An Old Cop

Some Humorous Moments As A Cop

Cartoon By Fewings

Policing is a serious business, but there are always times that make you smile because of what is or has happened.  I suppose it is fair to say that Police in general have a strange sense of humour, because sometimes that is what gets them through each long tedious day. It is the Police Officer who attends all sorts of incidents, relays all sorts of messages, and does so many things that if sometimes they didn't laugh, they would cry.

There were two of us sitting in the Police Station at about lunch time and we were eating our lunch when the telephone rang.  So I answered the call and it was from a person who lived on a property about twenty miles out of town.  He told me he had got concerned about his neighbour, because he had not seen him for two weeks.  He had gone over to the neighbouring property, and found his neighbour lying dead in the yard.  From all appearances it seemed that he had been lying out in the sun for a number of days. I told him we would attend and then told my partner, about the job, just as he was finishing the last of his sandwiches for lunch.

He took a last swallow and said to me, "Well I guess that won't be the last time I see that sandwich today!"

There was another time when I was at home and it was about 2.00 am. I was sound asleep and although we worked our eight hour days we were always on 24 hour call. I was awoken by a persistent knocking on my door and went to see what was wanted. I was told that a car had collided with a power pole and the Ambulance had been called. The town was in total darkness obviously as a result of the power pole being hit. I arrived at the scene to see the wreckage and five young males being checked over by the local Ambulance Officer. None were seriously hurt and the worst injury was a broken leg to one of them, the rest only had minor cuts and bruises. They were all conveyed to the local hospital to be checked and I followed so I could interview them about the accident.
One of them in particular, although he really had very little wrong with him was screaming and yelling that he was in terrible pain. He had a very low pain threshold I think because no one could see anything wrong. He was being checked by the Doctor and the night nurse at this time. Remember now that the town had been completely blacked out and as a result the hospital was running on its own auxiliary power unit. Just at the time this guy was being checked out the mains power came back on and the hospital auxiliary unit shut down automatically. Picture the scene if you can, there is this guy screaming he is going to die and suddenly the power fades out before the mains power takes over. There was light then that faded to semi darkness and then the light came back on. He didn't wait until the light came on, as the lights faded he yelled.....
"#*@#$ I just died."
When the lights came back on and it was only seconds later, there he was lying on the gurney trolley with his eyes tightly closed, quietly saying "where am I". He really thought his time had come. The four of us (Doctor, Nurse, Ambulance Officer and myself) really couldn't help it, we just started to laugh. We always remembered "the night he died" every time we got together after that.

One night, at about 1.00 am in the morning, when I was woken by a telephone call. I got up and answered and this very drunk voice on the other end said "Is that the Police?"  When I replied it was, he said he was calling from another town about four hours drive away and he wanted to know if it was raining at the time.  He and a few friends had made a sudden decision to drive down to go fishing in the river. The fact that he shouldn't have even thought about driving in his inebriated state never entered his mind. Nor did the fact that he had woken me from a deep sleep simply to ask me if it was raining.  I won't tell you my reply, but it certainly wasn't a weather report.

Whenever I had information about drugs being used/sold/grown in my area, I would get the assistance of Police from neighbouring towns.  Some of these Police had never set foot outside their own back yard, so the virgin bush was completely foreign to them. However drug raids were always good for a smile in one way or another.  I had found a large crop of marijuana growing in the bush and had enlisted about 15 Police to help. It was a large crop, spread over thirteen different plantations, which in total were growing about 400,000 plants. Naturally, somehow the press had heard about it and all the local television networks flew a reporter to the scene.  One reporter, who I won't name as she are still working in the television industry, came into the open Australian bush, dressed as if she was about to read the six-o-clock news, complete with her make-up on , and wearing her high heel shoes.  Hardly appropriate.  We took the press down to the plantation (which was a climb down about 100 yards) and showed them around, while the cameramen were taking their video of the scene. This plantation was watered by a gravity fed system, which used an above ground swimming pool as a reservoir. Of course we had to destroy that pool, and as we were about to do so this reporter asked if she could do a "voice over" while her cameraman took some video. We politely showed her where to stand, and she went there without hesitation  If she had only taken a few seconds to look she would have realised that as soon as we released the water from that pool she was well on her way to being washed down an unknown valley. We couldn't do that to her so we told her to move, but it just shows how far some press will go to get a unique story.

