Friday, January 31, 2014

Duty Gear: Cuffs

Posted by: Blue

I carry 2 pair of Smith and Wesson Model 100 Handcuffs in Nickel Finish.

Per policy, no other style of cuffs are approved for duty use.

Leg restraint options include a RIPP Hobble, or Peerless Shackles.


Posted by: Blue

I found out the other day that I net a whopping $100 or so more a month than a welfare recipient with the same amount of dependants.

Of course, I come out behind in the end, because I have to pay for a vehicle, fuel and insurance to drive to work.  Plus, I have to work...

Tax freedom day is somewhere in mid-June for Canadians.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Posted by: Blue

The promotions list came out today.  Our shift had one Constable vying for Patrol Sergeant.

He was not listed in the Order that came out via e-mail.

Here's hoping he's the Bridesmaid and someone up the ladder retires soon.  He'd make a fantastic supervisor.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Only a Little

Posted by: Blue

Last night I spotted headlights coming my direction Eastbound in the Westbound lanes.

The car quickly darted the wrong way down the street for half a block and then slid over into the correct lanes when he came to the next break in the median.

I pulled him over at the intersection.  I got out and asked him for his licence, explaining that I was pulling him over for driving the wrong way down the street.

"Well, yeah, but it was only about 50 feet."

"You only drove 50 feet the wrong way down the street?" I asked.


"OK. Sit tight for a few."

I typed him in.  He had one or two tags from quite some time ago.  I went back to the window.

"Robert, would you drive 50 feet the wrong way down this major street in the wrong direction in rush hour traffic?"

"Well, no..."

"OK.  Do you realize how silly it sounds to tell me that it was only 50 feet?"

"I guess so... I just couldn't turn left there..."

"If I had to explain this whole conversation to a judge in traffic court, what do you think he would say?"

"He'd say 'guilty' ".

"Yes he would.  Drive more carefully please.  Have a good night."

Sunday, January 12, 2014

On the Wrong Track

Posted by: Blue

Yesterday, a lady drove the family van 100 yards down the train tracks, believing she was in a back lane.

Somehow I managed to refrain from laughing as I gathered the story upon our arrival.  

Her husband took the sight remarkably well, though he couldn't completely hide the look of disbelief when he walked over from the nearest railway crossing.

He was a bus driver, so I think he had seen a similar range of interesting things happen on the roads as we had.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Squeeze Up

Posted by: Blue

Per Officer Safety Unit, Tac has advised them to start teaching the squeeze-up.

While using lethal force cover on a suspect, you tighten up your stance, getting closer to the other officer and use your off-hand to squeeze their leg when you approach them at their blind spot.  This is also useful in the case of tunnel-vision. One of you is then able to switch to a less lethal option such as a Taser while the other provides lethal cover for both officers.

Squeezing below the waist means that any sympathetic reaction should occur below their waist as well, thus lessening the chance of a sympathetic reaction above the waist like an accidental trigger pull.

This technique differs from what used to be taught, which is standing approximately 10 feet from your partner during lethal force coercion. Studies showed that if the suspect rushed one officer with a knife while the officer transitioned from a firearm to a Taser, by the time the officer with firearm coverage began shooting, he would be approximately three feet behind the suspect, until eventually over-correcting, leading ahead of the charging subject and firing bullets into his partner by mistake.

During tests by our OSU, the officer who was charged was shot 100% of the time with blue on blue friendly fire. The suspect was only hit approximately 20% of the time, and always after the officer went down.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Weight

Posted by: Blue

A story from The Spectator, written by an anonymous Hamilton Police Officer.  It is well worth a read if you'd like to know what it is like to live the life of a cop.  His words (though it may just as easily have been written by a female, I'll refer to him as male, because I see myself when I read the article) are very wisely chosen and paint the exact picture of what I have been feeling weighing me down this past couple of months.

I especially like the fact that at the end, he describes how he loves his job.  I feel the same.  It has been interesting to be enveloped in this lifestyle for a few years and to look back and ask myself if I would make the same choice over again, and invariably I answer "yes".

