Sunday, June 24, 2012

After writing and re-reading my previous post from a few hours ago, I was just notified that a female officer over in big city was shot in the head and killed about an hour ago. For all the whining and bitching I did just a few short hours ago, I got to come home tonight; she didn't. Puts things into perspective. Stay safe out there my brothers and sisters, it can happen in an instant. RIP Officer, you've served well. Heaven must have needed some extra protection.

Back to the trenches

I'm not sure if there are any followers left out there, but hopefully I'll pick some back up.

As you can all see, I've been on somewhat of a hiatus. It was not voluntary, but I'm back now. I was off duty for quite some time, as I was diagnosed with breast and thyroid cancer. With me being under the age of 30, this was quite a shock. After a couple of surgeries, chemo, and radiation therapy, I am back to work. I might be missing a few things I was born with, but I seem to be surviving without them. Who really needs a thyroid anyway? I've been cleared to return to full duty, and will have my first check up next month. I'm not terribly excited about all this, but after everything I have went through I figure upright and breathing is better than the alternative.

A lot has seemed to change at the jail. Many, many people have left, and we are severely short staffed. I wish I knew what the answer was, but I think it may be a combination of things. Lack of support from the administration, lack of training, hazardous working conditions - it could be a multitude of things. All I know is we are seven officers down and we are running at bare minimum every day. I'm pretty sure there is a safety issue somewhere in there, but what do I know? I'm just a grunt in the trenches. What could possibly be the problem with four or five officers running a shift and 60+ inmates? That averages out to about 12 inmates per officer; we could all take them, right? But as anyone who has every worked in government knows, nothing every changes til the body count rises. Luckily nobody has gotten hurt, and I pray that stays that way. Oh, and did I also mention we are all working crazy overtime right now? Because sleep deprivation is good for the soul.

I've had some good friends leave; some to other departments, some to other careers. When I've asked them why they are leaving, it's always the same answers - "I'm burnt out", "I'm tired of the bullshit". Some of these people have been doing this job for 15+ years, some less than five. It has evoked some strong thought processes for me. Burn out is so prevalent in my type of profession, whether it be patrol, jail, fire, EMS, even ER nursing. I am sure it differs for every person, but I would say a good rule of thumb is after two years of working in those types of industries, you are not the same person as when you started. Why would you be? We deal with some of the absolute worst population of society on their worst days. I'm not sure what the word is that I'm looking for.. it's not the Butterfly Effect, but something similar. The fire, EMS, and ER staff sees the aftermath of the violent horrendous crimes, the patrol guys are responsible for investigating it and knowing every dirty, gritty detail until it is all they think about when they lay in bed, and the jail guys have to deal with some of the worst monsters out there, and still treat them respectably and professionally. Or we watch the young girls with the bright futures get mixed up in drugs and prostituion, with a pimp who constantly beats on them, but they can't leave because they won't get their next fix and will go into withdrawl. The ER staff knows these girls are out there selling their bodies for whatever their drug of choice is, they know they are being assaulted on a weekly if not daily basis, but yet these girls lie and there is nothing that can be done. They are referred to community outreach or social service problems, but we all know they never follow up. The patrol guys are out on the streets watching all of this, but until a criminal complaint is filed there is very little they can do. They are arresting these girls so often for prostitution, or drug possession, that the jail staff knows them by first name when they walk through the door and ask them how their kids/pets/last court date was. It is an endless cycle. We watch this cycle, knowing full well there is going to come a day when one of these girls stop coming in because she was either killed or died from an overdose. And when that happens, we all pause for a moment, maybe say something like "Oh that's a shame, that's too bad", and then move on to the next thing that needs to be done. There always seems to be another girl to take her place.

