Last month's unsealing of criminal information regarding the arrest of a 13-year veteran NYPD officer was, sadly, hardly an eye-opener. Det. Oscar Sandino allegedly violated the civil rights of three women through sexual misconduct while on duty and under color of authority. If culpable for the charges, Sandino is only the latest of many cops who got themselves in trouble in their pursuit of something other than a bad guy.
If I've always wondered about guys that would force themselves on women, I was even more amazed at the likes of those they imposed themselves upon. One deputy that I worked with had a beautiful, adoring wife—yet was extorting sexual acts on some of the ugliest hookers in our area. He ended up divorced and in prison (but one look at what Jesse James lost Sandra Bullock over is reminder enough that some guys will risk everything over anything).
But even if I didn't find the idea of extorting sex repulsive and was sociopathic enough to try it, I'd still think twice before doing it because of hygienic concerns if nothing else.
If you've never had any sexually transmitted diseases, you don't know what you're missing. Anxiety, re-infections, full disclosure issues—all this can be had for the cost of one bad choice.
A deputy I used to work with-let's call him "John," as Johns seem particularly susceptible to such problems-related to me the emotional and physical trauma he'd gone through after he caught a dose of something from a girl he'd swapped bodily fluids with.
It'd been a series of urinary tract problems that found him seeking medical assistance, and the concerned hospital staff immediately shoved a huge cotton swab up his urethra ("So goddamned painful it made me shake," he told me). One test later, the source of the problem was determined to be chlamydia. The doctor said they needed more tests to make sure he didn't have syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes, or AIDS.
"All this for chlamydia?" John asked.
"The problem is that once you catch an STD, they tend to piggy-back on one another. We need to run tests to make sure you're otherwise clean," the doctor told him.
They gave him an antibiotic; he gave them a blood sample. Told that the process would take an estimated four days, John went home to await the news.
But the same blessed imagination that saw him as irresistible to women found John wondering if there wasn't more that the doctors weren't telling him. That in giving him a head's up on other possibilities, they'd been angling to lessen the blow when the inevitable time came for them to give him the whole story.
When he hadn't heard from the office by Friday, an anxious John called the clinic. They told him that the results weren't back yet and he'd have to wait until Monday. So John sweated out another 48 hours, wondering if all this might have been prevented via some early Trojan intervention.
Monday came and John was back on speed dial, only to be told to call back on Tuesday. By now John was suspecting that the news was truly terrible and that the staff was trying to make sure to have a priest on hand when they had him come in.
On Tuesday, the staff said they'd lost the results and, by the way, could he come in to get re-tested? Now John was positive that this was all a ruse to get him to come in so that the medical folks could sit him down and give him the bad news in person. Throwing on his "Pain is Weakness Leaving the Body" T-shirt and St. Michael medal, John hurriedly dressed and hauled ass to hear his fate.
Sick to his stomach by the time he got to the hospital, John was half-relieved and half-pissed off to find that the staff really had lost his sample and would have to re-take it.
And so the process started again, with John having to wait four days before calling on Friday only to be told to call back after the weekend.
By now John was resigned to the certainty that he had AIDS.
He couldn't imagine telling his friends and family and wouldn't work in the field where his partners might come in contact with his blood. He quickly resigned himself to moving to Alaska where he would live off the land for as long as he could before catching a cold and dying.
But Tuesday came and the news was good: No other STDs were detected.
Still, the experience sufficiently traumatized John that he elected to live the lifestyle of a celibate monk for some time thereafter. I'm pretty sure he still requires that prospective candidates volunteer a blood test before courtship.
Obviously, John is not the only cop who has found himself tortured over some sexual conquest.
While DUIs and force capers account for many deputies getting fired and prosecuted, sexual peccadilloes rank right up there. And it makes sense. For if some segments of the population despise cops, others absolutely adore them and are willing to demonstrate as much.
But as STDs such as gonorrhea are not only enjoying resurgences, but are increasingly tougher to cure, it's something increasingly important for our badged studs—and gals—to think about.
Not that I think that a lot of our readers are going to be extorting sex while on duty. But taking advantage of some pretty suspect offers? Um, yeah, maybe.
And so let this be a timely reminder of aphorisms re: big heads and small and what's doing the thinking.
Or should be.