Today, I had an experience that has reaffirmed my desire to never be a detective. It reminded me of the second post I ever wrote for this blog, lovingly titled “Mon Raison D’etre”. For those of you that haven’t read that particular post or are new to my little corner of the interwebs…well, you’ll just have to buy the forthcoming book.

Oh yeah, I just pimped the book.

At any rate, the gist is this: I love Traffic. It’s quick. It’s clean. There’s typically only two people involved…the hapless violator and me. Investigations? Not so much.

Earlier this week, I arrested Otis (our Town Drunk) for going after a working stiff with a busted wine bottle. That’s a felony. I also violated his probation (for which he is on for committing a different felony). I had the opportunity to walk the case through to the District Attorney’s Office. The DA’s idea? Scrap the whole thing and revoke probation.

Otis has been arrested well over 200 times. True, the majority of those arrests are for being drunk in public and general pain-in-the-assery. Floating around in there are a handful of felonies. Otis has never been to prison. Otis has never spent longer than a year in county jail at any one stretch. Otis is a menace.

The system is failing the citizenry in this particular case. The system failed me and every other cop that has ever arrested Otis. We have spent hours upon hours writing reports, dealing with abuse, smelling some of the rankest stenches on the planet. For what? Pretty much nothing.

I wish I could convey the level of frustration I have. The DA didn’t ask me any questions other than to inquire about a supplemental report that doesn’t exist (and didn’t need to be written). The DA knows nothing of Otis. I’m a motor. I have no idea if I am supposed to sit quietly while the big lawyer makes with the law-talk or if I can say, “Um…are you high? Some day, one of two things is going to happen to Otis. Either he’ll pull this shit on the wrong person and get shot or he’ll pull this shit on some poor soccer mom and in her fright, she’ll stumble over her sweet baby’s stroller, fall, crack her head and die. If that second option ever happens, I hope her family sues the ever-loving beejeezus out of this place.”

Or, you know…something in between those two reactions. As it turns out, apparently, we can say something. A helpful little tidbit that I learned about 45 minutes too late. It ain’t like Otis is never gonna be arrested again.

I know our detectives work hard. Truly, I do. For me, though, investigations can pretty much suck it. I am where I was meant to be. How do I know? Five minutes after I went back on the street after the mind-numbing trip to the DA, I had two cites and an arrest. Later that day, I arrested a nanny. For DUI. On her way to pick up the three children she watches.

At the end of the day, I had eight cites and two arrests. Reaffirming? Ab. So. Lutely.

Enjoy that cold paper, detectives…

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

5 thoughts on “Reaffirming

  1. Now you know how paramedics feel on EVERY SINGLE CALL.
    Only the DA wears a white coat and ignores your conclusions and bills Otis for the trouble.

  2. Allow me to retort.

    Depending on the nature of Violent Drunk's (VD's) felony probation, a VOP (Violation of Probation) might actually get him almost the same amount of time (or potentially more) as prosecuting him on the broken bottle, and is a hell of a lot easier to prove.

    If the DA went forward on the incident you cuffed him for (245(a)(1)?) the judge might reduce it to a misdemeanor, reinstate his felony probation with time served, and let VD out of custody before happy hour.

    A VOP on a more serious felony might mean state prison. It all depends on the judge and the charges.

    In our county, we have a judge that simply doesn't believe in prison for substance abusers. Its a waste of time to file certain violent crimes with no injury in front of him because he will universally give the defendant probation.

    On the other hand, the same judge is shamed into sending probationers to prison after VOP # 3 on virtually everything- its basically a courthouse policy.

    In your case, a new charge means a new felony case with a prelim and endless continuances, so the defendant might ultimately serve his entire sentence in County on the county's dime while the public defender screws around with his case. When it finally gets to sentencing, the scumbag has so many custody credits that he basically gets a bus ride to DVI in Stockton for a few weeks and then another bus ride home. The same latrunculus would have it worse with a VOP and an 18 month ticket to Folsom.

  3. At least he can properly use a crosswalk on occasion.

    When you make millions from your book, buy him a one way ticket to a random foreign country, after selling the rights to follow him around to a huge reality TV sublet.

    A man can dream….

  4. Sentence for Nanny: share a cell with Otis.
    Thanks for (at least temporarily) removing them from the streets.

  5. I've always told my department when they pull stupid shit (which is predominantly the bulk of the time): "I can make more money testifying against you than I can working for you." And still I work here. But my career track is, ahem, what you might call less than stellar. Still, I dig being a Sergeant. Best job in the department. I just gotta learn to keep my big mouth shut. Uh. NO.


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