Or how about the homeless population? This is the dirty little secret that most cities refuse to talk about or admit to. With my city being a suburb of a larger metropolitan city, we have no shelters. Zero, nada, zilch - not a single shelter within my city limits. Big City has a few, but how exactly are the homeless supposed to get across town and gain access to these services? Jump in their fancy SUVs and scoot on over? Or just jump on the city bus with all that extra pocket money they have? And if they do happen to get there, there is probably 250 guys vying for 20 or 30 bed spaces. And of those 20 or 30 bed spaces, they are only available to men who don't have any alcohol or drugs on board, and can prove they are actively looking for work. So the .00000001 percent of the population that fits that criteria might get a bed. I have talked to some of the regular homeless people who tell me their full time job is trying to get into a shelter for the night. Now that it is summer time, the necessity of it isn't so bad, but winter is a different story. The shelters around here kick everybody out by 8:00am, so the patrons can go look for work, and don't start allowing people in for the evening until 6:00 at night. The problem is, most of these men have to be in line by noon to even have a chance at getting a bed for the night. And when the bed slots are full by 6:30, they go and prepare for yet another night out on the streets. And for the large majority of these guys, another night on the streets means trying to pan handle a few bucks to get their drink on, finding a spot they feel safest in, and bunking in for the night. I don't have any statistic numbers, and I don't feel like looking them up, but in my own personal experience I would say a good 80-85% of the homeless population I deal with is men over 50 years old. A lot of them are veterans, but either can't or won't get help from the VA, because the VA requires them to be alcohol free but provides very, very little services to help them get that way. They are un-employable due to their alcoholism, lack of work history, lack of housing, and a lot of the times disabilities due to living on the streets. So where does it end? On top of the alcoholism, most have some form of mental health issues such as PTSD, schizophrenia, chronic depression, etc. So untreated mental health problems + alcohol + lack of resources = chronic homelessness with no sustainable fix. I heard the other day on the radio, I can't remember the channel, that mental health funding in the United States has experienced a 172% reduction in funding since 2009. 172% less money and resources in the last three years. And yet since 2009 there has been an approximate 300% increase in people seeking mental health help. Now I have never been good at math, my strong suit is words, but even I can tell there is something severely wrong with those numbers. More and more people need mental health treatment, and less and less is available.

I wish I could say I had the answers, but hell I don't even have a suggestion. With funding the way it is, we don't even have mental health personnel available for the jail. It is like pulling teeth to even get someone to come in and do an evaluation, and even when they do, we all know it is just about damn pointless. Unless the inmate is an extreme danger to themselves or others, mental health will do absolutely nothing about it. Unless someone is so mentally disabled they are not competent to understand the court process, they pretty much just leave these people on their own. There are so many people who need help but are falling through the cracks because there is only enough funding for the worst of the worst.

So what happens when there is someone who has mental health issues that affect their daily lives? The ones who aren't a danger to themselves or others, but their mental health problems dramatically impact the very basic core human needs? Lately it seems more and more are getting thrown into the criminal justice system. The schizophrenic living out on the street who can't get their meds, and really shouldn't be trusted to be responsible for themselves, is now getting thrown into jail on petty charges; trespass, loitering, or fail to appear warrants from previous tickets, because they either are scared of the police and the court system and don't show, or because they know they are going to get sentenced to certain things they cannot do. So now they end up in jail, a horrible environment for someone genuinely mentally ill, and the criminal justice system has now become the mental health system. I've had training on how to deal with people with mental health issues, but not the kind of training needed to actually help these people. My training is how to deal with people with mental illnesses on a short term, immediate situation, crisis type incident. I'm not trained nor qualified to help someone with chronic mental health problems. Sure, they get into jail and probably get sentenced to do some county time. While at the county they get started on psych meds, but by the time they reach therapeutic levels they are being released. So back on the street they go, back off the meds, and the problem just perpetuates. Once off the meds, the issues are back, and now it has created a secondary problem - the mentally ill don't recognize the police as those who can help them, they now see them as the people who may hurt them and take away their freedom. They are less cooperative with police, and the frequency of police contact and the severity of charges increase after time. Eventually they end up being charged with felonies, and are sentenced to Department of Corrections time. How is that helping anyone? How does that benefit the criminal justice and judicial system?

I could go on and on, but back to my original point - I get the burn out. I think I may be getting a little bit myself. We deal with this on a daily basis, day after day, year after year, and it only seems to be getting worse. On top of that, we get very little support from the upper administration, who seem to have forgotten what it is like to be in the trenches. Add to that the stress of working overtime, varying shifts to include graveyards, which adds to family stress, and all the eleventy thousand policies and procedures we are expected to memorize but seem to change daily, and it equals huge burn out. We deal with being called every name in the book, spit on, assaulted, all so the citizens can sleep safe at night knowing the bad guys are behind bars, and very rarely if ever get a thank you. Now I didn't go into this job for the accolades, and I'm not bitching about what I do. I just really don't think the general public understands all the added stressors, and the strain on our human compassion that we see every day. A person can only see so much violence, destruction, and heartache every day before it makes them jaded. Some people recognize it and move on before it gets too bad, while all too many stay with it, pushing everything down, maybe burying it in alcohol or other self destructive measures. And after 20 years of dealing with it daily you get a bitter, jaded, cynical ex jail officer, who wonders where the last 20 years went wrong.

