HUMOR IN UNIFORM
I don’t know how other police departments treat their recruits, but the following memory is the opening story in a book I wrote about the Chicago Police Department.
Neither my partner nor I were Field Training Officers, but our captain saw something in a particular recruit and wanted him trained properly. So, he assigned the recruit to us. We were pretty good cops at the time and took the assignment begrudgingly. But we broke him in – our way.
I hate to say this, but when you have a new recruit working with you for the first couple of weeks, you treat him like he’s your first puppy. You can do whatever you want with him and he won’t beef. My regular partner, Dirk and I, were informed by the captain that we would be receiving a new recruit as the third officer on the car.
The first day I met George was a memorable one. Dirk was off that day. After roll-call, George and I went to our assigned squad car, checked the outside for any damage then sat in the front seat and introduced ourselves. As I reached out and took his hand in mine to shake, I immediately informed George that my partner and I had only one rule on this car: sex or lunch.
While still holding his hand in mine, I smiled and stared him in the eyes while clenching my teeth to prevent my laughter. He glared back and with a stammering hesitation said, “I’ll buy lunch.” I released his now trembling hand and said, “Great,” then put the car in gear and drove off.
Throughout the evening, every move I made, whether it was to adjust my gun belt or to zip my jacket up, was met with a tenuous glare and quick body jerk away from me. If I moved my hand up to brush the hair from my face, the recruit flinched and lurched away. This behavior went on for 8 long friggin hours. After an uneventful and unusually quiet tour, we parted company following my free lunch.
It happened to be my regular day off the next day, and as soon as I got home, I called my partner Dirk. I explained what I had done to the new kid, he chuckled and the conversation ended.
The following day Dirk and George were teamed up for the first time. After roll-call and a short vehicle inspection, Dirk shook his hand and rolled his eyes as he explained to George that we had only one rule on this car: sex or lunch. George, with no place to hide, or anyone to turn to, blurted out, “Lunch.”
This pattern of psychological abuse went on for the remainder of the week with George thinking he was partnered with a couple of sexual psychopaths.
After Dirk and I had a week’s worth of free lunches, we finally told George we were just screwing with him. It was all a joke. Between relief and anger, George was finally able to relax.
We three have remained good friends and to this day, 28 years later when we get together, all Dirk or I have to say is, “Sex or lunch” and George goes into his, “Fuck you,” speech.
To all my brothers and sisters in blue, lock and load and protect each other. And as always, stay safe.
“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “
We couldn’t agree more.
Larry enjoys hearing from his readers – EMAIL
View Larry Casey’s website at www.StoriesofaChicagoPoliceOfficer.com and review his book by the same name.
Cartoon compliments of Steve Burnette, Sun Mesa Studios, www.sunmesastudios.com.
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