Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Blue is a very, how do I put this, particular person. He's slightly OCD and very detailed driven and I think that it is one of the reasons he's a good cop. He spent extra money to make sure all of the hangers in our house match and all of the ones in our closet sit in one direction making the clothing all facing the same way. If I have a hanger out of place, I'll hear about it! There are times where it's nice to have a husband like this and times where...well, I often thank God that he gave me a personality to be able to deal with it. You can only listen to the proper way to cut a pie or stack a burger so many times.

We had soup and sandwiches for dinner last night. I think that, for the most part, Blue is able to turn-off the obsessive personality or at least he's got enough smarts to know that he shouldn't always voice his opinion. But there are times where I can tell he wants to jump right in and show me how to do something better or more efficiently.

I made my ham sandwich and as I was picking it up a small piece of ham flopped around.

Blue: Your ham is gonna fall out.

Me: No, it's not.

Blue: Ya, it is. I saw it flop.

Me: I think it's fine. *wink*

He squared his shoulders and I laughed at him. He went about his business. I took a big bite and my ham proceeded to fall out of my sandwich and into my soup. My eyes went wide and I quickly scooped it up and shoved the whole thing into my mouth hoping he didn't see.

The worst thing when living with a particular person and is when they're proven correct in something they've tried to school you on. The best thing ever is when you end-up being correct and can put them in their 'you're not always right' place.

Well, he did see. I started laughing and he just couldn't understand why I would have made myself such a sloppy sandwich.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Roast Beef

Posted by: Blue

Sometimes the job requires a heavy hand.  Sometimes it requires delicacy and tact.  Sometimes it requires you to do something you never, ever, ever thought you'd be getting paid to do.

On Thursday, our call was a Sudden Death requiring a notification for the Next of Kin.  Pretty standard.  One of the harder parts of the job.  This one was significantly more complicated though.

The deceased was an octogenarian.  His girlfriend was also well into her eighties and suffering from the first stages of Alzheimer's.  He had died in her bed... ahem... after... uh... or during... well... there were two blister packs of Viagra found in his pockets... one was empty... um... sheesh.

So buddy was getting some in his golden years.  Her daughter didn't approve.  Then again, the old girl didn't approve of her daughter's lesbian relationship and wasn't shy to share that with the police and anyone else within earshot.  She also apparently didn't approve of the idea of a Black police officer (who happened to be the prime unit's reporting officer that night).

To further complicate things, the elderly missus had not eaten that day and was becoming more confused with all of the excitement.  She kept referring to her deceased boyfriend by her previously deceased husband's name.  Her daughter was trying to get her to eat, however the daughter happened to be the most patronizing person I have met recently and her mother was resistant to the idea of being parented by her child (naturally).

We were having difficulty ascertaining the identity and particulars of the deceased's son, so our supervisor came with us to the home of the gentleman visitor.  During our search for medications and NOK information, what should we stumble across, but a huge stockpile of improperly stored firearms.  Shit.

Most of the guns were able to fit into the gun locker which we managed to find a key for.  There was, however, a revolver which was unregistered (as restricted weapons, all handguns and a number of other varieties of firearms are required to be registered in Canada).  As there were no charges that would be laid against the dead guy, we brought the gun back to the station to be processed as a "found gun" and then turned in for testing and subsequent destruction to our firearms section.

We located the info for the son of the deceased.  He lived out of town.  The police in his jurisdiction were advised and requested to make the death notification.

We were an evening unit and the prime unit was days.  They had a little overtime already, typing up the report for the coroner.  We were dealing with the gun.  That left the elderly girlfriend and her family alone in the house to "grieve".  Unfortunately they were not grieving.  They were arguing and bickering.

Dispatch raised us on the radio.  There was now a Family Trouble call at the same address.

We headed back.

There was a neighbour over from down the street.  Per the daughter, the neighbour was known to steal from her mother.  Per the mother and the neighbour, the daughter was the one stealing.  There was apparently $100 missing from the 80 year old woman's wallet now.

No one had known about the $100 except for the woman with Alzheimer's.  Shit.

Side-note: my partner and I had already dealt with the neighbour prior to that night on a bogus theft call.  She and her boyfriend had been reporting a theft by her sister-in-law.  Upon arrival, the money had been recovered (apparently it had fallen under the couch).

There was a lot more reasoning and massaging and coaxing.  In the end, my Sergeant, partner and myself sat in the house and watched the lady eat a roast beef sandwich on rye and drink a cup of Ensure along with her pills.  Then the daughter and her lesbian partner finally satisfied, were escorted back to their car at the mother's request.  The neighbour was also removed, leaving the mother alone to go to sleep.

