Monthly Archives: October 2004

Leaving

I walked through the front doors and something told me that there was not a clerk at the desk. Sure enough, there was not, and a mildly frazzled rookie. Sundays are never that bad.

He was dealing with a vehicle release that I took over. The lady had a rambling, babbling habit and she did not understand a large quantity of what we said. I pulled up the impound by case number and wrote a release by the vehicle, while she went to find her registration. When I got to the window I realized that the vehicle did not match the registration, and when I asked her, she got very confused. I left her, confused, and went and pulled it up by VIN and found her vehicle.

When I came back with the correct vehicle release she was very unhappy with me for confusing her. I cut her off as she explained her unhappiness and showed her that I had the correct vehicle release for her. She had also confused the officer about needing her report, so I made her sign the release and then went to get the accident report for her. That was traumatic enough because then she insisted that I explained it to her because she could not understand the factual terminology or understand that the vehicles where listed by number in the accident, and the number coincided with the name in the numbered vehicle information sections of the report. So I worked it out for her, and she still left confused, but with simple directions on what steps to take next.

I just finished putting in the lineups so that is all set. I nabbed the paperwork now so that I can do what is there and not have to enormous of a pile to wade through.

The next call was someone who had had the window of their car broken out. I kept attempting to interrupt her to ask if she wanted an officer out but she was to involved in her story to listen to me. After the third or fourth time I asked if she wanted an officer out she paused and said yes, immediately, so I sent her to dispatch. However, immediately is possibly not on the option list this late in the day.

Today is a football game. Fortunately it is not a home game so we do not have to deal with the aftermath of drunken sports fans.

Anyway, I then receive a call from an irritate citizen who feels that the response to her call is taking to long. I sent her back over to dispatch, since they control that type of thing and can inform her of the officers whereabouts, something I cannot do.

Checked an impound for another officer.

A call for harassment and how to get the phone records.

We have someone in here to make a B&E for their vehicle as well.

I got the paperwork finished in good time so I can go and get dinner and relax for the rest of the shift.

Ahh.. people think the police know all and have all, which is good, but we don’t and it causes problems. This gentleman was informed by US Park Police that his tag was recovered by my county on the 14th of the month. The problem is that the case number they gave him doesn’t match any of ours, and the guy wants his tags. Well the tags could be here, at another station, or sent back to DMV, I really can’t answer, and he was quite irritated that I couldn’t give him more information.

Someone got in a fight with their girlfriend earlier and she pushed him and he wound up slapping her and leaving.

This man wishes to list his daughter as found. He is mad that he has not had an officer come out to take the report already. He is pretty hostile with us and just said to the officer, “it’s been a rough day so you have to bear with me. This system..” and the officer cut him off to explain to him that there are rules and there is a homicide at the moment.

It also seems that someone on a cut through a neighborhood found a pile of human bones. We’re trying to figure out how no one who uses this cut, as that it is used regularly noticed that there was a dead body back there as well.

Now back to the situation with the man and the daughter. The daughter and mother are not getting along. The girl went over her friend’s house and the mother listed her as missing and calls the father to get the girl. And the mother tells the daughter to get out of the house and calls the father to come and get her. Then demands that he bring her back.

Basically the mother is playing with the system to fuck with the father.

The weekend is a blissful thing

The officer who has the arrested juvenile in the back came up asking if the mother had arrived yet. We got him some chips and a soda earlier cuz he is behaving so well. Well as SOON as the officer walks back to the lockup the mother walks in the front door.

Another officer called needing a number.

What could be described as a polite citizen call. The officer that responded to their stolen vehicle report left their notepad, and they where calling me to tell the officer so that it could be retrieved. I sent a message across the computer network and thanked the citizens for that.

A call for another sector, a robbery detective. I sent him over to robbery, but they only keep office hours that run with normal business hours. While there may be a detective on duty, they are not necessarily going to answer the phone. So I was not surprised when the man called back a few minutes later to say that no one had answered. He said that a suspect that had robbed him had come into the restaurant to eat and he was trying to contact robbery about it, but the suspect had left. He then wanted to know when the detective would be in, at which time I explained to him that I did not even work in the same area as they did and knew nothing about their office staff or schedules. He was not pleased, but all I can do is send them where they are asking to go. Many clerks will not even do that much.

