Saturday, August 30, 2014

Runaway- Guy-1, Local cops-0

Scenario time.
Let's say you operate a small, customer service related business. Your employees are mostly young, early twenties types you have to surgically remove their phones from heir hands. Good kids, albeit a little immature, that work hard most of the time.  

You receive a phone call from one of your stores. Your manager says the cops came by looking for another employee that we'll lovingly refer to as Skip.

Now, Skip is no stranger to the police. He is older than the others and has a history. But you like Skip. You met him at a friends house one night over some hard liquor and guns. When he needed a job for some cash, you were happy to oblige.

Unfortunately for Skip, his taste in women is suspect at best. Skips current girlfriend is one dangerously intelligent woman. She is working towards her doctorate and good looking to boot. You have to ask yourself why she's with Skip.

Because she's bat shit crazy.

Skip came to you a few weeks prior and told you about some domestic issues he had going on. You give him some friendly advise but you tell him his personal life cannot come to work. If the cops show up, you're going to have to let him go. 

Back to the phone call.
Your manager tells you the cops arrived and walked into the front office. The office is packed with customers. Instead of discretely asking to speak to a manger outside earshot of paying clients, they proceed to yell from the back of the store. They demanded to know if Skip was there. When told Skip wasn't scheduled that day they began to give them the fifth degree, insinuating they were being lied to.

This sideshow occurs in front of your mortified clients.

The fuzz finally leave. You tell your manager if they show up again to inform them that Skip is no longer employed with the company. You also tell them to get the officers name, badge number and contact information.

The cops show up for the next two days. Same shitty attitudes, same modus operandi. Only now they refuse to give their information. They don't realize that the entire store is wired with audio and video surveillance equipment.

What would you do? How would you handle this situation? You have officers coming to your business harassing your employees and upsetting your customers. They've been told Skip no longer works there and yet they still come. And now they're refusing to identify themselves.

Do you make a complaint that most likely will go no further than the supervisors trash can? Give them reason to target your business? Will they park a patrol car in front of your store just to intimidate you and scare you business away?

Only if they think you're ill informed.

If you know how they operate, you can pick them apart.

I'll tell you what ol' Guy did. 

On day one, after receiving the phone call, I sent a termination email to Skip. His phone was turned off. Skip knew this was coming, so it came as no surprise. He acknowledged the email. Skip had already skipped town. Run Skip, run. Only thing to do now is see if they take the bait.

Day two, they couldn't resist the bait. I recognized the personality I was dealing with from the officers action in the first encounter. He has already shown he has no respect for these kids or the business. I knew that there was a good chance he would refuse to give his information. This is the cop ego. How dare some twenty year old nothing question his authority.

Day three was the icing on the cake. I already had them for the refusing to identify themselves on day two. Now they've shown up again after they were informed Skip no longer worked there. Now we're teetering on harassment.

Game. Set. Match.
I've got them by the short and curlys now. Time to meet the locals.

This is the letter I typed up to deliver to them.

To whom it may concern,

This letter serves as official notice that *redacted* is no longer employed by *redacted*. Mr. *redacted* was terminated on *redacted*, 2014 for failing to show up for his scheduled shift. He was notified by email and confirmed receipt of same.

We respectfully request that your officers immediately cease service attempts at *redacted*. The officers’ behavior has caused undue stress to our clientele and staff.

Our business is not a first party address on any criminal arrest warrant. We will not allow entry into our facility again on this matter unless the officer has a search warrant, with our business address specifically listed, in hand. If this is a civil matter, they have no legal grounds to enter the facility without consent.

As a company, we fully support the efforts of law enforcement in our community. Unfortunately, the unprofessional behavior of the officers that have come to our business has forced our hand to protect our interests.

Thank you for your understanding. Please let us know if we can help in any other way.

Respectfully submitted,

Any further incidents will be interpreted as violations of *redacted* penal code, Title * section * as well as Title 18, U.S.C. Sections 241 and 242 of the United States code.