I don't fault anyone for recognizing the signs and moving on. I also don't fault those who try to muster through it because they believe it is the right thing to do. I think the arrival at "burn out" is very personal and varies greatly from person to person. I think some recognize it easier than others, while some think that admitting it makes them look weak. I don't look down on anyone who has ever gotten to that point, because I get it. I may not get exactly what they are feeling, but I get what has lead them to that point.

I got into this job because I love the interaction with the different populations of the public, because I very strongly believe in our judicial system, a part of me likes the feeling of locking up the really bad guys, and because I like helping people navigate their way through the criminal justice system. I hope that there are others out there with me to keep soldiering on, because there will always be a need for good officers. I stay with the hope that things will eventually get better, we are just in a rough patch so to speak, and this too shall pass.

I know this was kind of heavy for a come back post. The funny stories will resume, as there is never a dull day at the jail. Thanks for letting me get this all off my chest.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I played around with the format a little, let me know what you all think. I tried to darken the purple of the text and make it a little bigger, so hopefully it will make it easier to read.

Give me some feedback and let me know.

Pissed off or Pissed On?

This happened several years ago, when I was just starting out at the jail. There are few young women that work there, but my partner in crime and co-needer of bail money and I happened to be working on the floor together. I haven't come up with a nickname for her yet, but most likely "Pitbull" would fit. I'll have to think of a good nickname for her to use on here. She is all of 5'00 with her boots on and maybe 90 pounds with her belt. But she will scrap like none other and will kick some ass. The problem that both of us have is we both truley believe we are ten feet tall and bullet proof. It drives the LT nuts but it's not gonna change anytime soon. We are both hard workers and have an abundance of energy that never seems to burn off. I mean, c'mon, my nickname at work is "Hammy" from "Over The Hedge".

So we are working together, running circles around the boys, and just being super awesome. We get a call that there is a combative, drunk female coming in the sally port. So being the curious sort that we are, we head on out there to roll out the welcome mat.

We pull her out of the car, and she is DRUNK. Like can't even talk or stand drunk. We give her a PBT to make sure she doesn't need to go out to the ER and she blows a .28, which is three and half times the legal limit. Oh, and she is crying. I can handle drunk women. I can handle angry women. I don't like drunk emotional women. Maybe I'm missing something in my character, but I just can't deal with these little drama tards.

This girl is just too drunk to leave on her own for awhile, so we opt to take her into the jail before the paperwork is done and get her somewhere she can lay down and sleep it off. Of course she is wearing her hooker gear with a pair of thigh high black prostiboots, so now we have to try and change her out. We basically carry this girl to the cell and are trying to help get her undressed and changed into a jumpsuit. And then she starts fighting.

Now our single holding cells are four feet by six feet and contain a single bench mounted to the wall and a toliet/sink combination thing on the other side. There is just no room to fight. I have been tripped by the damn toliets more times than I can count and even kicked one one night after it tripped me. So now we are fighting with this girl who can barely stand in a room not big enough for three people, and it was just super.

We are able to get this girl pushed facing up against the wall. I am on her right side, with my left leg locked behind her right leg, and my wanna be UFC fighter co-worker is on the left side with the same thing. We now have this girl completely locked in between us and the wall to where she can't move. She is still trying to fight but doesn't have anywhere to go.

And then I feel it.... this warm, wet sensation on my left leg. Right about this same instant my co-worker feels the same on her right leg. This bitch had started pissing on us! While she was fighting! And we couldn't let her go since she was still fighting, so we both had to stand there and get pissed on until she was done. And being the good little drunk she was, she peed for a very long time. And let me tell you, the entire jail heard us yelling. I'm pretty sure it sounded something like this, only in stereo:

"Did you just fucking piss on me? Are you serious? You pissed yourself, and pissed on me? You couldn't hold it for five more seconds? YOU FUCKING PISSED ON ME!"

