Archive for May, 2010

Traffic tips from a cop who’s worked traffic

At some point, every officer has to work traffic.

Years ago they would shut the lights down at rush hour and the traffic cops would work the intersections. If it goes as planned, it’s not too difficult. You take the north and southbound lanes, plus the turn lane. Move the turn-lane traffic for 15 or 20 cars, and then the north and south until you make a dent or make everyone mad in the east and westbound lanes. Then, repeat on the east and westbound.

If the traffic is heavy, slide a few more cars in the turn lane at the end of the rotation.

The X-factor inevitably comes into play. Most of the time, it’s (I’m sorry but this is a fact) an older woman who stops and wants to know if she is headed in the right direction — then begins a long dissertation on where she’s going, why and her concern that the green-bean casserole might spill, which has nothing to do with the direction she’s going!

Next it’s the delivery driver who’s in the turn lane but wants to go …

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Off-duty: My secret life as a Jimmy Buffett parrothead

We headed to Dallas, Texas, to make the annual trip for Jimmy Buffett.

We like Dallas because it’s a family visit as well. Detective Sandy’s brother Martin and wife Pam are big-time parrotheads.

Another reason is the venue. Pizza Hut Stadium in nearby Frisco is a great tailgating spot because it has acres of paved parking area. That’s important because the drunken parrotheads seem to navigate the golf carts with fewer problems.

If you have never been to a Buffett concert, you should go for several reasons. Among them:

    • It’s a great opportunity to show your friends you aren’t afraid to spend too much money on something that on the surface seems to revolve around a two-hour concert, but in fact revolves around an all-day tailgating extravaganza and fashion-stomping exhibition of grass skirts, coconut bikini tops and makeup — and those are the guys.
    • It is probably the biggest collection of baby-boomers acting at such a level of immaturity that if the aliens ever …

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    Tales from the Asphalt Jungle: Rodney’s story

    Rodney was a burglar. He wasn’t a very good burglar, which is why all the precinct cops knew him.

    And he was not the most detailed of planners. Along with a hefty substance problem, Rodney just didn’t like planning out things — like his escape. One night he burglarized a liquor store, then celebrated by sitting on the cardboard boxes behind the store enjoying the fruits of the crime. We found him passed out with an empty bottle of Prince Ivan Vodka in his hand and $27 in his pocket — all the money that was left in the till.

    Every time he was arrested, Rodney would claim his innocence and then, after the laughter, he’d proclaim that he was done with crime and would get his life in order. That was met with a stark silence — then more laughter.

    He tried his hand in residential burglary. The first arrests came after a local drug store called the cops to report a roll of film that contained pornographic images. The detective went by, looked at the film, then called the …

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    How you can be the eyes and ears for the police

    One of the more popular questions that I get at public meetings has to do with police visibility. Most people want more. Who wouldn’t?

    In Montserrat, the ratio of police to citizens is about 7.8 cops per 1.000 citizens. That means there are seven cops of average height and one short dude, but there are almost 8 per 1,000. That’s ideal. By the way, Montserrat is part of the island chain of the Lesser Antilles, in the Caribbean.

    (I pulled this up on the Internet. Nice! I have an application in there. I had to lie on the application. Told them I was 25, but looked a bit more “mature.” They asked for a photo. I Googled an image of Fabio and Photoshopped it onto a photo of me in my uniform. They wrote back that I looked too out of shape, but my hair was fabulous.)

    Around these parts — parts being this country — the ratio that would probably fit in the norm would be around 1 to 2 per 1,000, 2 being very a very good ratio. That seems a bit sparse, doesn’t it? Well, in …

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