They say that ignorance is bliss.  I often tell my partner that we as police are among the few who have had that ignorance torn from us, never to be revisited.  It is a career where we see very clearly the things which contribute to the decay of society.  We see them over and over and over again and are unable to hide in ignorance of the horror of mankind's selfishness and depravity any longer.  As the officer said in the article, we are doomed to re-live certain things over and over again.

But I am happy to be a police officer.  I am happy that I continue to find the strength to serve, despite the hatred that I feel from so many people, despite the undue scrutiny, despite the impossible standard of perfection.

I believe I am still finding my balance as a cop, even after 3 years.  I know that I swing from over-caring to apathy at times.  I like to think that I have some good role models to look-up to.  Some of them are over on the right side of this webpage, writing their own takes on this life.  Others are my peers and superiors at work.  This is a hard job to adjust to.  Trust me.  My heroes are the ones who walk the Thin Blue Line and remain balanced, somehow overcoming the tendency to become jaded and apathetic.

If you see a police officer in the next while, it really does mean a lot to us to receive a simple thank-you.  I have had people come up to me and say something like that.  It makes my day.  Cheers to you people.  You are who we do this for day after day.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Song

Posted by: Blue

Most days, I am content and happy with my job and my choices that have brought me thus far in life.  Every once in a while I get melancholy and reflective and wonder how my life might have been different.

I was listening to one of my favourite artists today - Del Barber.  Some days I feel like The Waitress, who could have, and maybe should have done much more with her life, but just got stuck and never broke out. Some days I wonder if I should have studied in university to become a doctor or lawyer or engineer, or if I should have taken more risks and made bigger attempts with my business.  Some days I wonder if I should have started building houses and become a developer.

Some days, I just wish it was way back when, and all I had to worry about was a horse, a gun and a saddle. On those days, the cowboy days, the last chorus haunts me.

Here it is in it's entirety.  Also a link to the iTunes album, here.

She was tall and always tired
Works the late shift at the all night diner
The years can fly by you in a place like this
Waiting for a perfect man and a perfect kiss
Coffee cups, eggs and sausage
Steady hands, friendly smiles hold her hostage
She traded her 20′s for a job that never promised more
Her dreams fell asleep on the top bunk and woke up on the floor
There ain’t no good fight
There ain’t no hero
There ain’t no bad man out to get you
There’s just a tough job 
That will swallow you in the darkness of another day
She grew up in the West 
She grew up in the country 
Great plaines, long trains, horses and hay 
She thought she was rich cause she had everything she could need 
Till the storm of divorce came and all was lost to legal fees
She moved to the city before she turned 25 
Never looked back never wondered what she’s lost
She got a job, learned to work, tried her damndest to be happy 
But she know’s she’ll never feel what’s it’s like to be free enough to leave
There ain’t no good fight
There ain’t no hero
There ain’t no bad man out to get you
There’s just a tough job
That will swallow you in the darkness of another day
There’s no more cowboys
No more bonfires
No more stars up in her sky
There’s just the streetlights
Casting shadows into the darkness of another day
- Del Barber

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Posted by: Blue

A number of months ago, we were dispatched to a Check Wellbeing call.  The family of a young woman were outside of the hotel where she was staying.  They had tracked her there after clandestine communication with her through text messages to a phone number they had found listed with a picture of her in lingerie on Backpage - a common internet site for seeking-out escorts and hookers.

As the story unraveled, it became apparent that there were quite a number of women working out of this particular hotel, all under the oversight of their "manager" (read: pimp).

This particular newly 18 year old young lady was not willing to leave the hotel with her family.  They begged and pleaded with her.  JT and I explained all of the dangers.  She would not budge.  Our supervisor was assigned to the call.  He tried to smooth things over; to no avail.

In the end, we had to escort the family off of the premises, as they were not paying customers of the hotel and they had begun disturbing other customers.

In our country, it is not illegal to be a hooker or an escort.  It is not illegal to solicit hookers or escorts.  It is illegal to Communicate for the Purposes of Prostitution.  Communicating for the Purpose is a Summary Conviction Offence (similar to a Misdemeanor in the States).  We did not have any evidence of any communication directly relating to sexual services for the exchange of money, and therefore, in the Crown's opinion, there was no evidence to a crime.