Of course that is paraphrase, as it has been several years since it happened, but I'm sure ya'll can use your imaginations to picture just what was said.

Well of course our yelling had attracted a lot of attention, and now we have everybody from the jail and half the patrol staff standing outside the cell watching us. And laughing hysterically.

And we are just standing there holding this girl up, waiting for her to finish. There was not much else we could do at this point.

And then to add insult to injury, now we have to undress this girl and put her in a jump suit because she is too drunk to even unbutton her own pants.

We finally get her changed out and laying down sleeping and come out of the cell. This whole process had to have taken about a half hour. When I walked out of that cell I was out of patience and felt disgusting. So now we have to go throw this girl's clothes in the wash, put OUR pants in the wash, and go shower. It was disgusting.

But it did teach me something very important - It is much better to be pissed off then pissed on. And I would know.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Is there a manual for that?

The Lieutenant I work for is one hell of a guy. Retired Marine, second career kind of guy, and he knows his shit. He also knows how to take care of his crew, and I think that is why I like working for him so much. I would follow this man to hell and back, and my whole team agrees.

He is very mouthy, but we have learned that as long as the mouth is going everything is fine. It is when he gets quiet that we all get damn nervous. Luckily it doesn't happen much.

Tonight he is good naturedly ribbing me over something I forgot to sign, but I think he doesn't know what to do with me most of the time because I usually give it right back to him.

LT: Do you need to un-fuck yourself?

Me: You know, I probably do but I'm not sure how. Can you explain the procedure for that to me? Is there an instruction manual? Is that a city offered class? I learn stuff by doing it so maybe you can show me how it is done.

LT: Get away from me. Just walk away.

Hey, at least I can say I actually like my boss, which is a good thing.

Line of the night

Drunk people, while entertaining at the least, can be irritating. Drunk and stupid people aggravate me. There are plenty of smart, intelligent people who do stupid things when they are intoxicated. And then there is the other side of the population who just do stupid things no matter what. And usually those are the people I get to spend one on one time with, usually on multiple occasions.

After explaining to this kid eight times - yes eight - how much his bail amount was and what he was charged with, I told him to not ask me again.

And two minutes later, he asks me again. So I really had no choice but to tell him:

"Unfortunately I don't speak stupid. So unless you suddenly get smarter we are going to continue to have a failure to communicate."

Well the kid didn't have a sudden increase in intelligence, so there wasn't much I could do. Except use my resources, like the good little rock star employee I am. And I happened to remember, about two months ago my Lieutenant (the good one) had told a very emotional woman one night that I would love to sit and talk with her about her cats. And I got to spend 35 minutes listening to this woman cry about missing her cats. While my LT stood there and laughed his ass off. So I figured some payback was coming due.

So I politely informed this kid what the LTs name was and that he would love to answer any questions that he had. And then informed the LT that this kid in the cell needed to talk to a supervisor. It's just too bad I didn't have any popcorn to watch the show.

For 50 minutes the LT talked with this kid. And talked. And answered the same question at least 20 times. And talked. We started a bet on how long the LT was really going to stand there and I lost by 20 minutes. The LT finally threw his hands up in frustration and walked off. It was AWESOME!

As the LT walked away I heard him muttering under his breath - something about my name and the new training catalogue. I'm sure I'm going to somehow end up in the most horrible, boring, pointless class scheduled on my day off, but it was damn worth it.

Thanks and Love

First of all, I must give my most appreciative thanks to Momma Fargo! Thanks for giving me a shout out on your page and bringing me readers. Hopefully I'll be able to keep up with you! I really do greatly appreciate what you have done.

And to everyone who wandered this way on Momma Fargo's advice - I will do my best to entertain all of you. I noticed a comment about the pink (which is supposed to be purple) writing being hard to read and the font being a little small - I will work on it. No migraine head aches allowed from reading my blog!

I will always take thoughts and criticisms. If I post something and it is unclear or if someone just has a question just ask and I will answer!