Then a call to remove someone from a washroom. Seems that someone has camped out in the washroom of an apartment complex. Cool I guess. I’m going to be here for a while, the other clerk called in that she’d be late.

One of those five hundred mile an hour vehicle VINs. Frustrating as I try to keep up. A VIN is not a word and is very random, so it is not similar to typing a word that you already know even if it is subconsciously.

Starting the week

Ahh, interesting, I may be out of here as soon as January if this job goes through.

Today is an overlap day, which means that two shifts are working to create a larger buffer of people.

Whining about permit issues

My first call was a very irate lady who had been bounced around several times already. Basically, she was given a string of tickets for parking on the road by her house and this had never happened before. Her neighbors advised her that she needed to get a parking permit form the county and she kept being sent to the police department for it when it was not us. As I tried to figure out what she needed and who she needed to call she was getting pretty irritated at the information that I did not know. So once she started ranting about how no one wanted to help her, I put her on hold and moved past that.

Then I got a call for an officer who is being hunted down by a state trooper. Only the trooper has not been able to pin the officer down, so we looked for him and I left him some more messages and suggested that the trooper call me back.

Next another irritated lady… people never are pleasant at the end of the day it seems. Anyway, she was mad because she had been leaving messages for an officer who had chosen not to call her back for whatever reason. She then asked me to go check in his box, and for that I told her not. I am not going to ruffle through someone’s box to see if they have picked up a message or something, plus he may have left it in there and it would not matter. So she was very pissed with me for being unwilling to dot hat, but whatever, that is her own problem.

Next was someone up front. His tags had been stolen and he needed to make a report. So I have him waiting for the roll call to finish so that someone can take his report.

In general, at the moment we are ranting about work. It is insane. We’ve had another change of command, our third this year, and our new major is going crazy. He wants to clean up the department, which is wonderful, but cleaning it up by crushing the officers and staff at every opportunity is not the way to go.

He is citing problems with everyone, including the fact that we should be answering the phone by the third ring. How this is to be accomplished with one person, five phone lines, and a line of people at the lobby I don’t understand. Someone who has seen us in action, attempting to handle this entire place… and to tell us that we need to answer the phone in three rings… is incredible.

Found a vehicle for someone that needed

Domestic standby waiting around and gone

There was a need for a missing person report. I spoke with the lady for a bit because something told me to check where she was, and she was not in county. So I sent her to the nearest police station from where she lived so that she could report her husband missing.

This man had been waiting on hold for a bit and the other clerk had not figured out where his car was. So I did a search through the county for the information and that found his car, much to his delight.

I’ve missed some of the people that have come in today because it is busy. The man waiting in the front is still waiting for a stolen tag report, and it is taking a while.

Complaints… why can one not come to the police station and get help… that is because we don’t have officers in the station. No one believes this and they want to complain. And we explain that we don’t have the officers in and that we cannot take the report. This is a legal action here and not just anyone can do something about it.

We’re not being nasty.

But it only takes one person to upset everyone. The people in the lobby are not getting into a heated anger war about how there are so many vehicles stolen in the county and we don’t do enough to prevent it.

Then a call for the sexual assault unit. I’m assuming this woman was attacked but she did not want to speak to me. In fact she was upset because she has not gotten any answer with the unit, but that is not, sadly, surprising. This department is not perfect but it seems that they have no interests in fixing the broken areas.

The civilians are at the bottom of the list, sot hey will get nothing from me, says the fire chief. Thanks. We only do all of the support work for the county.

Demands… and the knee jerk reaction to go against them when someone screams in your ear and demands answers to things you do not even know about. It makes me want to tell them to screw off and go such an egg. But instead, I say okay and research what happened.

Actually I found what she needed, contacted the officer and he is currently calling her with details. So I don’t act upon my feelings but gee I do wish to tell people no a bit more often.

Someone finally came in to take the stolen tag.

A lady came in with two children and read the poster boards. After a bit of time she came over and introduced herself. She and her husband have domestic issues and they exchange the children at police stations for peace of mind. Ten minutes past their time to pick up he calls her to tell her he is at another district about twenty minutes away. Seems he mistook the street and the station names, although they are not similar.

Then a call for an officer who is not here.

And someone needing the phone number to another district.

The woman’s husband finally came and exchanged children.