I printed off a grip of these, each personally signed by myself and the CEO of the company. I knew it was going to take some detective work to run down which officer had been coming by. This is a huge city with multiple law enforcement agencies. If I got the run around too much, I was planning on handing them out like a Vegas escort pamphlet to every officer I saw outside the precinct. Eventually they would entertain me just to get rid of me or they would arrest me. Its a win either way.

So the search begins. The first two places and multiple people I spoke with on the phone were pretty much what I expected. I'd start out talking to a civilian employee, whose attitudes tend to be worse than most officers. They'd try to be hard asses but didn't know what to do when I refuted their scripted bullshit they use to deal with complaints. They'd threaten to get an officer, I'd recommend that they did.

"Sir, the law says..."
"Lady, I'm well aware of what the law says, why don't you get me somebody that knows what the hell they're talking about."

The officers I dealt with were decently pleasant. They would arrive with a chip on their shoulder but quickly changed their tune when we started talking. Plus I still pretty much look and talk like a cop. The wording you use is key to defuse them. I would simply say that I had a complaint that I would like to see rectified without having to go to internal affairs and make a formal complaint. Most cops will help if they think they are saving another cop from a formal complaint.

You might ask why I didn't file a formal complaint. For one, its a pain in the ass. But most importantly, I know how IA investigations work. This is a big department I'm dealing with. Unless we're talking felonious actions by the officers, its not going to get much traction. The best bet is to hope the officer has a solid supervisor, go directly to him and make it personal. A good sergeant can make a shitbird officers life a living hell on a daily basis, you just have to convince him. If this fails, plan B is a formal complaint. Trust me, if you can get a hold of a decent supervisor, he will do almost anything to keep you from going to IA. It not only looks bad on the officer, but the supervisor as well.

Third place was the charm. I found myself at the downtown holding facility with a stack of fuck you memos and copies of my training record, in case I needed to go there. This is where the officer was headquartered out of. I walked in the main doors and found myself at a empty screening station. The officer sitting at the intake desk beyond waved me through. Apparently they had been expecting me. I guess word spread about the crazy asshole terrorizing random precincts over case law and procedure violations for half the day.

They directed me to a phone and connected me to the sergeant in charge. This is my one complaint, he wouldn't speak to me in person. He said it was shift change and couldn't come to the front where I was. This is a believable possibility considering the time of day and the activity I saw in the parking lot when I was walking up. I didn't get too bent out of shape about it, even though I would have recommended a sit down and told him as much.

He quickly realized that I knew what I was talking about and was very polite. I explained my disgust regarding his officers actions and behavior. I didn't drop the cop card but he knew. I questioned their decision to yell across my store instead of asking for a manger, the standard operating procedure for warrant service at a business. I also questioned why they returned after they were informed Skip was fired. Then I kicked him in the balls over his officers refusal to identify themselves.

"Are these reckless officers purposely ignoring protocol or are they trained to violate the law?"

Interrogation techniques work wonders against cops. I knew his rebuttals before he said them. I've worked off the same playbook. He couldn't make a solid excuse without an immediate rebuttal. Once he was told the encounters had all been recorded, his demeanor changed. To his credit, when he realized my complaint was valid he was very receptive. He looked up the warrants while I was on the phone so he could search through the CAD system to find the officer who had been assigned the file. He said he had a pretty good idea who the officer was. By his tone, I don't think the officer he had in mind was a star student. He assured me he would handle the officer and that we wouldn't have any other interruptions to our business. He gave me his direct line and personal cell phone number in case I had any other problems.

Mission accomplished.
No more visits to the shop and the officer was put on notice.
The sergeant took the appropriate actions in my eyes.
This is a war of attrition, death by a thousand paper cuts.
It's very easy to make their lives difficult.
Use their policies and procedures against them.


  1. Great work! Just like puppies, sometimes you have to rub their noses in it and kick them in the ass.

  2. That's a lot of work to go to to get a cop a vacation, couldn't you have just blown him instead?

    1. If he'd been a civilian walking around a shop harassing people while clearly armed with multiple weapons, he'd be in prison at best.