Thank you so much for stopping by, I have some stories I'll post tomorrow night.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Things that come out of my mouth

I have a very quick wit, and that can sometimes get me into trouble. In my years in law enforcement I have learned that if I am going to get into trouble for something, 99% of the time it is going to be for something I have said and not something I have done. I really do believe that I lack a filter between my brain and my mouth. While the shit that comes out of my mouth is humorous, there are some times I say things I probably shouldn't.

The other night I am bringing in a woman who falls into my favorite category - Princess. This girl is 20 years old and drunk off her ass. She has never been arrested before but got the pleasure of my company for Driving Under The Influence.

Now it is pretty obvious from this young lady's mannerisms and speech that she is a daddy's girl. She is making demands of me and anyone who will listen like we are some type of serving staff. When I took her to change into a jumpsuit she very forcefully told me that she was NOT going to wear that ugly thing. I explained back to her that it was her choice to wear it or not, but the choice I was giving her was she either puts it on or walks out naked. When I explained to her that she would have to walk about 45 feet past a male holding cell she relented, but made sure to tell me that orange was just not her color. Then she asked if I had something in blue, as it matched her eyes better. I just can't make this stuff up. Unfortunately for Princess Can't Hold Her Alcohol, orange is the only color I have. I explained that while I understood she was more of a "spring" coloring, she was gonna have to make do with what I offered. I did try to make her feel better by showing her that at least the sandals matched the jump suit, but I don't think she appreciated my efforts.

I take her Highness over to medical and stand by while listening to the longest, most painful medical I have ever heard. I'm pretty sure had my Nurse not stopped her, she would have explained the traumatic experience she had coming out of the womb. She denied any current medical problems but complained at length that the hand cuffs hurt her wrists and now she was going to have carpal tunnel syndrome. Then she asked if she could have an MRI on her wrists because she was afraid the coldness of the metal on the handcuffs might have damaged her joints. One of her fake nails was broken off and she was very concerned that she was going to contract MRSA in the jail since she might have an open wound under the broken nail. This medical lasted well over thirty minutes, which is about 28 minutes longer than my patience did with her.

Once the medical was finally completed I escort her over to the holding area. I decided to put her in a single cell, since I was afraid of what might happen had I thrown her to the wolves in general holding. As much as she irritated me I couldn't send her in there, as I know they would have eaten her alive. So I'm directing her into the cell, and she is refusing to go. As much as I would love to "assist" her into the cell, I'm really trying to use people skills and talk her in. Anyone who has ever had to deal with a drunk knows how effective that is.

She proceeds to tell me that she is NOT going into that cell and she DEMANDS that I let her use the phone to call her daddy. She then starts rambling about how daddy is a lawyer and he will come get her and (my favorite) "people like me do not belong in jail". I couldn't resist and had to ask just what kind of people she was referring to. Her answer - "You know, people like ME. Good people. People with money and class. I don't belong in jail with all these poor people". That was the last straw for me, and I couldn't have controlled what came out of my mouth next even if I wanted to. My line?

"Well Princess, when you are in your castle you can do whatever you would like. But when you are in MY castle you play by MY rules. Now step in".

The last part was added to by a gentle push on her shoulder into the cell. When I closed the door she proceeded to scream a high pitch scream at the top of her lungs and throw a tantrum that would put a two year old in a candy store to shame. She then spent the next few hours alternating between screaming and sobbing "I want my daddy". She was still there when I left that night.

Princesses irritate me. Drunk princesses really irritate me.

I probably shouldn't have said what I did, but I have to admit it felt good. And I'd probably say it again.

Do I look like a vampire?

This is going to be a longer post, but I think it's worth the read.

I come in to work today and look at the posted shift roster, and lo and behold.... I'm the only female. I cannot tell you how much I love being the only female on shift *sarcasm*. It never fails, as if some sort of Murphy's law or karmic pay back - every time I am the only female I get into the most odd things. Now don't get me wrong, I work with a great bunch of guys who have my back no matter what, but there is just something about being the only female dealing with all these women inmates. I love my guys, but they just don't get the girl thing. So I grab my stuff and head up to my briefing, all the while looking forward my testosterone filled evening.

It didn't start off too bad (for me). I go about my way, doing my thing, basking in my all around super awesomeness (yes that is a word in my world), as I listen to my control room call out male after male coming in. I actually get a little smug, thinking I'm gonna get off easy for the night. And that is where my night went down hill. Not even five minutes later my control room calls that there is a combative female coming in.