As I said drug raids were always good for a laugh. It was a practice to raid a house early in the morning, especially if the targeted person had, had a party the night before. They would leave their pipes, marijuana and other paraphernalia all over the place and easy for us to find, thinking they would clean it up in the morning. Mostly they would have been to stoned to clean up the night before.  So early one morning there we are, about ten of us, ready to execute a Search Warrant on the target's house. We entered through the back door which was unlocked (No one used to lock their back door in the country in those days) turning on the lights as we moved through the house. When we got to the main bedroom, there he was, with his girlfriend doing what it is that boys and girls do in the bedroom. The fact that ten Cops were now watching them didn't stop them at all.  They continued on as if we were not there until, well I'll leave it at that "until...........".  Then he climbed out of bed and asked us what we wanted. His girlfriend suddenly realising she was stark naked was beside herself. She was really concerned at all of us seeing her with no clothes on but it hadn't worried her that we had been watching them both for a few minutes previously.  Yes, we did find drugs and arrested them both, but we let her get dressed first.

Another time, another drug raid but similar situation. It was early morning and we had entered the house to find the occupant in bed with......wait for this one......a rubber blow-up doll.  After staring at us for a few seconds he suddenly blurted out....."It isn't mine, I'm just looking after it for a friend".  I guess the motto of this story is a good friend won't lend you his wife but he will lend you his rubber doll. We arrested him when we found drugs, but thought we would let the doll off with a warning, so it stayed in the house

Unfortunately, that wasn't the last time I was to see that rubber doll. About two weeks later I was taking some rubbish to the local rubbish dump, and as I turned the corner into the dump are, I saw this body hanging from a tree.  My first thought, was "that's all I need a murder or suicide at the rubbish dump. Now I'll have to spend all day with all the rubbish".  As I got closer, I realised it was in fact the same rubber doll I had seen at the drug raid a couple of weeks earlier. I could tell, because it still had the plastic tape patches on the obvious holes in the doll. Someone had decided to hang it from a tree.  I very carefully cut it down (you never might know where it might have been previously) and threw it away, never to be seen again. I must admit I was very tempted to treat it as lost property and return it to where I had first seen it at that house, but I just couldn't embarass him again.

At home one night about 10.30 pm when the telephone rings. I answer it to hear, "Come around quick he's going to kill me." then - click - no name, no address, nothing. Luckily it was a small town and I knew just about everyone who lived there so I thought I had recognised the voice. I went around to the house and as I reached the open front door I could hear an argument going on.  Yes, I had found the right place. So in I went, not really knowing what to expect. (domestic situations are the most unpredictable and dangerous jobs a Cop can handle, all Cops will agree with that) I could hear yelling from the bedroom so I went that way to be confronted with him standing there yelling "If you don't put that knife down I'll shoot you." He was holding a shotgun. She was yelling "If you don't put that gun down I'll stab you". She was holding fairly large and what looked rather sharp knife. It was a real standoff situation which I had to get under control quickly.  I thought the best course of action was to deal with the gun first as that was the more dangerous of the two. I stood no chance against a shotgun, but had some chance against a knife. Luck was on my side because I knew them both, so I simply said, "which one of you wants to grab your toothbrush and come with me?"  They both looked at me and said "Why?".  I just replied, "because one of you is going to spend the night in a cell and I don't really care which one it is." They both put their weapons down and he said, "I'll come." Dangerous situation defused.  He did spend the night in the cell and that was the end of the matter. Sometimes the most dangerous situations can be dealt with easily but that is not always the case

It was about 2.00 am and I was returning from a traffic accident I had attended. As I drove into town I saw this person who was known to me, although he didn't live in my town. He actually lived about 30 miles away, but somehow had found himself a long way from home and very very drunk.  He was walking up the middle of the road so I stopped and told him he was about to spend the night in a cell mainly for his own safety. He pleaded with me, "Don't arrest me Sergeant I haven't got any money for bail".  So I said to him, "Look this is what I will do, I will take you to the cell (which was in the back yard of the Police Station) and I will leave the door open, but if you leave before 8.00 o'clock in the morning I will have to find you and arrest you and it will cost you bail." So I took him to the cell and left the door open as promised.  The next day I was having a day off so I didn't leave the house, which was next door to the Police Station, until about 11.00 am.  Suddenly I hear this guy call out to me, "Is it eight o'clock yet Sergeant". I guess I had got my message through to him. He went on his merry way, complete with his hangover and not needing to pay any bail, and I gained a lot of respect.

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