You might think that working on the police force of a small town is all CSI and SWAT. You bust the criminal (we call him the perp), and after slamming him against the hood of the car and booking him you head to the local watering hole for a few cold ones. If your small town is in the desert southwest, the perp typically suffocates in the car because it’s 115 degrees out. But that’s okay, you work for Sheriff Joe , and Sheriff Joe doesn’t care if you kill them all with fire.
But some of our boys in blue – and girls now, even in small towns where we like to maintain our gender roles…..except at a certain party in May after a bit too much tequila. You know who I’m talking to Frank – have to work a bit harder. The struggles and problems they encounter are a bit more complex. For instance, here are a few extracts from my local paper’s police blotter last week.
This is a pretty typical event. Neighbor problems. In fact there were a few reported. Dogs barking, trash being thrown in the yard, illegal fence installation (I think Sheriff Joe can help her out with that one….wait…unless I have something mixed up there).
I picture the annual policeman’s ball. Law enforcement officers from around the country (That’s a thing right? A nationwide policeman’s ball? Hosted in Tallahassee I believe? At the El Dorado Suites? Maybe it got canceled after every criminal realized ball-night was a good night to commit a crime). Anyway, everyone at the ball is receiving their medals and merits and badges and trophies (most improved radar gun holding, spirit award), and one cop stands up in front of the podium and gives his acceptance speech.
“Well, it turned out the wind had blown the trash into the yard, so we asked him to clean it up and, well, he did. And with the dog, we usually just give a warning to the owner. We bring treats with us to make sure it doesn’t get rough, but this time I forgot the treats so we just shot the dog and dumped it in a lake.”
Didn’t expect that did you?
I think animal management is staple of small town police work. I shit you not, here is two complete days of police work in my town. This is a town that has, I don’t know, like 50 vehicles, all brand new, including one with surface mounted air-to-sea missiles courtesy of the Patriot Act. A bat and a raccoon. In fairness, this god damn raccoon has been a recurring pain in the ass for the local cops. Every week someone is reporting a sick raccoon, a raccoon that is digging through the garbage, a raccoon that got drunk on brandywine and is now pestering Kevin Rose’s dog Toaster (watch this video…watch the eyes at the end…Sheriff Joe would be proud).
The animal / cop conflict has gotten out of hand in my town though. In the trenches, the worst of humanity comes out. Yes…I’m talking racial profiling.
The black pigeon, who is actually an adjunct professor of mathematics at Yale, they just tasered.
But it gets worse. Now we’ve stopped even protecting the basic civil liberties and rights of the animal kingdom. Guilty until proven innocent. How can this turkey get a fair trial now? How can the turkey explain that he wandered in accidentally because the back door was left open, and well, he’s a fucking turkey. A literal bird brain. No. Now he’s branded a criminal. The big old Breaking and Entering. B&E. Without even a jury of his peers. Granted, he had a TV and $1,200 worth of jewelry tucked into his waddle….
Keep on protecting and serving. It’s rough out there.