Lessons Learned, Complaints Registered, and Tips Made

Just another run-down of things on the law enforcement radar that have been on my addled mind as of late, that while individually not warranting an entire column collectively could prove momentous for the world.

Author Dean Scoville Headshot

Once upon a time, a deputy found a bag of meth. He put the baggie in his uniform shirt pocket for safekeeping until it was booked into evidence.

There was just one problem.

The baggie had a hole. A sizable hole.

Normally, this might only present itself as a cause for concern should a discrepancy in the weight of the evidence arise between the time of the stimulant's seizure and its presentation in court. True, Internal Affairs might get involved, but that might well be preferable to what happened next.

You see, our hero was in the habit of keeping sunflower seeds in the same breast pocket, seeds which he sucked on to help kick his nicotine habit.

Can you see where this was headed?

A little while later, I was spacing out at my desk in the watch sergeant's office with misspent dreams of promotion when something ran headlong into the opposite side of the cubicle partition that separated my desk from civilization. It struck with sufficient force as to jar my autographed picture of Ann Coulter from its pinned mounting. Looking up, I saw white knuckles cresting my side of the partition.

Above their death grip, a head followed, rising slowly above the top of the partition and swaying nervously from side to side like an agitated Godzilla roused from his nuclear slumber.


By all visible appearances, the deputy was definitely not feeling well. The dilated pupils, beaded brow, and rapid speech—"HELP ME, SARGE!"—told me more than I wanted to know.

My deputy was whacked.

After the ensuing TASER darts were removed from his ass and we spent some time clearing up his otherwise good name, the deputy was allowed to return to the field. Of course, he had to endure the requisite jokes about being under the influence of sunflower seeds.

Today's Lesson Learned: Put Your Narco Evidence in a Narco Bag as Soon as Possible.


God bless Hooters. While I have never patronized any of their establishments—and should you think this is in deference to piety, let me assure you that I'm no stranger to those wonderfully misnomered establishments known as "gentlemen's clubs"—I love Hooters. Actually, what I love is the idea that one can discuss lunchtime options in this politically correct day and age and go on and on about Hooters. Childish, I know, but no more so than the damned hypersensitivity one encounters with "offended types" (file under: Justice denied becomes justice subverted).


Favorite skeletal musician quote:

"I've never had any problems with drugs, only with policemen." ~Keith Richards


Speaking of dopers…

Michael Phelps. What a numbnuts.

As a retired cop, I'd like to see further decriminalizing of marijuana laws. I don't know how many have died as a result of a bong hit, but I'd be willing to bet many more have experienced much shorter lives as a result of alcohol and cigarettes. But the fact remains that Phelps knowingly broke the law and was dumb enough to allow himself to be photographed doing it. He's lost endorsements and earned some manner of public reproach.

On top of this, a South Carolina sheriff wanted to grandstand and arrest the big dummy (makes me wonder what he's been smoking). Normally, I'd make some observation about how asinine this course of action would have been, given our current economic situation. But I'll just say that at a time when many law enforcement agencies are trying to prioritize their limited resources and having to release felons from their custody facilities, it's heartening to hear that the sheriff and his county are so financially flush as to waste time even considering prosecuting him.


Who we should be prosecuting:

Bank CEOs. Angelo Mozillo of Countrywide and Indymac. Ian McCarthy of Beazer Homes. Dick Fuld, CEO of Lehman. Some of those sociopathic SOBs down at the Georgia peanut plant whose practices have killed at least nine and sickened hundreds.


Who we are prosecuting:

Scott Wagar.

Fed up with teens toilet-papering his house during homecoming week, this Willmar, Minn., resident decided to do the only noble thing he knew to defend his property.

The next time the delinquents arrived on his lawn, he soaked them with a squirt gun filled with diluted fox urine.

Mr. Wagar ended up pleading not guilty in Kandiyohi County District Court to misdemeanor assault and other charges before being released on personal recognizance.

According to news reports, Wagar saw 15-20 people running toward his place. After unsuccessfully requesting that the youths leave his property, Wagar sprayed the trespassers with the fox urine.

Wagar says he's innocent of the assault charges, and that he has a right to defend his property.

I say he's correct, especially if contentions that teens have been toilet-papering and egging his house during homecoming for eight years are true (with each succeeding episode generating new heights of destructiveness). Besides, while it won't be joing the Estee Lauder Line Collection any time soon, diluted fox urine certainly isn't as harmful as say, mercuric acid.


God forbid that you should ever come across an officer down in the aftermath of a traffic stop. But if you do and have no suspect information, consider reviewing his computer for the last license plate or subject name that was run.


Why cops get frustrated…(and why captains have to think through the implications of their marching orders).

Cop A is told by Captain to make arrests and get to calls quickly. Unfortunately, those marching orders have been given to everyone else. This means that when Cop B from the adjacent patrol area makes an arrest, Cop A ends up rolling from his area to handle all of Cop B's calls as quickly as possible. So in effect, Cop A ends up doubly screwed. First, he is viewed as a slug for not making arrests. Second, he is chewed out for taking too long to get to "his" calls.

It's a wonder they let us carry guns…

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