Sad Cop Story

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by me again, Mar 24, 2002.

  1. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    You're Not a Cop Until You Taste Them

    The department was all astir, there was a lot of laughing and joking due to all the new officers, myself included, hitting the streets today for the first time. After months of seemingly endless amounts of classes, paperwork, and lectures we were finally done with the Police Academy and ready to join the ranks of our department.

    All you could see were rows of cadets with huge smiles and polished badges. As we sat in the briefing room, we could barely sit still snxiously awaiting our turn to be introduced and given our beat assignment or, for the lay person, our own portion of the city to "serve and protect."

    It was then that he walked in. A statue of a man - 6 foot 3 and 230 pounds of solid muscle, he had black hair with highlights of gray and steely eyes that make you feel nervous even when he wasn't looking at you. He had a reputation for being the biggest and the smartest officer to ever work our fair city. He had been on the department for longer than anyone could remember and those years of service had made him into somewhat of a legend.

    The new guys, or "rookies" as he called us, both respected and feared him. When he spoke even, the most seasoned officers paid attention. It was almost a privilege when one the rookies got to be around when he would tell one of his police stories about the old days. But we knew our place and never interrupted for fear of being shooed away. He was respected and
    revered by all who knew him.

    After my first year on the department I still had never heard or saw him speak to any of the rookies for any length of time. When he did speak to them all he would say was, "So, you want to be a policeman do you hero? I'll tell you what, when you can tell me what they taste like, then you can call yourself a real policeman."

    This particular phrase I had heard dozens of times. Me and my buddies all had bets about "what they taste like" actually referred to. Some believed it referred to the taste of your own blood after a hard fight. Others thought it referred to the taste of sweat after a long day's work. Being on the department for a year, I thought I knew just about everyone and everything. So one afternoon, I mustered up the courage and walked up to him. When he looked down at me, I said "You know, I think I've paid my dues. I've been in plenty of fights, made dozens of arrests, and sweated my butt off just like everyone else. So what does that little saying of yours mean anyway?" With that, he merely stated, "Well, seeing as how you've said and done it all, you tell me what it means, hero." When I had no answer, he shook his head and snickered, "rookies," and walked away.

    The next evening was to be the worst one to date. The night started out slow, but as the evening wore on, the calls became more frequent and dangerous. I made several small arrests and then had a real knock down drag out fight. However, I was able to make the arrest without hurting the suspect or myself. After that, I was looking forward to just letting the shift wind down and getting home to my wife and daughter.

    I had just glanced at my watch and it was 11:55, five more minutes and I would be on my way to the house. I don't know if it was fatigue or just my imagination, but as I drove down one of the streets on my beat, I thought I saw my daughter standing on someone else's porch. I looked again but it was not my daughter as I had first thought but merely a small child about her
    age. She was probably only six or seven years old and dressed in an oversized shirt that hung to her feet. She was clutching an old rag doll in her arms that looked older than me.

    I immediately stopped my patrol car to see what she was doing outside her house at such an hour by herself. When I approached, there seemed to be a sigh of relief on her face. I had to laugh to myself, thinking she sees the hero policeman come to save the day. I knelt at her side and asked what she was doing outside.

    She said "My mommy and daddy just had a really big fight and now mommy won't wake up." My mind was reeling. Now what do I do? I instantly called for backup and ran to the nearest window. As I looked inside I saw a man standing over a lady with his hands covered in blood, her blood. I kicked open the door, pushed the man aside and checked for a pulse, but unable to find one. I immediately cuffed the man and began doing CPR on the lady.

    It was then I heard a small voice from behind me, "Mr. Policeman, please make my mommy wake up." I continued to perform CPR until my backup and medics arrived but they said it was too late. She was dead.

    I then looked at the man. He said, "I don't know what happened. She was yelling at me to stop drinking and go get a job and I had just had enough. I just shoved her so she would leave me alone and she fell and hit her head."

    As I walked the man out to the car in handcuffs, I again saw that little girl. In the five minutes that has passed, I went from hero to monster. Not only was I unable to wake up her mommy, but now I was taking daddy away too.

    Before I left the scene, I thought I would talk to the little girl. To say what, I don't know. Maybe just to tell her I was sorry about her mommy and daddy. But as I approached, she turned away and I knew it was useless and I would probably make it worse.

