rises to enter the 101 freeway.  Where it drops down, water collects if the drain is clogged.  The city put up some barricades so sober folks wouldn’t drive into Lake Cahuenga as we dubbed it.  The lake was about five feet deep and sixty feet across.


Dave and I drove up Cahuenga to make sure the barricades were still in place.  The barricades were missing and we could see the roof of a submerged car.  I hoped no one was inside, I was wearing my last dry uniform.  As we approached we could see this man bobbing in and out of the window of the car.  We called him over to dry land and he badged us.  That’s right he was a Deputy Sheriff with the L. A. County Sheriff’s Department.  A lieutenant at that.


flicker lafdDave and I fought to hide our amusement, but it was a waste of time.  The Lieutenant’s story went like this.  He met this girl in a bar in North Hollywood and he was giving her a ride home.  He was southbound on Cahuenga when he drove into Lake Cahuenga.  As the Lieutenant and his female companion swam out of their car they saw three guys laughing and driving away.  The guys had removed the barricades and stuck around to watch the fun.  The Lieutenant was bobbing for her purse in the front seat.  We arranged for a tow truck. 


The lieutenant asked us if we could drive the young lady home, which was two blocks away.  His bigger request was that we not tell anyone in the sheriff’s department.  We agreed.  A few days later we got a phone call from the Lieutenant.  He wanted to meet with us.  Uh oh, now what.  We met at the scene of the crime.  Lake Cahuenga had been drained by then, the fishing sucked anyway.


The Lieutenant showed us a large proclamation, promoting him to Commandant of a U-Boat in Lake Cahuenga.  He told on himself.  He asked about his lady friend and we told him that driving into the lake was the best thing that happened to him that night.  Oh yea, he tried to bribe us with two bottles of cognac.


Practical Joke


This might have been an honest mistake, but I have my doubts.  It had been raining on and off all night.   About dawn a short police pursuit occurred in Hollywood.  The suspects fled on foot and were hiding in the neighborhood.  The rain had let up and the sky was clearing.  We removed our rain coats and we were formed into search parties.  I was one of the senior officers and led my group.  The helicopter was overhead directing officers to likely hiding places.  The helicopter observer directed me into a back yard with a huge weeping willow tree in the corner.  He said the suspects might be under the tree.  I walked under the tree with gun drawn.  The helicopter dropped lower, I assumed to watch me.


Ok, do you know how much water collects in a weeping willow tree after a night of rain?  Have you ever stood next to your dog when he shakes after a bath?  The prop wash from the helicopter immediately dropped all the water in that tree—you guessed it, on me.  I might as well have taken a swim in Lake Cahuenga.  Another day with blue underwear. 



Ramblings by Hal

Ramblings Bizarre

By Hal Collier

The following stories are true and can be verified by three living cops whose names never appeared in the LA times.  These stories are a little bizarre and seldom made headlines in the Los Angeles area.

The first incident involved a radio call in Laurel Canyon.  You only needed a month in Hollywood to know that Laurel Canyon was home to politicians, celebrities, and nuts. Sometimes it was hard to distinguish the difference.  Some of their careers were on their way up and many on their way down.  It was known for parties and a little bit of illegal drug use. Ok a lot of drug use.   You just never know what you’ll find up in the canyon.

Laurel Canyon
Laurel Canyon

Most cops hated getting calls in the canyon.  It took a street guide and a half hour to find some street with a hand painted sign attached to a power pole.  It took you an hour to find your way back down out of the canyon.  The passenger had to read the street guide backwards to find your way out, not an easy task for a cop with a GED.  Police cars don’t have GPS systems and if they did it would be full of coffee spots and all night eating spots.

Late or early one night, depending on your point of view, a rash of radio calls came out on one of those winding mountain roads in Laurel Canyon. The radio calls described some nut running around naked.

Ok, it’s about 2 AM. You were about to do some really important police work, coffee at 7-11.   Damn, you have to drive up into the canyon to look for some nut, high on drugs.  You can’t find him so you drive back down toward the 7-11.  You just get to the bottom of the canyon and you get another call, same naked man, only now he’s west a block.  At least you know the way.  Back into the canyon, again you can’t find him, maybe you should have brought the coffee with you.  Did you ever wonder why police cars don’t have cup holders? But I digress.  We never did find the naked man, hopefully he went home.

Flash forward three months.  A young couple in their first home decides to build a fire on a cold winter night.  The house begins to fill with smoke.  They extinguish the fire and see that their chimney is clogged with a dead naked man.  That’s right–the drug intoxicated man climbed into the chimney and died. That explained the strange smell the couple couldn’t get rid of.

