Ask MC

A quick note to those who haven’t been around MCPD for long.

I used to do what was initially dubbed “The Saturday Question”.  That quickly turned into “The Weekly Question” particularly during college football because nothing gets in the way of the Irish.  When I finally realized that I suck at keeping to that particular schedule, I renamed the posts “Ask MC”.

Ask MC is an occasional post in which you, my motoring friends, submit questions to yours truly about police-type stuff.  It doesn’t have to be relegated to traffic questions, although that is my particular bailiwick.  Contrary to popular opinion, I do not know everything.  I’ll wait while you pick yourself up off the floor from the shock.

Better?  Excellent.

If I don’t know the answer, I will do my best to find out what it is.  Or I’ll just make shit up.  You know, either way.  You are more than welcome, nay, encouraged to ask me whatever you like and I will make every effort to get to it before the end of time and post it here for all to see.  What I’m trying to say is I will make you famous.  Or at least my mom will read about it.  Eventually.  When I remind her I still write a blog.  xoxo, mom.

Now…on to the question…

This iteration’s question comes from my Words with Friends nemesis, Warren.  I have been playing Warren for something akin to 18 months or so.  I have beat him less than ten times.  I hate Warren with a verve that is incalculable.  The only person that I have played longer and had less success at destroying is the Wife.  No joke.  I don’t hate her, though.  She’s wicked hot.  And she’s carrying our third kid.  But mostly she’s wicked hot.  Warren (and I’m only assuming here, since we’ve never met face-to-face) is not as hot as the Wife.  Thus, my completely justified contempt for him.

Warren asks:

Do you always carry your firearm with you while off duty? If so, what would you do in this scenario?

You’re out walking alone in San Francisco from the BART station and a couple of guys approach you from behind and demand your wallet and valuables. One of them is pointing a handgun at you. What does your training instruct you to do? Would you actually do anything differently?

Warren asked me that after I had the opportunity to meet a reader from South Bend (Go Irish!  Twice in one post!!) who was in the Bay Area on business.  As it happens, I typically don’t carry off duty.  I did when I was a rookie because, well, I could.  Eventually, it got to be more of a pain than anything else.  At the time, I carried a Smith & Wesson 5906 (read: big damn paperweight) and it was cumbersome to say the least.  Now, I carry a Sig P226 (which I love, by the way), but I leave it at work.

For the sake of argument, though, let’s assume I was carrying in the above scenario.

Let me start by saying I am not Quick Draw McGraw (dating myself).  If I was carrying, it’d more than likely be in a concealed holster either on my right hip or on the small of my back.  The suspect pointing the gun at me absolutely has the drop on me, regardless of whether his finger is indexed or not (finger in the trigger guard).  The safest and smartest thing for me to do is memorize every detail I can about their description.  Race.  Sex.  Age.  Height.  Weight. Hair color/style. Eye color/glasses. Facial hair.  Clothing.  Language (accent? vernacular? slang?). Direction of Travel.  Associated vehicle.

If there’s an associated vehicle I need the following: license plate, color, year, make, model, outstanding features (bumper stickers, body damage, after market gear, etc).

All that needs to be done in as little time as conceivable.  Most folks vapor lock on details.  We train not to do that because it could mean our lives.

Would I attempt to disarm him?  Totally depends on circumstance.  More than likely, no.  I’m out of uniform (read: no Kevlar vest) and I don’t have a radio.  Let me throw a monkey wrench in your question, though.  I’d like to think I wouldn’t find myself in that scenario.  Why?  Because I am constantly looking around me.

Ask the Wife.  I’m pretty sure she’s gotten tired of hearing “Dirtbag two aisles over.  Keep the kids with you, I’ll keep an eye on him.”  It’s a necessary evil that we as police officers live with.  We can’t go to the grocery store, bank, movies, Disneyland, or even (sadly) church without scanning crowds looking for signs of something out-of-place or just not right.  It becomes second nature, but it is mentally taxing.

So there you have it, friends.  The return of Ask MC.  If you’ve got a question, you can drop me a line on Facebook, Twitter, or at!

Thanks for the question, Warren!  I’ve got a Z I’m waiting to drop on the TL and double play that bastard, you son of a bitch!


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

7 thoughts on “Ask MC

  1. Thanks for answering my question, MC. I think you made a mistake though. You wrote, “I hate Warren with a verve …”. I know you really meant to say, “I hate that Warren is such a good Words with Friends player and that I can only dream of being that good…” I’ve got a J to play to come from behind and end your hopes of winning this game.

  2. Super great answer! And glad no John Wayne moves there…except it sounds like you might need some to take care of Warren. The rivalry is quite entertaining. LOL

  3. Hey MC – Love the ‘Condition Yellow’ discipline! I was just curious, for the scenario that you mentioned, do you also keep the ‘tactical wallet.’ (Carrying your L.E. badge and credentials in a completely separate location)?

    A few years ago, one of our local eateries was robbed takeover style. The bad guys collected all the customers wallets at gunpoint. Ever since that day I’ve kept my ID and badge in a separate wallet, in a separate pocket so that I can stay incognito when I have to.

    Yet another great LEO discipline that the general public isn’t often aware of…

    Be safe!

    • I don’t have a separate wallet, but that is not a bad idea. I always flash back to the movie Running Scared with Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines when the two tweaker idiots try and rob ’em. Hilarious stuff.

  4. Although I’m not a cop, I too travel in condition yellow all the time, and armed most of the time.

    On the remote chance that I would be approached and the dirtbag demanded my wallet, I’d give it over. All he gets for his trouble is some plastic that can be cancelled with a phone call and a few business cards. My cash is always in a money clip, in another pocket.

    My wallet, I might add, is always in my left rear pocket so I can get to it with my non-dominate hand. Leaving my dominate hand free to access XD or 1911 in the SOB if Mr Scumbag forces my hand.

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