    As I sat in the locker room at the station, I kept replaying the whole thing in my mind. Maybe if I would have been faster or done something different, just maybe that little girl would still have her mother. And even though it may sound selfish, I would still be the hero.

    It was then that I felt a large hand on my shoulder. I heard that all too familiar question again, "Well, hero, what do they taste like?"

    But before I could get mad or shout some sarcastic remark, I realized that all the pent up emotions had flooded the surface and there was a steady stream of tears cascading down my face. It was at that moment that I realized what the answer to his question was. Tears.

    With that, he began to walk away, but he stopped. "You know, there was nothing you could have done differently," he said. "Sometimes you can do everything right and still the outcome is the same. You may not be the hero you once thought you were, but now you ARE a police officer."
  2. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Credit where credit is due

    Well, it’s a nice story, meagain. Did you write it? If so, you might want to get in touch with all those websites, ones for sermon ideas and others, where the identical story appears as “Author Unknown” (for instance, and if not, it is probably a good idea to make that clear, and to give credit, if only to that unknown author.

    John Bear

    "All right, Lord, I understand that when there was only one set of footprints in the sand, it was because you were carrying me. But what about when there was a long straight line, with little round holes on one side, and large left-boot prints on the other?"

    "Well, my son, as I carried you, I was joined by a pirate pushing a wheelbarrow."

    --Sent to me by Mariah Bear, but
    I don't know if she wrote it or not
  3. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    human fraility


    Unfortunately, I have seen the face of death more than you or anyone else, unless you are a coroner or a cop. No, I didn’t write the story. I copied it from another police-website where credit was not given (subsequently, I didn’t know who wrote it). However, it reflected my personal experiences with death (as a police officer) and I thought I would share it with the general public. In the world of academia, I forgot about the technical nuance that you pointed out (e.g. all college students know that you must give credit where credit is due).

    Death is truly a difficult thing to deal with. The untimely death of others has almost broken me and my spirit. I could tell you a personal story that would probably move you more than the one you just read (and the credit would be solely mine). But my intent of my "copying and pasting" was not to “get credit.” My intent was to share the fact that urban cops deal with death on a level that laymen nor academics will ever truly comprehend, unless they themselves become a cop or a coroner.

    I will now step down from the unsavory pedestal of having dealt with human death to a degree that is beyond description to an academic. I am tired of seeing human misery, human corruption (e.g. mans inhumanity against man) and human greed.

    If I forgot to give credit at the websites that you found, then please accept my humble apology. I did not mean to direct the attention of the story to myself.

    You are the doctor and I am the master's student and I humbly accept your valid academic point.

    With best regards, I am

    me again (and again and again….)
  4. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    This is one of the more corny and predictable police stories I've read on the web. A "statue of a man"? Who really talks like that?

    Personally, I'm embarrassed when I read this sort of contrived crap. I much prefer to just do my job without fishing for accolades or thanks by recreating this fictional bullshit. If we (cops) have to face something horrendous.....well.....isn't that our job? People don't call 911 to check the weather or shoot the breeze (at least they shouldn't). If a cop falls to pieces when faced with a murder, then it's time to look into other careers.

    And, in case you're wondering, I've been on the job for 14 years, and have seen more than my share of life, death, blood, guts, tragedy, yadda, yadda, yadda.

  5. Nicole-HUX

    Nicole-HUX New Member

    Sorry me again--if not for cops in Florida, in the real world, taking the words of another writer and calling them your own is taking a part of someone else's soul. It is not acceptible to make a point, to stir a tear, to provoke a laugh, or to cause someone to think a thought they may not have thought on their own. It is, pure and simple, theft. I will no longer be able to give any credence to anything you post. You, sir, are without honor and without worth of notice.
  6. Craig Hargis

    Craig Hargis Member

    I honestly did not in any sense feel that me again was attempting to claim credit for the story. It (the story) has the look and feel of an e-mail forward--something very much in the public domain. The web is awash with countless sentimental tales probably somewhat based on fact; they rarely if ever cite an author. The story is akin to an urban legend or other story in oral circulation. I think he was just trying to share a narrative that reflected how he was feeling about his job at this time. I felt, and perhaps I am wrong, that the fact that it involved an unknown author was pretty clear--implicit in the genre of the story itself. Nicole--perhaps CSUDH should stop teaching Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Keats, Dante....they are all pretty bad about citing their sources---real cads if you ask me. And don't anyone tell a joke if you can't cite its source. And so on. Lighten up a little everybody. "Caint we all just get along" (Rodney Dangerfield, I mean Martin Luther King Jr., I mean...)