There were no further problems that night.

Sometimes the job requires a heavy hand.  Sometimes it requires delicacy and tact.  Sometimes it requires you to demand an eighty-something year old widow to muscle-down a dry, tasteless roast beef sandwich with too much mustard for the sake of public peace.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Posted by: Blue

The drug trade in our city is likely similar to any other metropolitan area.

"Everyone" has pot.  Some people have meth or crack.  A few have IV drugs like heroin or morphine.  Coke comes and goes in popularity and supply abundance.  Ecstasy and other similar pills are generally limited to suburban kids who think that nothing can harm them.  Prescription drug abuse and trafficking is a whole other ball of wax that is barely ever investigated.  Everything starts at the top with organized crime; gangs.

Being high isn't a crime.  Possession is.  There are two levels of possession.  Personal use (plain old Possession of a Controlled Substance) and then there's Possession for the Purpose (dealing/trafficking).  It is also criminal to manufacture controlled substances (growing marijuana or running a meth lab etc.).

Many a time has a police officer taken away a few grams of pot and flushed it or ground it into the mud to dispose of it rather than charge someone with possession.  It's not worth the paperwork.  The judges are lenient, especially with pot or small amounts of harder drugs.  The courts are tied up enough with substantial trafficking charges for more serious substances.

Most people think of Possession as a very weak charge that police use when they are being "dictatorial" and "fascist".

The truth is, we don't care about pot.  We care about lives.  The truth, is that we see a dark, violent, filthy, dirty, horrible shadow that is cast over the drug trade.  The money to be made in drugs means that people are willing to be violent to protect their crop, or their stash, or their payments.

The plain and simple truth, is that drugs = money.  Money = guns and other weapons.  Weapons = violence.  Violence = death.

To most, the drug trade is a movie concept.  There's always some kind of South American Cartel Type in a custom suit with an Escalade and a huge villa.  He's the bad guy.  Police see the other side.  The dregs.  The end result.  The broken lives, the shattered people.

We see the dumb kid who thought he could make some extra money by running dope to different addresses get stomped out to within inches of his life because he was robbed of a big stash of meth.  Ironically, it wasn't his robbers that put the boots to him, it was his employers.  He may never walk again and he'll be eating through a straw for months, but the dealers sure made their point clear to everyone else on the payroll.

We see the broken marriages.  The wife who is choked to death because her husband is coked-out and doesn't know what he's doing.  Their 3 children will end up in the sickening foster care system.  Hopefully one or two of them will survive it without getting hooked on alcohol or drugs themselves.

We see the grow-op wars between rival gangs.  The houses that are burnt to the ground with 4 people inside or shot up with automatic weapons because they are growing pot on someone else's territory.

We see the car wrecks that kill and maim innocent people because someone chose to drive while high.  If there are any survivors of the wreck, statistics say it will be the impaired driver.  Often he'll say something like "It's not like I was drunk.  Weed enhances your observations."

We see the hooker who, at 13 years old is so desperate for another hit of meth that she sells her body to anyone and everyone.  We respond to the rape call when she doesn't get paid.  We arrest the suspect if we can find him.  We charge and process him.  We watch him get released from the charges when the victim doesn't show up in court.  Sometimes because she is too high to remember what day it is.  Sometimes because she is in the hospital after a more violent rape.  Sometimes because she has been found dead and mutilated in a dumpster.  A child, innocence shattered and then discarded like trash.

Drugs in and of themselves are only really harmful to the person taking them (except for the meth labs that explode).

It's all the fallout that police see that we really hate and want to stop.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Posted by: Blue

Today, at my sons' doctor's office, I was pulling into the parking lot and witnessed an irate male on the side-walk yelling at a woman in an SUV.

It was clear from the body language of the pedestrian that he didn't believe her vehicle should be in his path.

He was wrong.  She was obeying all laws of the road just fine.

She ignored him and tried to drive away, acting the adult that she was.  He turned and spat on the hood of her car.  She didn't notice and drove away.

I jumped out of the driver's seat, told my wife to park and chased him down the street.

I caught up to him, tinned him and then the following conversation ensued:

"What the hell was that? You'd better cool yourself down!"

"No, I was just, I was just saying..."

"No!  You spit on her car.  That's what you were doing.  You'd better smarten your ass up!"  I poked my index finger into his chest when I said that last part.


"Get the hell outta here.  I don't want to see you again.  I'm just disgusted by that.  If I come across you in uniform, I'm gonna give you a ticket for that and we might have a longer talk about what kinds of wants or orders you might have.  That was disgusting behaviour.  And I'm gonna tell you, she was in the right with her driving.  You didn't even have a reason to be upset, let alone spit on her car."

