Monday, June 15, 2020

Ridin' With John Law

The title John Law is or rather was, a real person; a neighborhood police officer who covered a specific territory protecting and serving with an exemplary good reputation.

Richie and I hadn't been married long, and I grew a little restive, missing writing jobs … getting paid for it and decided to approach both of the two local free newspapers.  The Beach Reporter went for it and "Occupations" was my weekly offering for some 22 issues.  A few people I remember - a nurse, a mailman, a garbage man- the superintendent told me, "I picked Juan because his English is the best among my men." and more including today's subject.  Rides with two police officers in two different beach towns.  I was looking for contrast and I got it.

City A - my tour began with a K9 officer and we were called to check out an excess noise complaint. It was a nice residential area and Officer Woofs  hopped out and walked  up to the front porch.  The dog and I were left to guard the police car.  We sat quietly; the dog showed no separation anxiety at all at a missing master nor when a bratty cat jumped up on the hood of the cop car and nervily marched right up to the windshield and looked in.  Dog never moved.  Not a twitch.  When Officer X was once again back in the car, I commented on this and he grinned, and said, "Part of their training." fired up the car and back to the station for shift change.

Officer Mark and I replaced them both.  Our first call was a drunk and disorderly down by the water.  She'd had been overserved at one of the posh restaurants bars along there and the bouncer was the person who reported it, complaining, "She socked me! and God forbid if I smacked her back. She's got a mouth and some language that would make a sailor blush," he said.  Officer Mark grinned, took the transfer of the woman from the bouncer, bundled her into back of the car "Mind your head there" and off we went.
 She never said anything (I was disappointed; wanted to upgrade my own vocabulary) but she did sob quietly all the way to the station.

We were walking out the station back door when we got a call "Palm tree on fire - Catalina in front of Blue Water Grill.   See if the fire department's needed."  We went.  They weren't.

"Do people try to set palm trees on fire often?"  I asked.  "Weekends mostly," he replied, "a lot of  drunks think it'd be a fun thing to do.  They don't realize that palm trees are not fireplace logs. For one thing, they're a living thing. "   Whoever the perpetrator here had been, they were long gone. leaving only some char marks near the base of this particular tree.

And boom!  Another call for Officer Mark.  A woman had called; "I hit a bicyclist at the left turn from Catalina to 190th street.  He's up, he's not hurt, but …"  very much the good citizen.

She was easily found because she and the bicyclist were chatting; his intact bike was laid down in the gutter.

Mark allowed me out of the car so that I could hear and see what happened next.  The woman said that she was a flight attendant, just in from the JFK run; very tired and didn't see him.  The bicyclist looked dubious.  She now launched into a self-defense stressing this deathless prose, "I didn't have to call the police you know!"   To my amazement, Mark didn't bitch slap her into next week and then arrest her, but all parties, business completed, we were soon back in the car speeding away.  I called him on it with some color and he laughed and said, "Aw nobody got hurt," flapping a disinterested hand.

It had not passed me by that she was a very comely young lady and easy to forgive (for unbelievable insolence)  by the unharmed bicyclist and officer alike.  And so ended my ride that night.

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