And then beyond that someone called for one of the sergeants but it turned out that he was not in and she was a bit snappy. Not wanting to give me any information I was not able to help her out further then taking a message and letting it be.

Beyond that has also been a lady that came in to file a complaint to one of the majors. SO I tossed it into an envelope and dropped it into departmental mail to send over to the chief’s office. Major or not you still have responsibilities and liability to your behavior.

It’s been a slow night with good pauses. It is busy on the street but not so bad over here.

Another domestic issue. This mans ex wife is breaking the custody pickup order from the court and trying to make him meet her in other locations.

The day ended pretty well. It is now Saturday morning, but I’m spell checking this and uploading it online.

Running Behind

One minute after six and someone has already come in. He just went to use the bathroom, and he came out with his cell phone open, so we will see if he wants me to pay attention to him. Some people just use us as a public facility, which we are… so I guess that is not bad. Perhaps he is calling someone about why he is here, that is popular. I will not serve him until he is off his cell phone, its just impolite.

Well he talked on the phone for a bit and then finally came to the window to tell me what he needed. He needed an officer to approve him getting his property from the property division, which was fine. However, he felt the need to answer his phone, which made me say, “Are you going to speak to me or speak on the phone?” I will admit it is morning, I have not been able to sleep at night for over a week, and I do not appreciate someone speaking on the phone when they have asked me to help them!

My only call so far has been from a commissioner hunting down an officer that is not out of our station.

I have an office on light duty here today, and he’s going to be watching the football game. A football stadium is within my district, actually only about 2 miles from the station and I absolutely hate game days. Traffic is horrible, people are crazy, and everyone gets all crazy about the game. Sigh.

A call for information, but that is why I am here, is it not?

A man, in what looks like long underwear and jeans came in and asked to use the bathroom. We nodded towards it. The bathroom is clearly marked TOILET and people miss it constantly.

When this lady walked up, I knew that I had seen her before. I just was not sure of when. I was sure that it was not recent, but it was not that far ago. Well, I was right. She came in for an accident report. She said that an officer had come to her home but he gave the report to the wrong person so she needed another copy. Then to add to it the report was from June. I tried to explain to her that chances of my having the report was very slim. In fact, what I was sure happened was that the office gave her a copy of the report he had. However, she did not have a case number for me to even check.

When I asked her when, she said June. I told her that I needed a bit more then that, and she goes June, the end of the month. At this point I’m a bit irritated. My temper for those

Call that needed a commissioner.

A call for an officer. The officer will be in for the evening shift, but that is not enough information. The officer left a card on the car that there was an accident for the person to call for information. She proceeded to tell me everything that happened, and I again told her that the officer, which was the person she needs to speed to, will be in after three o’clock.

Bleh, a call for the commissioner in another district. I have them easily on hand and hand them out. It doesn’t hurt me to do it. Some tell people to call information.

I also hate holding peoples hands. That bothers me to no end. I was explaining to a lady how to get her accident report, and she was acting flustered and confused. I explain things very clearly, and slowly. It irritates me when people will not listen to what they are being told and interrupt me to whine and be frantic.

A lady calls to ask about programs to help an out of control child.

This was an interesting posse. Only being of four people, this group storms in and slams up against the window. They glare down at me, for they where all very tall, and tell me “I want to know who is handling my case!”

I looked at them, which made them mad, and asked, “What type of case is this?” Turns out it is a missing person. Her brother didn’t come home from work the other day and they reported him missing. They had not been contacted by a detective yet, and wanted to know why and basically had a rather large, gooey attitude. I gave her an officer who told her that frankly enough time had not passed and a grown man going missing didn’t have the highest of priorities. Mollified, but unhappy, they finally left.

So, this one was interesting. It was mid-morning, and it was a noise complaint. The problem was that the noise was not above legal levels. The caller was suffering from migraines and the noise was upsetting her. I apologize that she was suffering but if the music is not above legal limits and the neighbors are just jerks, we can’t do anything about that. “Being a jerk is not illegal,” I told her, and her response was “it should be a crime, I’m suffering.” Yes, but someone playing their base music is not an illegal action even if it upsets you. She said that they were chasing her from her apartment complex. I sent her over to community counseling, because it was not a legal issue and I’m sorry she has migraines but we can’t go and arrest or harass her neighbors to be more considerate.