"Okay.  I'm sorry."


The rudeness, childishness and stupidity of some people is really what makes me mad.  My partner calls me the Manners Cop when I tell arrestees to mind their pleases and thank-you's or pull someone over just to explain to them that it's not polite to cut someone off in traffic.  I have no problem with that.  A few more manners and some consideration of others would go a long way in this world.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Holiday Schedule

Posted by: Blue

Over December and January, our regular schedules go for a tumble so that we can arrange every year to have one side off on Christmas and the other side off on New Year's.  This year, our shifts got Christmas off.

In order to arrange everything fairly so that we all get the same amount of days off combined with days, evenings and nights worked, not to mention our guaranteed 2 weekends off per 4 weeks worked, we end up having a very scrambled schedule.

This week, I worked 4 nights and took the 5th one off.  Now I have 7 days off until I go back.  The trade-off is that next week I only have 2 days off before I head back in for Evenings.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Posted by: Blue

When a person has been arrested, they must be positively identified under the Identification of Criminals Act.  This includes fingerprinting and photographs as well as documenting any tattoos, birthmarks, scars, missing fingers or limbs, missing or broken teeth, height, hair colour, body type, sex, apparent and actual race, and any other distinguishing features.

When you are fingerprinted with our Service, you are given a fingerprint number for filing into our internal database.  When you are added into the federal database, you are given a federal number; an FPS Number (Fingerprint System Number).

When we "run" people, one of the first indicators which we look for is if they have "numbers".  If they have numbers it means they've been arrested.  If they have numbers on our city database, it means they have a picture on file.

Most of the people we deal with have no ID.  They also love to lie to us especially when they have conditions they are breaching or warrants they are evading arrest for.  It has become accepted by the courts to identify a person by way of their photograph on our system.

Many a time have I spent finding someone's photo on the system by detail searching tattoos or scars, even height, weight and address.  When I have to resort to that, ten to one, a little red icon pops up next to the person's real name indicating a warrant.  If there's no warrant, I know that they're breaching court ordered conditions such as a curfew or not to consume intoxicants.  Then we take their birthdate and legal name off of our system, run it on the federal system; CPIC (Canadian Police Information Centre).  Bingo, up pop the conditions of release and previous convictions.

When a person lies about their name, I usually give them a couple of opportunities to come clean, making sure that they understand that if I have to take them for fingerprinting just to ID them that they're gonna be dealing with a hell of a grumpy cop.  If they persist in lying, there are two criminal charges to be decided between: Personation With Intent to Gain Advantage (if the person they are claiming to be is a real person, whether living or dead), or Public Mischief; Cause Someone Else to be Suspected (If the person they are claiming to be does not exist).

Not every time, but almost every time, you can tell when someone is lying almost immediately.  They fidget and think too hard.  They take longer to answer simple questions and they change their answers to the same question asked two different ways.  You can also get a gut feeling over whether or not someone should have numbers and then question why the person with face tattoos that say "West Side", "OG" (original gangster), or "Thug Life 4 Eva" doesn't have a picture on the system.

Other dead give-away tattoos I have seen that make it very hard to lie about who you really are:

  • Tear drop tattoos
  • FPS number tattooed on the neck or anywhere else (this makes things very easy when we get a surveillance camera still of a robbery or something similar)
  • Anything written in cursive on your neck or face
  • Dollar signs
  • The word "Gangster" anywhere on your body
  • Anything that is clearly done in faded ballpoint pen ink, designating it as "prison ink"
  • Any number of gang abbreviations or initials
  • Profanities tattooed anywhere
  • Your own name tattooed on yourself

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

False Perspective

Posted by: Blue

Last night we responded to a male holding a knife to his throat in the shower.

We got there moments after my Patrol Sergeant did.

The guy was locked in his bathroom and the shower was running.

"John, come on out here.  Put the knife on the floor and show us your hands.  We have a taser."

"Just use a nail or something on the door.  It's one of those locks you can open with a nail."

"I don't have a nail, John.  Open the door or I'm gonna kick it down."

"Am I going to jail?"

"Well, John, you haven't hurt anyone have you?"


"And you haven't threatened anyone have you?"


"Then why would I take you to jail?  But I need you to open the door so that I don't have to kick it down and taser you."

"Just a sec.  I'm gonna put my robe on."

John finally came out of the bathroom.  We cuffed him and searched him and then took him into custody under the Mental Health Act.

On the way to the hospital for a mandatory psychological evaluation, John said "I just wish my wife hadn't come home.  She's so crazy.  She makes everything worse.  She's just so crazy."