By Ed Meckle, Retired LAPD
Ask any patrol officer what his/her favorite radio transmission is and I’m sure most will say … “Code 7 granted.”
Somewhere there is a rule/regulation/order whatever that states, very sensibly only a certain number of cars can be off the air to eat at any one time. When your request has been denied several times, you try to be first in line when another unit clears from 7.
Eating spots…there are spots and there are spots. Well, just let me say that Hal, working Hollywood, probably had no shortage of fine eateries to choose from while I, working a poor, crime-ridden area did not have that luxury. The powers that be stated we could not eat outside our area and we had one restaurant which would have had to improve greatly just to be average.
The food however was free, and we ate what they put in front of us and we left a 25-cent tip (this is a long, long time ago, boys and girls). Being “off the air” however, did not necessarily mean you would enjoy your meal in peace.
A few examples:
We hadn’t been seated five minutes when we hear shouting from the parking lot. Then two rapid fired rounds followed by the racing engine of a departing vehicle and then a third and fourth shot.
As we were seated in the rear by the door we were up and out quickly but cautiously fully expecting to find a body in the lot…not this time.
Standing not ten feet from our black and white was a woman holding a handgun which she quickly dropped when ordered.
She admitted shooting at her husband and then his car as he left. We found no blood and discovered where one round had hit a car parked next to ours.
We got a pinch but missed dinner.
Saving what I consider a “classic” until last: this was related to me by Dwight “Skip” Gillett, LAPD retired and a colleague from the “Old Centurions.”
In Skip’s own words, edited for length:
I was working AID, Accident Investigation Division, on the PM watch in 77th Division with my partner Chuck Morrow. Inasmuch as it is a poor, crime-ridden area there are not many (actually none) decent restaurants where we can eat.
So, we are having a burger at an outdoor greasy spoon when we hear shouting.
There right in front of us is a northbound vehicle, hood open with a passenger seated on the front fender shouting instructions to the driver who, of course can’t see because of the hood.
“Slow down a bit,” “Little to your left,” and “Stoplight coming up.”
Now any cop will tell you that sooner or later you witness all sorts of weird behavior, and nothing you see should surprise you until something crazier comes along. But this one ranks right up there.
Finish the burgers or do the right thing? Dedication overcame hunger and we made the stop. It seems the fuel pump was non-operational, so the fender rider was pouring gasoline directly into the carburetor and since the driver could not see, he was calling out directions.
Logical, right? As clever as this might seem you may have guessed by now alcohol was involved.
End result: lost the burger, got one deuce.
[Me again] I have said it before. Where else could you find a job where you could do some good, meet the quality of people we do, have a lot of fun and still get paid?