The Call Box

The Callbox: Sully, a Real Friend

By Ed Meckle

Ed is a new contributor to Just the Facts, Ma’am. Here he describes himself. His stories are not to be missed.

I am a member of the “Old Centurion” Lunch and True Tales Bunch. Hal Collier moderates and we are only one of fifty plus LAPD retired groups that meet around the country to renew friendships and share experiences. There is a topic of the month wherein we share stories of said topics such as Bizarre, Funny, etc. This month’s topic was “Use of Force.”

Inasmuch as my time on the job was from an earlier era     [2-1-56 TO  10-1-76] stories might just be from a different perspective. I have lots of tales to tell.


Let us first examine the meaning of the word “friend:”

Someone who is 100% honest with you. Ok

Sticks by your side, no matter what. Also ok

Someone you can trust in the time of need. Another big ok

There when glad-handers and pretenders are long gone

Let’s not forget the “frenemies” who tell you one thing but secretly gloat when you fall. They are there for their own good. The old saying goes, “A mouthful of howdy and a handful of gimmie”

That being said, on with your tale. Let’s start by tell you Sully was a really good police man/detective. He was smart, intuitive and funny, but looked at life at an angle. He marched to the beat of a drummer only he could hear. And not only thought “outside the box,” he didn’t even know there was a box. Great practical joker. He was a first rate interrogator, saw things that others didn’t and was one of the clumsiest people I ever knew. I never saw him angry and never heard him raise his voice. Calm cool and collected, as they say.

I first met him in 1958. My first night on vice, prowling a dark alley, we surprised the lookout for an illegal gaming operation. While speaking to him in a low voice, he had him undress, coat shirt, pants and shoes all went over the fence into someone’s back yard. It was a cold night and while the lookout stood shivering, Sully said, “You are not going to tell them we are here, correct?”

That said, we raided the house. All the while, I was convinced my career as a policeman was over and I was probably going to a Turkish prison.

I didn’t, it had only just begun—


A glimpse of Sully standing on the sidewalk in front of a bank:

A “211 (armed robbery) had just happened and the manager told him, “You just missed him by minutes.”


Sully looked left for a long moment, then right and told his partner who was putting out the broadcast, “Come on. I know where he is.”


Six doors away they found him in a cocktail lounge. When asked, Sully said, “The manager described him as calm, almost cocky. There is very little pedestrian traffic, no street parking and the bank is in the middle of a long block. I figured he was going to hunker down and outwait us.”


When I later returned form court and walked into the squad room, I saw a stranger on the typewriter. I gave Sully the “What???” look and he said, That’s my bank robber. I’m dictating and he is doing his own arrest report. Can that guy type or what?”


That was Sully.


Practical joke:

Someone set off a firecracker behind the elderly lieutenant who was inspecting firearms. For a few seconds, he was convinced he had shot one of his own men.




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