The Call Box

Roll Call: Short Dogs

By Mikey, Retired LAPD

The Yellow Van and the Robbery Suspect


It was late 1990 and I was working Wilshire Division day watch patrol as a new field sergeant. Wilshire Division is bordered on the north by Hollywood Division, on the west by West Los Angeles Division on the east by Rampart Division and on the south by South West Division. At about 1130am I monitored a broadcast of a robbery that had just occurred in South West. The suspect was described as a heavy set male black, driving a yellow van, last seen south bound on La Brea Boulevard. I was stopped for a red light at Washington and La Brea facing south when I spotted a yellow van approach the interaction going north. The South West robbery suspect was last seen proceeding south on La Brea. The lettering on the van identifyed it as rental van. I radioed my location and asked communications to ask the South West unit if the van had writing on the sides. I was told that there was, and they added that it had a number on the back.

LAPD_Bell_206_JetrangerAs the light changed, the van passed me and sure enough the number matched the one given to me by the unit. I communicated that I was following the van NORTH bound on La Brea, requested back-up and settled in for a possible pursuit. I heard an air unit was enroute, so I hung back. The van proceeded into a residential neighborhood, pulled to the curb and the driver exited. I set up a felony stop, shot gun and all, and told the heavy-set driver to prone out. He turned and ran up a drive way into a back yard. The air unit was now over head and the observer told me to start star walking north.

“A little faster, Sarge,” the observer said, so I picked up the pace. I passed three residences and was approaching the last house before the end of the block when I was told to run to the end of the block and take cover facing east, so that’s what I did.

“Wait for it, Sarge.” Looking east I could see a wooden fence paralleling the street, west to east and the sidewalk next to it. This time the observer chucked as he said, “Here they come.”

They, here they come?

hurry-up-2785528_960_720I had my weapon drawn, facing east when the frail wooden fence shattered into pieces as the suspect ran right through. Behind him were a pit bull and a mutt in hot pursuit!

The guy saw at me and began yelling, “Shoot the dogs, shoot the dogs!!”

The aircrew must have been laughing hard because I heard the engine whining down (pilot not paying attention) but my attention was on our robbery suspect. The dogs got alarmed when they saw the vehicle traffic did a 180 and headed for home.

“Shoot the dogs,” ran into a responding black and white and the rest is history.

You know for a heavyset guy, he was running pretty good. Well, he was highly motivated!

Morning Watch and the Flying Badge


It was late 1990 and I was woLAPD sgt badge movie prop etsyrking morning watch at Wilshire as a patrol sergeant. Our end of watch was 0800 but I had a report to finish and didn’t leave the station until 1030. I was on my way home eastbound on the I-10, the Santa Monica portion and this time of the morning the traffic still stinks. My patience is boarding the edge of—well, I’m tired and when I get home I have a couple of “honey do’s” to complete before sleep. Drive time, 45 minutes. Crossing the Harbor freeway, the traffic lightened up, so we picked up the speed. I’m in the #2 lane and a yellow city dump truck is in the #1 lane. As we transition from the east bound I-10 to the north bound I-5, the truck—without signaling—cuts me off! Had I not slammed on the brakes, we’d have had a terrific collision. Now I’m going to catch up to the truck and let the guy know who he just cut off! I take my badge place it into my left hand. The badge pin is between my middle and index finger. I catch up to the truck who is back in the #1 lane and now I’m next to him, I roll down my window and as he looks over at me, I produce my badge out the window…….and my badge is yanked out of my hand by the rush of wind! It’s gone, rolling down the freeway. My almost new sergeant badge is GONE!

Told you I was tired, lacking any judgment and now my badge was gone. I got off the freeway and went back to the location.

Somewhere in badge heaven that badge is telling the story of the first and last knuckle head he was with.

I sure showed that driver, huh?

Writer's Notes

Multi-tasking: Mar Preston

By Mar Preston

multi-taskingIs there anything in life that doesn’t require multi-tasking skills of some sort or another? At any stage in life? Employers want workers who can juggle. My blog host, Thonie Hevron, must have a grasp on multi-tasking during her career as a dispatcher.

Children, husbands, lovers, and readers expect you to be able to swivel from one thing to another.

If readers like your series, they’re panting in expectation for your next book so they can re-enter the world you made them love. Or so authors say. I can’t quite convince myself that the world is breathless in anticipation of my next book.

If I were to be granted a superpower, I’d wish for a no cost, safe, effective multi-tasking ability. Think how many books you could write before flopping, exhausted, into your favorite chair? It’s probably sensible to write when you’re writing, and market (hustle books) when you’re marketing. I end up trying to do both at once. I’m an impatient, jittery sort of person.  My mother used to call me Instant Grat.

20170418_153729My particular enemy is flipping back and forth on Facebook, reading interesting articles about world affairs. Do I think I have to take a test or something? Am I preparing for Jeopardy?  No, I’m not. I’m procrastinating working on my current novel. At one point in multi-tasking I thought leaping from one novel to another when I reached an impasse would make the work easier. Not so. It made both of them hard.

I’ve read that while it may seem you’re being productive flipping from one screen, one item on your to do list to another, the researchers say there is a cognitive cost. You’re not nearly as smart as you think you are. Aging will drive that point home as well.  Oh yes.

boxed Set - SM

Perhaps you might find my police procedural series about a Santa Monica cop and his activist girlfriend interesting. It’s a 3-book bundle that is free until September 16th here.  If you like them, please leave me a review.



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