Let me just preface this - I have learned that my definition of combative is a lot different than the patrol guy's definition of combative. To me, combative means all out brawling, spitting, biting kind of gal. Patrol's version of combative is they insulted the officer's haircut. Ok, so maybe I'm harping too hard on the guys, they aren't all that bad. I've just had a whole lot of "combative" females come rolling in who were just fine when I've pulled them out of the car. On a side note - I've noticed that the colder it gets the more officers have "combative" prisoners to bring in the sally port. I'm just sayin'....

Anyhow, that patrol car arrives and I see a hobbled female in the back of the patrol car. I do have to say, I do so love when they wrap them up for me. It's like opening a present! I ask the officer what she has got, and get told "A hoe bag bitch". Ok... this oughta be good. Apparently an off duty FBI Agent basically corralled this drunk woman in a parking lot after he saw her driving well over 100mph through a residential area and almost hit several people. The best part is she had her 3 year old son in the back seat without a safety seat. So apparently I've got a Mother Of The Year candidate in my jail. Fantastic. Apparently she didn't take too kindly to when the officers informed her that her prize for the evening was a free tour of the city jail facility. When the cuffs came out the fight was on and ultimately ended with me visiting with her in my sally port.

I explain to this young lady what is going to happen if she tries to kick me while I'm taking the hobbles off and so far things are good. For people not used to dealing with hobbles - I have to crawl into the back seat of the patrol car to take the hobbles off. It gives me and this young woman a chance to get up close and personal... kinda cozy. However the first thing I notice is this woman stinks. I'm pretty sure she hasn't showered in well over a week and just reeks of body odor. Somewhere in there is an underlying whiff of the .298 alcohol level she eventually blew but mostly it's just the rank smell of BO. And in my all my super awesomeness (see?) - I can't get the belt clip unhooked for the hobbles. I'm pretty sure who ever put the hobble on did it just like you see the cowboys tie off the calves at the rodeo. So here I am, trying my best to ignore this awful smell while fighting with this stupid metal clasp. I'm in the middle of the backseat of a patrol car, and we all know just how roomy those are. I'm mentally calculating if I can continue to hold my breath long enough to get my knife out and just cut the damn thing off before I pass out. Finally after much mental cussing I finally get the clip undone and toss it out the door. I climb out of the car, by now gasping for breath and trying not to gag. Everyone is looking at me like I've lost my mind and I politely inform them that maybe they need to test the aromatherapy coming from the backseat. Ok, so maybe it wasn't so polite and there is a strong possibility it was not worded quite so nicely. Being the great guys I work with, they stick their head in the door and... come out gagging. That's what the jerks get.

So we get this poster child for safe sex out of the car and throw her in the holding tank. The whole time she is screaming that she wants her lawyer and she wants her phone call and we are violating her rights. I'm gonna get right on that. I leave her in the drunk tank and head out to find the nearest bleach bath.

About fifteen minutes later, I'm doing an intake on another female when I hear this "thud...thud...thud...thud.." sound coming from the holding tank. Now I know exactly what this sound is, so it was more of a rhetorical question when I asked what she was doing. One of the patrol guys looks over and says, "Oh she's banging her head on the wall" and continues to write his report. Then suddenly the realization of what he just said hits him and he jumps up and says "Oh shit, she's bleeding real bad". Well super. I basically toss the female I'm patting down to the side, call out a medical code, and go see how bad it is. And yep, she's banging her head on the wall. And yep, she's bleeding. We all go in and she's got two good knots on her forehead, one of which is bleeding pretty good but is only superficial. Luckily I learned a long time ago that head wounds always bleed out much worse than they really are. Why my control room officer didn't catch this on the camera I don't know, but that's another story for another time.

We wrangle this girl up and make the walk over to the rubber room. She is covered in blood, I am covered in blood, there is blood dripping on the floor, it's just great. When I ask her why she was banging her head she tells me she just wanted attention. I explain to her that she definitely got my attention but that I don't believe it was quite the attention she was hoping for. I very nicely explain to this young lady that if she continues this manner of trying to get attention, I was going to place her in a very cozy chair that wouldn't allow her to move, and then she was going to get all the attention she wanted. She states she wouldn't try to hurt herself again, so we leave her in the nice padded rubber room. And as soon as the door closes she starts banging her head on the wall again, spraying blood everywhere.