According to the hotel manager, it was next to impossible to legally evict someone from a hotel room if they were still paying all of their bills.  He looked quite angry when I explained the circumstances of our attendance.  It was a reasonably nice hotel.

We submitted an intelligence report for Vice Unit.  A short time later, the unwelcome guests vacated the hotel, only to take-up residence in another nearby location.

The family yelled at us, took our badge numbers down and threatened our jobs.  It is impossible to explain the black and white of the law to someone who is watching a family member willingly partake in dangerous behaviour.  It is impossible to go home content with your work on a day like that.

Unfortunately for everyone, it happens more often than not that we are handcuffed by the letter of the law.

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Posted by: Blue

On Christmas Day I was the prime unit for a traffic pursuit which began on the same block that I live on.

We spotted two males running through the field near my house where the power lines run through that part of the city.  I thought it was odd to see 2 males dressed in baggy black clothing jogging late on a Christmas night, especially in my neighbourhood.

We turned around to check them out.  They hopped into a grey Chevy Cavalier.  I hit the cherries and pulled up parallel with their front bumper (approaching from the front of their car so our front bumpers were facing one another, but I was still in the traffic lane).

The driver didn't look at me.  He immediately started shimmying his car, trying to get it out of the parallel parking spot I had wedged him into.  He reversed.  I went forward and put the front driver's side bumper of the unmarked cruiser we were in at his driver's side door so he couldn't jump out.

"Get us another unit here now!" I told my partner.

The car slammed into our bumper, pushed us out of the way and took-off W/B.  I revved the engine, spinning the rear-wheel drive Crown Vic into a 180 on the icy road.  We gave chase.

He stopped at the first stop sign, and then went through every other stop sign and red light.

My partner started calmly calling the pursuit over the air, asking to be patched into the other districts.

It was quiet.  Every available unit volunteered and was assigned.  By the time we were 1000 yards away, the suspects ran-over a well-placed Stop-Stick, taking-out their front passenger-side tire.

The pursuit continued with the suspects on three tires and one rim.  A Downtown unit came up behind us to take-over as prime unit because they were a marked unit.

They hit another Stop-Stick around 1000 yards further up.  Two more tires blown.  They only had 1 intact now - the driver's side rear tire.

The downtown unit got out in front of the suspects and tried to slow them down.  They took a left.  We were prime again.

They made it another block and we saw the driver's door crack open as the vehicle slowed to a stop.  "He's running!", I yelled.  My partner voiced it over the air.

The passenger was slower to get out of the car (we found-out later it was because he was holding a safe on his lap and had to wait until the driver bailed so he had a place to ditch it).  He opened the door to come nose to nose with my partner's Glock.  He gave up and hit the ground on his belly, hands outstretched.

I gave chase to the driver down the back lane of the street we had just come down, along with one of the guys from the downtown car.  Units were flooding the area.

I got hung-up with my duty rig on a chain-link fence when the suspect headed for the front street again, tearing the sleeve off of my shirt and cutting my shoulder.  The downtown guy kept going.  When I managed to free myself, they were about 75 yards ahead of me and the driver was cutting back into the back lane.  I cut back, hoping to intercept.

I gunned it, scanning for a figure emerging from a back yard.  The downtown guy came across the air "I've got him in the side yard of 29!"

I could see the reflection of the flashlight against the snow and darted over there, drawing-out my Taser as I ran.  I showed-up and found the suspect proned-out.  "Contact," said the downtown guy.  "Cover," I replied.  He moved-in to cuff him while I kept the red laser of the Taser in the centre of his back.  "Don't don anything dumb or you're gonna get lit-up," I said.

He was cuffed and brought to one of the cruisers.

The driver was on a warrant plus numerous breaches.  The passenger had breaches, not to mention the Flight charge, Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle and Possession of Break-in Instruments for both of them.  The safe belonged to a drug dealer who wasn't cooperating, so we couldn't get the Break and Enter or Possession of Goods Obtained by Crime.

During the Duty Inspector's briefing, she told us the only reason she didn't abort the pursuit on the icy winter roads was that my partner was extremely calm and reassuringly in control of the situation while he was voicing over the radio.