True story.  The fire department had to dismantle the fireplace to remove the body.  “Hello Allstate, does my home owners insurance cover a naked dead man in my chimney?”  I can hear the laughter and “Am I on Candid Camera?”

One bright morning a Laurel Canyon resident takes his dog to the Mulholland Dog Park.  His dog loves to run free with the other dogs and sometimes they chase each other into the hillside brush.  This fine morning, the man’s dog exits the brush with something in his mouth.  It’s a human jaw bone.  Now dead bodies are dumped all over the LA area, especially in the hills.  I once was told by a Park Ranger that he thought more bodies were in Griffith Park than Forrest Lawn.  Doubtful but close to the truth.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Jimmy Hoffa isn’t in Griffith Park.

So Hollywood Homicide is called and they search the area but can’t find a body.  Now everyone knows that a body in the hills can be scattered by the animals that call Hollywood their home.  The dog owner became obsessed and every once in a while he would call the police and claim to have found the body.  Once he found a pile of bones and was sure that it was the missing body.  It was a dead deer.  To my knowledge the body was never found and the case remains open.


This story has nothing to do with dead bodies but it would have made a great “Cops” episode.   I’m a new sergeant working Southeast Division (Watts) on Morning Watch.  It’s been another slow night and I’m looking forward to getting off work and jumping into morning rush hour traffic through downtown L.A.  A Domestic Violence radio call comes out just as the sun is rising over the Watts Towers.  The suspect is now on the roof of his house and refuses to come down.  Maybe he thought he was in New Orleans?

Pole vaulter photo by USA Today
Pole vaulter photo by USA Today

I arrive and can’t believe my eyes.  This nut is indeed on the roof of his house, but what they failed to tell us was that he was armed with a twenty foot pole.  He refused to come down and if the officers got too close he would pole vault to the house next door.  I watched him vault across three houses and then back.  This went on for over an hour.  I rated his technique as only a five!

Ok, you’re the supervisor at the scene. What tactic would you use?  If you use a taser or tear gas him and he falls off the roof, he’ll probably break his neck and die.  You don’t want to send officers up on the roof and fight this nut, the officers might fall off the roof.  You could call for a crisis negotiator but this guy is high and not very rational.  After Police Academy-taught negotiations fail, you lower your expectations.  Most of his responses are limited to about two words which are about my mother.

Well, patience paid off again.  We kept watching him and at times laughed at him.  This upset him so he tried one more vault, only this time his hands slipped and he fell off the roof.  He bounced once and was taken into custody.  If this had been in Hollywood it would have been covered by 5 news stations with commentators critiquing our tactics.  In Watts, a stalled big rig on the Harbor freeway was the breaking news.  I was just enough overtime that my drive home was traffic free.  I went home and went to bed but I couldn’t sleep because I kept laughing at the Watts pole vaulter.

Cops see some bizarre things not only in Hollywood but in every city. You just have to wait for the radio call.


Ramblings by Hal

Ramblings: About Firemen

 By Hal Collier




The following story is true.  I didn’t change the names because I never knew their names.  If you remember, I spent most of my career at Hollywood Division.


Right behind Hollywood Police Station was Los Angeles Fire Station # 27.  Fire station #27 is a battalion station, which means it has 2 engine trucks, a hook and ladder truck, 2 paramedic trucks, a haz-mat truck and a battalion chief.  That’s as big as it gets in the inner city.  I once heard that #27 was the busiest fire station in the world.


Remember Hollywood never sleeps.  I use the term firemen because I’m not sure what’s the politically correct name for firepersons.  No offense intended, I’m just a dinosaur.


Police officers and firemen are brothers in arms.  When a policeman gets shot or hurt, it’s a fireman who saves his life.  Our pay, benefit and contracts with the city, are usually fought together.  Our pensions are similar but most important we have the same views of dirt bags and celebrities.


Firemen have taught me valuable lessons in life.  If you’re at a fire, conducting crowd or traffic control and a fireman drops his fire hose and runs, try to keep up with him.  If it’s a big fire and their cantina lunch truck shows up, it’s your lucky day.  Firemen eat good.


Recently, there was big news about an L.A City fireman who sued his department because he said he was discriminated against, because he was black.  He was fed dog food as a practical joke, because he claimed he was the “Big Dog”.  After a civil trial he was awarded 1.5 million.  During the trial he admitted he participated in practical jokes against other firemen.  Firemen and police officers have been playing practical jokes since the earth cooled.  I have some first-hand knowledge with firemen and their practical jokes.