    Craig ;)

    PS: I don't think anyone would WANT to claim credit for it--it is a really bad story

    Also please note: each of the words I have used here have been used previously by MANY other writers, mostly in England after 1066--many appear in the KJV of 1611. Not one is original.
  7. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    LOL -- Yes, I noticed it too.

    You hit the nail on the head.

    Wow, you won't give "me again" any credence anymore? How sad. :rolleyes:

    To remedy things, I shall give credit where credit is due: I got it off the internet from an anonymous poster named "TxLawMan." Does that make everything all right? ;)

    Here is the source: Click Here

    Is everything savvy now? :confused: [​IMG]

  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I have to say I didn't get the impression the me again was claiming credit for writing the story. But he should have made clear its author/source. (Even the url where it was posted would have been helpful.)

    Regarding the content, it reads like very bad fiction. One of those insipid tales, purported to be true, that get forwarded via e-mail all over the place. I cannot help but think less of the people who perpetuate these--including some people I know. Passing on a good thought is one thing, but this stupid tear-jerker (attempted) is ridiculous.

    This all reminds me of the urban legends that get passed around. From Nostradamus to the exploding Pillsbury dough to "Lemonjello" and "Orangejello," I can't help but think that not only did Barnum get it right, he severely understated the phenomenon.

    Rich Douglas, checkin' for alligators in the plumbing.
  9. Dispatcher1534

    Dispatcher1534 New Member

    hmm...i think it's sad that instead of reading a story and enjoying the lesson behind it some people feel the need to pick apart others. so what if a source wasn't sited...the majority of things on the web don't cite a source. things get copied from here and there and passed around...personally it's not a big deal. the point is that whether this particular story is urban legend or whether it's written by me again, you, or Spike Lee the story is still a valid representation of what goes on in life. everybody thinks that cops see this stuff day in and day out and it doesn't bother them. that may be true, but it wasn't always like that. a rookie cop goes out in the field as innocent as anybody else...they just don't have the fortune of staying that way.

    so i say THANK YOU, me again, for sharing the story. i, for one, enjoyed it. :)
  10. Dispatcher1534

    Dispatcher1534 New Member

    grrr...i KNOW i fixed that spelling at one point. :(
  11. Gus Sainz

    Gus Sainz New Member

    I, for one, am just glad it did not turn out to be another donut story. ;)
  12. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: Sad Cop Story

    Thanks for the support Dispatcher1534. Obviously, you must be a dispatcher! :)

    I know I'm being graded on this forum and I don't want to get an "F" for not providing the link to the story (even if it was from an anon source). :eek:

    LOL :D

    And Bruce, I don't want to be judgmental of you because I don't know how big your jurisdiction is and I don’t know how many calls you’ve responded to. A rural cop might respond to 10 calls a month, while an urban cop might respond to 10 calls in the first half of his shift.

    Subsequently, I don’t know how many men have died before your very eyes and in your presence… or women… or children… or babies. If it’s hundreds and if it didn’t bother you and if you were able to brush it off, then I am extremely happy that it did not adversely affect you (trust me on this). Conversely, you don’t know how much death I’ve seen and you have no commensurate measure of judgment that you can accurately levy.

    "Can't we all just get along?" Source: Taken from a live interview of Rodney King after....
  13. Nosborne

    Nosborne New Member

    Before I returned to criminal defense, I spent several years in Children's Court representing the our Child Protective Services agency in child abuse and neglect proceedings.

    I developed a great deal of respect for police officers and social workers.

    There were plenty of tears.

  14. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    Re: Re: Re: Sad Cop Story

    Well, in 1992, my partner & I made the most drug arrests in all of New England. You think I might have some experience under my belt?

    Hundreds? I've never kept track, but it probably isn't hundreds, as in plural, but I've had more than my share. Does it bother me? Usually no, because in most cases the deceased either should have seen it coming (gang member in a drive-by, junkie OD's) or it was just their time (85-year old with heart trouble drops dead). There are true tragedies, such as when a child dies, but once again that's part of the job. Someone has to clean up the mess, and it's usually the police. I'll say it again, if a cop falls to pieces when faced with a tragedy, it's probably a good idea to see if the DPW is hiring. Among other things, I've been an FTO, and can usually predict with great accuracy if a rookie is going to cut the mustard.

