I went to work last night at 6pm expecting a typical night at work. A little about me and the way I arive at work. I like to make the loudest entrance into the office I possibly can...banging, slamming, kicking, and swearing if necessary to make sure that EVERYONE knows I'm there. This serves a purpose...it let's everyone know I'm there...and if one of the other officers happen to be there questioning a suspect it lets the suspect know that the "bad cop" is there and they are under the protection of the "good cop" who is talking to them.
After making my usual entrance I go to the patrol office to check the bulletin board to see what is new, check for new warrants that might be out, etc. When I go in the office I see a girl, about 5'1", 115 pounds, and she's in uniform. Who is this person???? OK....if you know me...you'll know that when it comes to work, I hate suprises...at home I don't mind them as much....but at work I hate them. My first observation is that this officer is violating two rules that I have for female officers. Rule 1 - Make-up and perfect, teased hair. We're here to do a job...not get a date. Hair is something for someone to grab onto in a fight...the more it sticks up...the easier to grab. Make-up...when it's hot outside the only thing make-up does is run and gets on the uniform and makes you look like crap. Not to mention the fact that no matter what happens...make up will not rescue this one....face like a mud fence. Rule 2 - Jewelry. Never had an ear ring...but I can imagine that it would hurt like hell if it was ripped out. If you're wearing a bunch of wrings it's too easy to get them tangled up in something should you wind up in a fight. One of my best friends from the academy got his hand slammed in a car door trying to prevent a burglary suspect from escaping one night...his wedding band prevented him from pulling his hand free and he was drug about 300 feet across a parking lot before he was able to pull free....ever since then I quit wearing my wedding band to work.
The second problem I have is that she is sitting at my desk. I don't mind sharing....I really don't...but don't let me catch you rifling through my stuff when you sit there. After removing her from my work area....I had some things to do.....the Chief walked in and told me that his was our new reserve (name withheld to protect the innocent) and I was going to be her training officer. No problem there.....I'll make her a cop...or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof.
I introduce myself....show her all the paperwork that will concern her for now, mostly the training and evaluation forms that I have to fill out whenever she works and give her a number to get ahold of me to let me know when she will be working so I can plan my patrol car around her being there. I have to have some warning...generally, my patrol car is an organized mess. On the front passenger seat of my car is generally a ticket book, a warning book, a large clip board with all the forms I need, and a small regular clip board. On the front floor board I have a pair of binoculars, a night vision monocular, PBT (portable breath test) along with various other misc. items. Needless to say...unless the rookie is riding in the back seat....I have some organization to do when she comes to work.
We go out on patrol and go to a couple of minor calls...an EMS assist where a 61 year of age diabetic fell in her kitchen and was complaining of lower back and right hip pain. Blood sugar was a staggering 447...no wonder she collapsed. We also went to a minor disturbance call where some neighbors were arguing basically for the sake of arguing. It was at this call I had to teach her rule #1 of law enforcement.
I asked her to go meet with one neighbor while I spoke with the other...her simple mission was to simply write down their information. She asked to borrow a pen and something to write on. I don't care if you bring your gun to work....I don't care if you bring your handcuffs....I don't care what you bring....in order to be an effective police officer...the only two things you need is a pen and something to write on. 98% of what we do is paper work...and if you have nothing to record information with then you're screwed.
After we cleared that call I took her to DQ (Dairy Queen for those of you who don't know) so she could eat and I went to my house to cry......I mean eat. After dinner things slowed down and I tried to learn a few things about her that were important. No prior law enforcement experience....just graduated the academy. Thinks that the law should be enforced to the letter of the law...not the spirit of the law. Knows penal code numbers...know traffic code numbers....knows CCP numbers....thinks she knows it all. What she doesn't know is how to apply any of it.
I have trained police officers in the past....I am famous for doing arbitrary weapons inspections. I pull into the parking lot of the grocery store and ask her what she is carrying. A Glock 9mm. Combat Tupper Ware....WONDERFUL!!!! I hate Glock...hate 'em, hate 'em, hate 'em!!!!!! I take her gun from her to do an inspection. Clean, well oiled (maybe a little too well), a mag full of hydro-shock ammo...but nothing in the chamber. I ask her why she doesn't have one in the chamber? Glocks don't have an external safety and she doesn't want it to go off by accident. If it's in the holster....no fingers on the trigger....it's not going off by itself...period. In a shooting situation, you're not going to have time to rack the slide and put a bullet in the chamber...just won't happen...and chances are you will have lost the fine motor skills needed to work the action on the gun anyways.
Finally...the question of defensive tactics and violence. She detests violence....can't stand it...that's why she became a cop. I explain..in no uncertain terms....that in order to be a police officer, you have to accept violence as a way of life. You need to embrace it....learn about it...and study it....and maybe more importantly...learn how to apply it when necessary. There are people out there who love the police...the vast majority of society does...but for every thousand who like the police...there is one who doesn't like the police....dislikes them to the point that they are willing to kill them to get away from them. I put it to her simply like this...one expression that my training officer told me and I never forgot it. "Be professional with everyone you meet....be polite...and make a plan to kill them. They may be making the same plan about you."
All in all...it wasn't a bad day...I did explain how I felt about the jewelry, the make-up and the ear rings...and if she expects to get a good evaluation on her dress and appearance they will not be there the next time she comes to work.....if they are...then chances are we will have a problem.