Ok, now I am done, I have run out of patience. I am covered in this woman's blood and I am done dealing with her damn drama games. The restraint chair comes out, she goes in, the gauze goes on her head, and she goes on five minute welfare checks. Which means one of us poor saps has to physically check on her every five minutes until she comes out of the chair. Yay for us. The whole time she is screaming that I'm trying to kill her. Have I mentioned how much I love drunk females?

I now have to go change uniform shirts, as the one I had is now a pretty red color and knowing my luck I'd get dinged for wearing something not department approved. I get myself cleaned up and changed out and head back to finish my intake on the other female. She's cool, no problems, and life is good. Drama girl is still in her hug me chair screaming. Never a dull night in the jail.

I work on a couple things on the computer and hear the control room call out that another female had come in. Ok, no problem, she walked herself in so it can't be that bad. After about fifteen minutes the officers call that they are ready with their female. I go back to do what I do, and as I come around the corner and see this woman, I see she is drenched in.... blood. WTF? This woman has blood all over her clothes from chest to knees and it is *mostly* dry. Seriously? Just no. She doesn't appear to be in any distress but it's just not every day I have someone come in covered in blood.

So long story short - apparently this woman was at a poker game at some bar enjoying a few adult beverages. Somewhere along the way an argument ensued with a gentleman over which hand beat which, and the argument became a pushing match. The story is, this guy pushes her, she pushes back, he pushes her again, she grabs a glass beer stein and hits him in the forehead with it. So on top of everything, it's not even her blood she is covered in. Lovely. Guy goes to the hospital, she comes to jail.

So now I'm doing a pat down on this blood soaked woman, which I have to say is a first. This woman looked like she had been involved in a massacre. I get the job of running my hands all up in it, and this poor girl is apologizing profusely to me. So I get her patted down and changed out into a jump suit and throw her clothes in the bio wash. At this point I'm thinking that my night really can't get any weirder. And I should know better than to think that.

About this time my control room calls out that an officer is bringing a female into the sally port who may be having a medical emergency. Ok, first of all - Do I look like a flipping doctor? Did you confuse the jail for a hospital? There is two hospitals within ten minutes of the jail; if a prisoner is having a medical emergency don't you think you should take them there? Because bringing them to the jail that has no medical staff makes SO much more sense! The jail officers are going to refuse your prisoner and tell you to get a medical clearance. But hey, we will play your game, I like to see the flashy lights of the ambulance when it pulls in. What can I say, shiny things amuse me.

So they finally get to the jail and I see a young lady sitting up in the backseat of the patrol car, and she sure doesn't seem to be having any sort of medical emergency. I give my Lieutenant the "look" and figure I'll see what's behind door number one.

The two male officers get out and they appeared frazzled. They just stare at me so I tell them they probably should let me know what's going on because I left my crystal ball in my other pants. One of the guys tells me that they called for the medical emergency because this female was bleeding. I peek into the back of the car and I sure don't see any blood, but hey I'll bite. I ask where she is bleeding from and whether I need to request an ambulance. This officer says "She's bleeding from.. ya know...". Ok really? I mean, seriously? We are all adults here guys. The majority of adult women bleed from their "you know" once a month. It's nothing new. I get that it freaks some guys out and that's fine, but it's a natural part of life. Trust me, if it was up to us women it wouldn't have to happen cause it's a huge pain, but we deal with it like the troopers we are.

So now I'm trying to give the benefit of the doubt - maybe this woman has a medical condition, recent operation, something that would cause massive bleeding and thus a medical emergency. I pull the woman out of the car and ask her if she is ok and if she needs medical attention.

Nope. She's fine. Apparently she is on her period and needed to change her hygiene product but was a little late on that, so she had started to bleed through. She told the officer that she was on her period and was bleeding through. Apparently a little leakage is now a "medical emergency". I think I'm going to use this excuse next time I want to go home early. Sorry boss, I'm leaking, medical emergency, gotta go. Think it will fly? This poor thing was so embarrassed by what the officers had done, I thought she was going to start crying. Thankfully this is one area I can show a little compassion, because I know it sucks. I take this poor girl to the bathroom, she gets cleaned up, I get her squared away with what she needs, and life is now back to good. She was so happy to see another female after dealing with the two bone heads that arrested her that she asked if she could give me a hug.

