Tuesday, December 7, 2010
A Keystone Kop Kaper
The way our department worked required new hires to start on the purely security side of our responsibilities. Those who showed initiative, skill, interest, and aptitude were given further training and were assigned municipal law enforcement duties.
I had been on the law enforcement side for quite some time but was showing a new guy some of the areas that we patrolled and the "locks that needed shook" in the town section. We were sitting in front of the bank and I was explaining that we physically shook the doors of the bank to make sure they were actually secure when a "417" came across the radio, "a man with a gun." We were very close to the address so I radioed that we would respond, which made the new hire somewhat nervous. He is suppose to be patrolling the desert and shaking locks not racing to a scene where there is a man with a gun.
In almost choreographed fashion three units arrived at the address simultaneously We immediately positioned our cars in front of the house blocking the street in a wedge formation. We jumped out of our units, drew our weapons, and took position behind the sides of our cars with our guns trained on the front door of the house.
There we were in almost perfect form staked out in front of this location. The porch light was on, the newspaper was still lying on the door step, and the night was quiet. We were waiting on supervision to arrive on the scene and for further orders.
The RP, or reporting person, was an off-duty officer who had been flagged down by a civilian who had told him that a man with a shotgun had entered a residence. This off-duty officer who lived near the scene came around the corner and saw us set up in our defensive posture. He grabbed his head in unbelief and then hollered out to us, "You are on the wrong house. It is the one next door."
Well, we looked at each other for a moment. However, as if on some command or cue, we all jumped back into our units, backed away, and redeployed on the correct house. We repeated our earlier actions. We positioned our units in front of the house, jumped out of our cars, took cover behind the cars with guns pointed now at the right house.
We accessed the house and did a sweep of the inside. With the adrenalin pumping and my heart racing we searched every nook and cranny that we found. We did not find anyone inside. We didn't find evidence that a man with a gun had been there.
When we finally were able to go Code 4, everything OK and under control, we had the laugh of our lives. What must it have looked like to see three units arrive and deploy only to be told they are deployed on the wrong house? What must it have looked like to see a bunch of guys get back in their cars and move one door down and redeploy? What would have happened had someone walked out of the door of the first house we set up on? It was funny! We felt like true Keystone Kops on our own Kaper.
Posted by Gregg Metcalf at 3:00 AM