By Mikey, Retired LAPD
Probation in Rampart ’73-’74
Back in the day, there were no holds barred when it came to messing with rookies—NONE. Of course, I fell victim early on.
One shift, I had court all day and made it back to the station just in time to get ready for PM Watch roll call. I opened my locker up and stripped down for a shower. I must have been in the shower for maybe 8 minutes—TOPS! After drying off, I returned to my locker to find my uniforms GONE. Yup, GOA (Gone On Arrival-an often used disposition the reason for the call was not present when the officer arrived-Thonie)!
The senior guys were getting ready. They said nothing; the other rookies dare not say anything. Didn’t want to sound like a baby so, I said nothing. The guys began exiting the locker room for roll call and I stood there, thinking. I wasn’t going to be late for roll call, so I started eyeballing my civilian clothes when my military training kicked in.
“Overcome and conquer.” Whatever, so I made my moves. All the “rooks” had to sit in the front of roll call and the senior guys in the back. Our PM watch commander and supervisors entered the room and the lieutenant took his place at his desk, at the head of the room, facing us.
He started calling the roll and our assignments when the snickering and muffled laughs became overwhelming. He looked up and began scanning the room when his eyes hit the front row left, last seat, against the wall. His eyes bugged out of his head.
He was looking at the rookie wearing his cover, his yellow rain coat and boots and his Sam Browne waist level outside of the rain coat.
He bellowed, “Diaz, what the hell are you doing, son?”
Now the laughter was overwhelming, and I had to wait to answer until the noise settled down. “Misplaced my uniforms sir, returned from the shower to my opened locker and found that I had misplaced them, sir.”
“G-D D—N it! Whoever find’s Diaz’ uniforms gets an early EOW, (end of watch).”
I heard scuffling in the back of the room and then voices yelled out, “We found where Diaz misplaced his uniforms, lieutenant!”
I think I saw a slight twinkle in the lieutenant’s eyes when he made his declaration.
The rest of the night was uneventful.