Howdy-Ho Neighbor


I was sitting in my patrol car in a shopping center parking lot when security man drove up in his golf cart and pointed as he said, “Officer, that RV can’t be parked there.” I turned my head and saw what he was talking about. He then added, “It’s been there an hour.”

It was 2:30AM and I was down five crashes. All I wanted to do was catch up on my work.  I drove to the RV, which looked like it belonged in a museum. It’s dented and rusted body was begging to be sent to the scrap yard. Security man told me he knocked on the door, but there was no answer. He was sure someone was inside and they were ignoring him.

He really wanted the RV to leave and asked that I make contact with the occupant. I grabbed my baton from the car and knocked on the door like someone owed me money. Of course, this “Where’s my money” sound caused movement inside.

A hand reached up and slid open a window as a woman lifted her head up to look at me. I only saw the left half of her face as we talked.  I told the woman about the security guard and she said she couldn’t leave until a friend helped her repair the engine.

She kept talking and never showed her entire face. It reminded me of something, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.


That’s when it hit me and I asked, “Have you ever seen the show Home Improvement?”

The woman, who was in her late 50s, gave me a weird look as her left eye squinted at my random question. After the randomness faded she replied, “Yeah.”

“This is like talking to Tim Allen’s neighbor.”

The joke floated in the air like a hanging curve ball waiting to be hit out of the ballpark. Then her face (half of it) smiled and she laughed.

At least she got my Tim Allen joke. There’s nothing like a little randomness to keep people on their toes and to make the job entertaining. It’s not every day you can work in Tim Allen and his neighbor Wilson into a conversation while out on patrol.

“Howdy-ho neighbor.”

What fire hydrant?


A week ago my sergeant sent me an email about a traffic complaint received on our department’s Facebook page. The complaint was about illegally parked cars in a certain neighborhood at night.

It was about 11:45PM on Thursday night when I cruised by to see what I could find. It took about five seconds before I saw what the problem was. It didn’t matter if the curb was red or if there was a fire hydrant. It was total anarchy with cars everywhere. No wonder there was a complaint.

I found the first fire hydrant with a car parked in front of it and called a tow truck. Once that car was gone, I drove to a different spot and found another hydrant that was blocked. After that car was towed, I drove 50 yards and found the next blocked fire hydrant.

It was a fire hydrant hat trick.

After I was done with the third car, I drove by the fire hydrant where I found the first car and guess what I saw?

Yep! Someone else was parked in front of it. Tow truck number 4 please. It’s the fire hydrant that keeps on giving.

Who needs a license?


With shoulders slumped, the driver looked dejectedly at his crashed car with its crumpled metal and fluid spilling out onto the street like blood draining from a body.

The driver, who was about 18 years old, had a look of disbelief as the flashing police and fire lights bounced off our faces.

During the interview I asked, “Do you have a license?”

He replied, “No,” as his permit shook in his hand.

This was my fourth crash of the night and my second with an at fault unlicensed driver. Driver’s licenses and rules don’t mean anything anymore to some people.

Being responsible doesn’t seem to matter anymore either, regardless of how many people are killed or injured in crashes when an unlicensed person gets behind the wheel. I guess having a driver’s license is just a suggestion.

I asked, “Do you know you’re not supposed to drive?”

In a low voice the driver said, “I was going to the DMV next week.”

Well, that doesn’t help the mother and child who were transported to the hospital. That also doesn’t help all the copss at the scene who were tied up with traffic control, or the paramedics, ER staff and ambulance drivers, who treated these victims.

“I woulda, coulda, shoulda” doesn’t help anyone when an unlicensed driver sends you to the hospital.

Be careful out there. The guy next to you might be suspended or unlicensed and they’ll take you out.

Do you know who Chuck Berry is?

chuck berry

I try to never miss an opportunity to say something random to keep people on their toes. Once the randomness gets unleashed you never know where the conversation is going to go.

On Friday night, I was at a traffic collision when I asked a male in his mid-50s what happened. The male said, “I was just cruising down going home.”

It was at that moment a Chuck Berry song popped into my head. With total randomness  I said, “So, you were just riding along in your automobile like Chuck Berry?”


“With no particular place to?”

The driver recognized what I said and I was rewarded with a big laugh.

After I was done, I told the guy I had never worked Chuck Berry into a traffic collision interview before. He laughed some more and seemed to appreciate my attempt at obscure humor. 

I next went to the other driver and asked, “Which way were you going? Wait, do you know who Chuck Berry is?”

He gave me a weird look and replied, “No.”

I turned to a lateral officer in training and asked, “Do you know who Chuck Berry is?” He nodded and replied he did.

I turned back to the young driver and said, “Pull out your phone and Google it,” You could tell he wasn’t sure what to think, but he was a good sport and got his phone out. I think part of him wanted to know where this randomness was going.

Once on You Tube, he typed in Chuck Berry and asked me which video. I pointed to “No particular place to go” and he clicked on it. The video started playing as Chuck Berry sang:

Riding along in my automobile
My baby beside me at the wheel
I stole a kiss at the turn of a mile
My curiosity runnin’ wild
Crusin’ and playin’ the radio
With no particular place to go……..

After we were done with the musical history lesson,  I was standing with a cop and a civilian report writer when another lateral officer trainee walked up. Since he was younger, I decided to ask, “Do you know who Chuck Berry is?”

He gave me a quizzical look and said, “No.” The look on his face and how he answered made us laugh. That’s when he asked, “Why, do I look like him?”

We laughed even harder now. I looked back at the Hispanic officer and replied, “He’s black.”