Plus, giving everything laws to regulate them is not the answer; it’s just the easy way out.

The lady who called for the juvenile calls back since she can’t get anyone in the program right now and wants an officer out to address the child. I sent her over to dispatch but the county got rid of the scared straight program because it was to intimidating and upsetting.

Then someone who wants to know how you find someone that was locked up. I sent her over to the jail; she was looking for her man. Why, oh why, do people do this? I know that I’m a prissy type or whatever, but it should not be a remote habit to call the police department to check for your missing loved one.

Sigh, if you are found driving your own vehicle that was reported stolen we will not arrest you.

24 Hours is Too Long

Maybe it is because it is Friday night, the moon will soon be full and the tides affect peoples minds that my day has already erupted.

I know that people care for their children. I know concern stresses the sweetest of temperaments. However, for someone to come storming into the station and start ranting and yelling at me about something that I don’t have an idea about, five minutes after I arrive, is unacceptable.

I was putting my dinner into the fridge and he knocks on the window over me. I stand up, my stuff half in the fridge, and attempt to tell him to give me a moment, and he explodes.

However, it was the most muffled explosion I have ever heard. I asked him to slow down, and turned off the television so that I could hear him. He still muttered and murmured but I got the gist of what he needed. His ex has his son, and he has custody papers and she refuses to return the child. He was in, about twenty minutes prior and the previous clerk (who left a shelf of messages not put into peoples boxes, probably expecting me to do it for her) said she would send two units to meet him.

However, no one met him, so he is irate and came storming back. He then began to rant how no one wanted to help him but this one officer, and he kept missing him and he had been coming in ever morning, and didn’t I remember him? I told him, “No, I have never seen you before, but I think that we need to get an officer in here to address this situation directly.”

To which he responds, “that’s why I came to the police station! And no one wants to help me!”

“I said, sir, then let me call someone in, so that they can assist you. I don’t know who you are or what your situation is but I am more then happy tog et someone in here that can assist you!”

And he goes, “then get someone!”

Now I’m mad, and I say, “Then have a seat and I will continue with my original action of getting your assistance!”

Yes I got snappy, but I was very irritated by that.

An interesting call. This lady said that she was on her balcony, and a young man blow said he was going to climb the balcony and take her cigarettes when she left. So she left, leaving her nine year old daughter alone. Sure enough, the boy climbs up, takes the cigs and says to the daughter, “Whoever gets snitched is going to be stitched”. She then starts screaming that it is a threat and she wants something done. She said that the officer that responded was no help and looked drunk, and she was shocked that he was able to smoke. She wanted to know what she could do, and I asked if she knew who the boy was. She knew of him, and what school he went to. I told her to acquire his name and go to the commissioners office to take out a restraint order.

So the man from earlier comes back and apologizes. I told him that I understand, he was upset and no one is holding any anger. I did also tell him that many people came in and used me to yell at, and that I was no longer going to sit quietly and accept it. He did add that he did not yell, and I told him that yes, he did.

So he asked me to check his case number and pull up the info. His ex is abusing the system and accusing him of physical violence to try to sway the court to her side.

A posse of young men came in looking for their friend who had been arrested. When I tried to work out what happened and asked why he was arrested they said, “no reason” to which I asked, “An officer ran up, snatched him, threw him in a police car, and drove off?” and then they started giving me details.

Right now, they are still located at the high school. Trying to research the call, the posse of boys leaves and I said, “okay” and closed down my screens. Then, about five minutes later, his mother comes in and asks the same question. So I take a quick sprint to the DB and find out that the is still located at the school. So I run back up front (it’s a long building) and tell them that. The mother asks why she was not informed, and I told her that he was 18, a legal adult, so they did not have to inform his parents of anything.

Now the midnight shift is coming in and they are grumpy. One office called out and there was much cursing from his fellow squad members that he decided to take a sick day on a Friday night, a notoriously understaffed time.

Then the man from earlier with the custody dispute called to apologize again and find out what time the ex called the officers out on him.

So now it is a waiting game to find out who has this juvenile.

While waiting, I had a call for an officer. The lady calling is upset that he is not here right now and she wanted me to tell her who was patrolling the area. She did not want to leave a message, and treated me like an idiot savant for making the suggestion. However, our officers do not have voice mail so she gave in and left the message that someone had blocked her car in and she wanted to know if it was an officer and that she carried a registered glock (type of gun) and was a single woman and did not find it cute.

