Was on my way home from a long day - ready to spend time with the family and give my poor wife some help and all that... when a call comes out for a group of juveniles setting off explosives as they walk down the street on the other side of the county...
So, off I go to help deal with things. On the way I hear the first of the patrol units mark on scene in the area. Then, the idiot involved says on the air "Well, I don't see anything right now. I talked to this one group of kids but they said they didn't see anything either so I let them go."
In between the sounds of me beating my head against the steering wheel I very unsubtly tell him to go find and stop those kids again, and I'll be there shortly - and that he shouldn't do anything else until some adult supervision shows up.
A short time later I pull up with one of the fire marshals and we start looking around. Sure enough I have multiple scenes with minor property damage, along with three different groups of witnesses who are more than willing to give me good statements and descriptions. At the same time my idiot-of-the-shift lets us know he's found the kids a couple of blocks away. I tell him to start getting information while we coordinate our evidence collection & I'd be there shortly. You know - all the stuff basic police work is supposed to teach you.
After all the initial stuff is sorted out I head over to deal with my this point pects, where I get my next moment of annoyance. Apparently our idea of "detain and get information" involves letting the kids wander around playing basketball, going in and out of the house, and having a half-assed collection of names and "maybe" addresses for everyone. I've now reached my saturation point and not-so-subtly let the Sergeant know that this officer needs to be off my scene before I lose it.
Then it's off to jail for prints & photos & charges with my lucky contestants who are identified as the main players (I'd love to charge everyone, but it doesn't work that way...) - and being juveniles we add several more steps to the processing and paperwork fun. We hit our next roadblock when we find out that we can't get a hold of a guardian or family member for one of the kids. Intake won't take them in (bombs aren't "violent enough" in their book), child protective services won't take him since he's got felony charges, and I can't just drop him by the side of the road. I'm playing phone tag with different services, I've got road officers chasing down possible family, and I'm hungry, tired and pretty much fed up by this point. We finally find his guardian and explain the situation and that they need to get down here for the kid; leaving me to wrap up another two hours of paperwork and packaging before I can head home at last.
Just an example of my week...
Just a few ramblings from a confused guy. Former military, former cop. Husband. Father. Student. Role playing gamer, on intermittent weeks. Avid reader. Internet addict. Small "l" libertarian. Too many others to mention. The views and opinions expressed herein are my own, and do not reflect those of any official agency or government or species. Names have been changed to protect the guilty; God protects the innocent as a matter of course.
“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”
"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds
Thursday, October 13, 2011
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I know it doesn't help much, but thanks for doing it. Some of us do appreciate it.
Dumb kids. Hope they learned their lesson! And sorry about the officer....you would think he would know how to do the basic FI card and have them sitting, waiting for you to talk to them, as well.
Is putting them in The System with felony charges really the best way to help them?
I honestly want to know. It seems to me like a refuge of last resort.
Phelps - a couple of things:
- #1 this was playing with bombs, not exactly the same thing as a curfew violation or stealing a candybar.
- #2 the State code here doesn't have a "misdemeanor" charge for explosives - you start blowing things up & it's a felony.
- #3 by policy I don't have the choice to not do the paperwork on them for a felony.
- #4 charges does not mean conviction as you well know. The Judge & Juvenile System get to decide on disposition. There are absolutely many cases where a conviction is NOT the best choice - but that is for the system as a whole to determine, not for me at the side of the road. All I'm doing is the charging paperwork & testifying in court, I'm not the end decision.
What about the first Officer to arrive on the scene? Is he salvageable or is a change of occupation called for?
So heres my question: why the heck do the long, drawn out, detailed calls and arrests always happen at the end of the shift? Just sayin!
Jay - hard to say. Given that this is not his first brush with stupidity, I have a feeling he'll do something down the road that leads to other employment - or else rise to a level of supervision where his incompetence can influence others...
CAcopwife - for the same reason callouts always happen during family functions - just something in the universe I guess!
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