    Finally, I made no refererences or judgement as to your experience, I merely expressed my opinion about the piece of fiction that you posted. I've seen the same piece posted ad nauseum in several law enforcement boards that I belong to, and I always withold comment. If my brother & sister officers want to strain their shoulders by patting themselves on the back, then it's harmless to me. When this fictional crap is posted in a non-LE forum, I think it's necessary to point out that not all cops buy this self-aggrandizing bullshit.

  15. JustMe

    JustMe New Member

    I was also confused with the lack of reference to the original author, but I was able to figure out that it was a cut and paste without much difficulty.

    Is it self-aggrandizing? Maybe. I haven't set any drug busting records, but I am a police sniper on a tactical team and on 9-11 I was sent to ground zero for two days. While doing my job I am usually unattached when I deal with death. I walked through the debris and dust and mud and other things on that horrible evening. I didn't get very emotional and was even telling myself that it should bother me more. Of course a dozen different emotions were hitting me each minute and as a trained soldier and cop, I was there to do a job and I did it.

    I came home two days later. I sat on my couch and cried for a couple of minutes. It felt pretty good. When I read the story above, posted at my site, I thought about this. The story really isn't aggrandizing. It is quite true. We see the worst of it and sometimes you just need to vent. Maybe Me Again posted this at the wrong site. On it is a story that made me think and I found something in common with it. It was a good story.

    Should we talk about self-aggrandizing? A better example would be to have some nit wits try to sound more intelligent than they are by using big fancy words. Or worse yet, someone showing their jealousy and inadequacy by making cop jokes.
  16. me again

    me again Well-Known Member


    Crap? Bullshit? :confused: :rolleyes:

    Hummmm.... I too have some interesting credentials e.g. field training officer, hostage negotiator, certified law enforcement trainer, interrogator, CID, et al ad nauseam. While I admit that the anonymous writer (of that posted story) may not have written a collegiate level narrative, he nonetheless addressed a targeted group of people on a level that they understand and relate to. He poignantly targeted his audience. Audiences differ i.e. collegiate classes, cops, professors, vocational personnel, electorate and whatnot. I give him credit for the ability to target and speak to a specific audience, even if it is not the audience who frequents this forum.

    By calling it "bullshit," you have fallen back into your street-level mode, which any true cop can understand, even if we disagree with your personal analysis. ;)
  17. Craig Hargis

    Craig Hargis Member

    To tell the truth the story is worse than bullshit. It is has no literary merit and there is nothing about it that is remotely poignant. In fact, I can't think of a word that would less describe this "narrative's" transparent attempt to fabricate some kind of emotive response on the part of readers who would apparently have no real capacity for genuine depth of feeling. It is pathetically predictable; its "characters" are flat beyond measure, and its system of metaphor is sophmoric. The only "sad" thing about it is that we live in a society that accepts this kind of sentimental self-indulgence as profundity. And please don't tell me I've never looked into the face of death; cops are not the only people that have seen people die and lived to cry about it.

  18. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    High School Level Spelling?

    Sophmoric? :confused:

    SophOmoric. :D

    Nuff said and moving on... ;)

    Why must the original story be compared with collegiate level work? This raises another ancillary issue: Should we require an Associates or a Bachelors degree for entry-level sworn officers within the United States?

    Freely granted.

    Most of us who have looked into the face of death do not like to talk about it because it’s morbid. When my father returned from Vietnam, he was a forever changed man. When we (the kids) tried to question him about Vietnam, we received sharp rebukes and were then received with cold silence e.g. he didn’t want to talk about it. Now that I’ve been a cop for a long time, I finally fully understand his sentiment.

    Let’s move on…
  19. Craig Hargis

    Craig Hargis Member

    You got me!

    But it is still sophomoric.

    Bi the wai, Doing nothinge but reading the bad spelling of hi school "sophmores" all day doez wunders 4 a mans spelling.

  20. Craig Hargis

    Craig Hargis Member

    That reminds me. Please look for my (extemely well documented) post "A Sad Teacher Story" coming soon. And look also for my book of a few years back--Love Story. Talk about soph-o-moronic!

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