Then a woman storms in and tells me that she wants someone removed from her car. That this person took her car, left she and her children at the mall and then finally returned and she wanted them removed. When she turned to go to the car he was already inside, he had followed her in. So they started to scream at each other about his behavior and I ran into the back to grab some of the overlap units to make sure they where not rolling around ripping each others hair out. So I get back, and she asks me to get someone to escort her to the car, and I told her that they where already on the way. I heard them walking up the hall and the door open, so I know they where coming up.

Then a man came back about the boy picked up and attacked by the officer. Now I am told that the boy was put into an ambulance. So I stare at him in shock and say, “Sir, if he was put in an ambulance he would be taken to the hospital, not brought here. Then I told him how to get to the hospital and sent him on the way.

A young man wandered in who is taking the applicant testing in the morning. He is staying in the lobby until then, since he came down unsure of how long it would take him to reach the station. He has already had an eyeful of the area.

Now a call where I do my normal phone answer and the man goes “who is this?” so I preannounce myself, and he goes “look here,” and then puts me on hold. “Then he comes back and goes “Listen here miss” and tells me how there are people outside making nose and drinking and when the police come they disperse them, but they come back and what can be done. Well he can keep calling us back out, but people are not going to be arrested for hanging around in their neighborhood even in the middle of the night.

Call about a possible missing friend. Her friend left about midnight to pick someone up and the person called from the buss stop to say the friend had not arrived. Frankly, I have no access to any type of database that catalogs people being injured for people to find. It is not that efficient a system. With all honesty. People tend to be miffed when I tell them that indeed, I can’t enter their friends name into a program and tell them where they are currently located. Plus, I wouldn’t, because only immediate family has privy to information of that sort.

And the people about the boy at the hospital have returned again. My LT is out on a police shooting. So I was able to get a supervisor in here, get them tended, taken, copied, notarized, and sent on their way to speak to that officers Lt on Monday. Thankfully.

A girl came in to report her vehicle vandalized. She knows who did it, but she does not know their actual name, just their street call name. So I’ve put in a call for someone to come respond.

A call for an illegally parked vehicle to be checked and towed.

However dispatch just called me and told me to send her home. They are beyond backed up. However, I think she has left because she has not shown back up.

Tow hours later, the caller for the illegally parked vehicle calls back. But thy are backed up and busy and not worrying about a vehicle that is parked illegally. That has a rather low priority, but dispatch will give her an estimated ETA, which probably wont be till after shift change in the morning.

It is late in the day and I have my second job after this one. Just got a call from another county to research a case number that they got off of a drunk driver. They where checking to see if it was for a prior offense so they could double book him but it turned out not to be.

So a call from someone that wanted to know what tow company towed for their apartment complex. I had to explain to her that she needed to talk to the apartment complex to find out who towed for them.

Shift change, yay!

Actually, I sent this to myself to spell check before I uploaded it and its now six am on Sunday. I went to my second job when I got off of midnights, so staggered home and passed out for twelve hours. Dehydration awoke me, and now I am up and updating my journal.

Morning comes on Dark Wings

We will never be able to satisfy. It is an unforgiving job.

I got here a bit early, as I have been attempting to do. Office politics dictate that I take an extra ten minutes out of my day to make sure that no one can accuse me of shrinking my duties. I had an interesting drive in. There where two speed traps on the road near my house. First time I’ve seen any in two years. I wish we had the manpower to spare to put up speed traps. Sigh

Beyond that, there was a report waiting in the lobby. His car had been broken into and it looked as if the response time was pretty quick. Such reports are quick to make as long as the owner of the vehicle actually has a coherent list about the damage and what was taken. If there was damage, they need to bring the vehicle to us, or call us to it so that we can document the damage. Sadly you cannot take people’s word for what happened.

My first call for the night was someone inquiring if someone they knew was locked up. I had a hard time figuring out what they wanted, because they kept repeating the same broken, fragment of a sentence. “Someone locked up.” So it took a bit to realize that they wanted to inquire if someone was locked up and where would they look for that information.

I don’t know if I ever mentioned that I drink tea instead of coffee. I’m so cool.