The first incident I was not involved in but learned from other officers.  There’s a fire station on Mulholland Drive near Laurel Canyon.  It’s a small station and not that busy.  A Hollywood Senior Lead Officer was known to frequent the station house and play ping pong with the firemen.  He was usually accompanied by a rookie officer and showed up around lunch.  The firemen would welcome the rookie into the fire station and usher the rookie into a seat at a table.  The seat was rigged with a small waterline that would squirt water onto the crotch of whoever was sitting at the table.  Your tax dollars at work!



The next incident involved a homeless man living in the hills in the Cahuenga Pass.  He was preparing his dinner, BBQ pigeon over an open fire.  A resident called the fire department, concerned about a brush fire.  Fireman are fun loving people until you mess with them about fire.  The homeless man was quite a ways up the hill and it was a hot day.  The fire department has those water dropping helicopters and one just happened to be in the area.  The helicopter told the homeless man over his loud speaker to put out the fire.  Homeless are not your touchy-feely sort of people and generally men of few words. The homeless man gave the helicopter the one finger wave.


The helicopter again warned the man to put out his fire.  The homeless man gave a two finger wave this time, one finger on each hand.  The helicopter dropped thousands of gallons of water on the man and his camp.  Fire out, campground closed due to flooding.


LAFD Truck 27
LAFD Truck 27

Have you ever noticed that all fire trucks have big numbers on them? Those numbers indicate which station the fire truck comes from.  #27 comes from fire station 27, etc.  Now, I spent a lot of time conducting traffic control at fires.  See, firemen park anywhere they need to fight the fire.  I understood that, but what bothered me was that it took them longer to pick up their hoses and clear the streets than to fight the fire.  Sometimes they would stand around and BS with a friend from another station.  I couldn’t leave until they did.  Back to those numbers, they are metallic.  You can change 27 to read 72 or put them upside down or sideways if you wish.  Just don’t get caught.  Firemen are obsessive about of their equipment.


I was walking past the rear gate to FD #27 one day and saw a firemen lying on his back.  He was washing the underside of the fire truck.  I guessed that only an unfortunate pedestrian would notice and remark, “Wow, the underside of that fire truck is clean.”  I envy firemen’s equipment. I had to bribe our garage attendants to wash my police car once a month.


If the above seemed juvenile, let me tell you about the fishing pole.  The new #27 fire station was a two story beauty right behind the back door to the police station.  On warm summer evenings the firemen would sit up on the roof, smoking expensive cigars and watching the coming and goings of police officers.  They especially liked nights when we ran prostitution task forces.  They would sit up there with binoculars watching the girls as they were marched through the back door in their skimpy outfits.


OK, back to the fishing pole.  There was a 10 foot wall that separated the police station from the fire station.  On the police side, we had a carport and a narrow driveway.  The firemen would tie a 3 inch rat-looking piece of material to the end of the line.  They would then cast it over the wall between parked police cars and wait.  When an unsuspecting officer walked toward the back door they would reel in the line until the rat ran across the officer’s feet.  As the officer jumped around and sometimes screaming the firemen would burst out in laughter.  They particularly liked female officers. They screamed the loudest and had the best moves.


Another variation was tying a $5 bill to the fishing line and when an officer attempted to pick up the bill they would reel it away.  I once watched a young officer chase that $5 bill for 30 feet, 1 foot at a time.  I made it a practice to check the roof top of the fire station when entering the police station parking lot.


And you thought I was slow.  Again, your tax dollars at work.


Practical Joke


As you saw at the beginning of this story, not all practical jokes turn out good.  One night Fire Station #27 was assigned two female paramedics.  They were classmates and it was their first shift together.  It was during the midnight to dawn shift that they got bored.  They were driving around Hollywood and spotted two Hollywood officers parked.  They thought it would be fun to throw water balloons at the officers.  Instead of balloons they threw saline IV bags.  Everyone laughed and drove off in different directions.  Only, the officers wanted revenge.


LAFD ambulance
LAFD ambulance

The officers contacted their Sergeant.  A dozen eggs were bought and a deserted parking lot was found.  A request for an ambulance was made and the two female paramedics arrived. Ok. Eggs were thrown and everyone agreed that payback was a bitch.  At 3 A.M., the paramedics drove back to the station and began washing the ambulance.  Unfortunately, the Battalion Chief woke up and wanted an investigation.  The female paramedics admitted their guilt and were punished.  The involved officers were never identified.  Before any of my former partners check the statute of limitations, I was working that night but wasn’t there.


I love firemen, just like my fellow officers.  Were different but very much the same.  Police officers will run to gunfire but won’t go near a burning building.


In future stories, I will discuss the 3 days I spent with firemen during the riots.  Yea, I said riots, I was there and trust me it wasn’t civil unrest!



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