I start heading back to talk to the arresting officers and all I hear behind me is my Lieutenant telling me not to make them cry. Ah, he knows me so well.... I ended up giving those two a tongue lashing that I probably won't be proud of tomorrow but I hope I got my point across. I asked why they thought it constituted a medical emergency that this poor woman just needed a tampon, and the one dill weed says, "Well I didn't want to take any chances with that sort of thing. You never know with women". He didn't want to ask anything if she was ok because apparently that stuff "freaks him out". The woman had tried to explain what she needed but he didn't want to hear it. It was quite the one sided conversation and ended with both of them hanging their heads like puppy dogs and apologizing. I wouldn't be surprised if they both sign themselves up for sensitivity training in the morning after I was done with them. It was just ridiculous - it wasted a lot of time for something that could have been handled quickly, it embarrassed this poor woman to no end, and all because they were insensitive, immature jerks. My guys deal with this kind of stuff every day and while they may not understand it they have never acted like this. I have had plenty of male patrol officers come to me and tell me that their female needed something with no problem. This was the first time I have ever had a male officer act like this and I wouldn't be surprised if this female files a complaint. It really irritated me. I get that she is a prisoner but she is still a damn human being and does not deserve to be humiliated for something she cannot control.

So this was just the highlight of my night - There was definitely more stuff mixed in between all of this, but this was the top highlight. I took the longest, hottest shower I could stand when I got home, and I'm pretty sure my one uniform shirt is beyond saving. I feel like a vampire.

I think next time I see I'm the only female on shift I'm gonna have to go home with a "medical emergency".

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Officer Safety

What comes first - Officer safety or notifying a supervisor?

I'm still pretty pissed over an incident with a "relief" Lieutenant that happened on my shift tonight. Now this so called Lieutenant and I have a hate-on for the ages and it really is best for everyone involved if her and I stay as far away from each other on the two days a week we have to work together. The problem stems from she doesn't like female officers getting any of the attention she thinks she deserves and she doesn't like me because I have went up the chain of command about her bull shit. Ever since I went to her boss she has made my life a living hell.

Unfortunately tonight, I did not have that option and got the pleasure of spending an entire shift in her company. I tried to make the best of it, but she started in as soon as the shift started. In the first incident she was apparently upset that I used her computer to look up information for a member of the public I was on the phone with. Now no other supervisor has ever had an issue with us looking up charges on that particular computer, which happens to be in the middle of the work station floor. I would have just blew it off had she not proceeded to rip my ass about it in front of my entire team. That is the easiest way to utterly aggravate me - Don't berate me in front of my team. It doesn't reinforce your position as a Lieutenant, it makes you look like an ass. And trust me, I am not the only officer who thinks this woman is a control freak, power hungry bitch. She is the epitome of the type of female that makes other women cops look bad. To top it off she is just a badge bunny with bars.

But back to my original post - One of the guys was bringing in a male from the intake section and this male was intoxicated and not very happy about being in jail on Christmas eve. Not a big deal until he started being non-compliant with orders and making threats. At that time I just called for routine back up to intake since a fight hadn't started but the situation was going south very quickly.

A few officers come back just to stand by and as soon as the guy sees all of us standing there he decides he doesn't want to fight anymore. We are able to escort him to a single cell where he can either sleep his drink off or yell until his voice goes hoarse.

Now the trouble is, this Lieutenant gets pissed off at me and rips my ass in front of my entire team because it's "Not your decision" to call for back up.

OK, stop the wagon here for a minute. First of all, it IS my decision if I see a situation that might get one of my guys hurt to call for back up. First and foremost above anything is officer safety. She proceeds to berate me that I should have called for her to come back there and SHE should have made the decision as to whether back up was warranted or not. So I'm going to let one of my team mates get into a situation with no back up because she wants to throw her authority around. Maybe if she would get off her ass and out of the Lieutenant's office every now and then she would have known there was a problem to begin with. Had something happened and this officer had gotten hurt, who do you think would have been the one explaining why I saw a situation like this and didn't do something to help?

So maybe I am missing something, and I'm looking for some feed back on this. Shouldn't officer safety come first before everything? Let me know what you think.