Anyway, the second call came as I was in the middle of the first. The lady was calling me, while an officer was still at her home, because she did not agree with the information she was being given. She said that she came home, and the sheet off of her bed were missing, and as a single person she had not given anyone else access. The officer told her that with no signs of B&E it was a missing sheet and that was all that he could report. When I asked her what she wanted of me, she wanted to know if we had serial killers or rapist running around and perhaps that is what was going on. She wanted us to do more then we had, but we can’t set up a watch outside of her house.

Sadly, you cannot trust people. What seem like simple, logical problems and solutions are often unreachable. There are to many people that sit, develop a story and then present it. So sadly, we spend a lot of time punching holes in stories and reminding people about the various things that have happened.

I was listening to one of the officers speak to another officer on the phone. We had, yet another, shooting at one of the nastiest apartment complexes in the area and the security guards are mad at us that they got shot at. Go figure.

I have company tonight, which is nice. One of the officers is on light duty, and I actually get along with her quite well. She was telling me about a case. Seems that a teachers office was broken into and her keys, wallet, and phone where stolen. They went back the next day and took her car.

And now the lady who called about the report, the office that went there is now here telling us about it. He is updating us about what happened. She was taking her sheets to the wash when she noticed one was missing. There was deffently no signs of forced entry of any type and she insists that she has the only copy of keys. However, she does have children, and she is threatening to call someone, the major, captain, chief, to have something done. And it seems that the bed was perfectly made and after she washed it the sheet was missing. So she is saying that someone came to her home, broke in without leaving a trace, unmade the bed, stole a sheet, remade the bed, and left.

I love listening to cops. It seems that the other week, an interesting story unwound. A couple comes in wild and crazy. The woman tells the officer that she was seeing another man (in the background the husband is cursing and screaming “that shit should have been cut off long time ago) and that they where together. Her husband called, and she tells the b/f that she has to leave. When the husband comes around, someone shoots at him. The wife is unnaturally calm. Our conclusion, she tried to set her husband up to be shot. The husband is standing in the lobby, no shirt on, frantic, and she’s telling him to calm down.

Why do some people find being an ass amusing? A detective wandered in here and told me to stop playing with my hair. All I was doing was readjusting my hairclip, I wouldn’t call that playing. It turns out that he is a sex detective. Something about making detective makes too many people irritating. But whatever.

It seems that we just had a shooting down the street from the station so everyone rolled out on it. I was reading and missed it, but I often do miss these things once I don’t pay attention to the radio. However, he is just very weird.

And I wonder, the officers of my county really enjoy driving alone. They don’t want company. I would think, like the fire department, in a job such as this you would desire company. Yet many of them savor the independence that they have, yet they hate the fact that they so often do not have backup. Hmm, maybe I am missing something in the situation, and yes, your company can at times suck, but in these jobs you get long or you tend not to last very long.

Arguments can be interesting. A lady just walked in and insisted that a lady and child had just come into our lobby, and used the restroom. We told her that they where located next door, in the sex unit. But she insisted that they had to be here and that she had dropped them off outside. We politely told her that they would be next door. So she asks, “how did they get there?” and the officer responds, “she walked next door?”

It’s been a quiet night. Interdepartmental stuff. Officers dragged into other sectors to find that people are not doing their correct job. More thoughts on the shooting earlier. It is being looked at as a suicide but the one person that was present, although not in the room has a constantly changing story and is not very upset to find his relative dead on the floor of his home.

The officer sharing my office has taken over the TV. I don’t really argue about it since I don’t care. I like to watch my little evening shows, and most evenings I wind up missing big chunks because whenever something interesting happens people come in. Also, the little space heater has been confiscated. Thankfully I wore tennis, jeans, and a sweat jacket to make sure I was warm.

Another wandered in and said, “Damn you live on the Internet,” because I was reading a message board. So, my question is, why does it matter? Why is my surfing the web any different from staring mindlessly at the TV as others do? Or listening to music? Or sleeping? Or reading a book? How are people still trapped in such archaic times? My work is done; if they need me I instantly address their needs. I answer the phones; I respond to all of my duties, so why does it matter that I read on the web instead of watching television? Sorry if I enjoy engaging in research about canine genetics, or reading an online book!

Anyway, the officer rolled out duty since I am here. The shift is starting to change and I expect the clerk that is on duty to come in on time. I’m tired. It is odd working at the end of the day.