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Police humor

By on January 31, 2018 in Columnist with 0 Comments

Keith Kellogg was forced to retire after suffering an injury while working.  Keith is now enjoying as much time outside as he can, and loves being with his two daughters, two grandbabies and three dogs.

By Keith Kellogg

I served the people of Wenatchee, and the Wenatchee Police Department for a little under 22 years.

Most officers who retire are ready to get away from the stress and negativity, and to move on to other endeavors, but not me.

I miss being a cop. I liked helping people, but I loved chasing bad guys.

I approached every shift like a junky looking for their next fix. I never grew tired of the hunt. Even with my passion I faced stress and negativity, and it took its toll on me, but overall I loved the job.

Many times over the years people asked me how I dealt with the stress and negativity. Depending on the time and circumstance my answers would vary, but one component remained the same. I tried to find humor where I could.

Here are a few examples of what made me laugh:

Some cops like pursuits (vehicle or foot) more than others. I understand. Pursuits are stressful and potentially dangerous. The goal of any pursuit is to catch and detain the suspect, without anyone getting hurt.

At the end of any foot pursuit you are tired, so generally you grab the bad guy as best you can, and help them to the ground, so they can be handcuffed and detained. This is seldom as fluid or as easy as you might see on TV.

Generally everyone goes to the ground in a heap, where a fight may or may not ensue.

Use-of-force laws dictate what can be done, and depending on the actions of the suspect an officer can use any number of different options. Some of those options hurt (i.e., impact, pepper spray, Taser, etc.) more than simply being handcuffed.

Many times a bad guy said to me after the incident, “That really hurt!”

Okay, clue #1 to the bad guy. If you don’t want to get hurt don’t run, and don’t fight.

Clue #2: This is not like playing tag. We don’t run up and just touch you while saying, “Tag, you’re it.” We don’t know if you’re armed or what your intent is.

Police will use whatever force is necessary to control the situation. It may hurt.

Several years ago a bad guy robbed a north end bank at knife point. I was the first officer to arrive. A citizen did a great job of keeping the suspect in view, and directed me to him.

I chased the suspect into Godfather’s Pizza, and into the men’s restroom. As I entered the bad guy was closing the stall door. The only other person in the restroom was a guy standing at the urinal emptying his bladder.

Not every day do you get to chase an armed bank robber so I was totally jacked up on adrenaline. I know for a fact I didn’t casually ask the gentleman at the urinal to finish his business, wash his hands, and to then leave the restroom.

I’m pretty sure my wording was a little more direct, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wet himself. I never did get a chance to apologize to that gentleman, but I suspect he understood why I wanted him to exit the restroom.

Things got pretty intense from there, and I eventually got the suspect to open the stall door. I clearly remember him asking me, “Why are you pointing a gun at me?”

Lesson for the day: Don’t rob a bank and expect a ride in the back of a convertible in the Apple Blossom parade. That guy almost died when he decided to get off the floor and come at me. Thankfully another officer arrived a split second before that happened.

I may laugh now, but I was not then.

Many years ago at about 2:30 in the morning a call came out of a fight in progress outside of a south end bar. Dispatch informed officers that the call had originated inside of the closed bar.

We checked the area, and no one was found. We then looked through the windows, but no one was seen. We checked all the doors, and they were all locked. I knocked on the rear door, and a voice inside responded, “Hello.”

At our request the person opened the door. Some questioning showed that the subject had removed a wall panel earlier in the evening, crawled inside the open space, pulled the panel back in place, took a nap, and then after the business had closed he had let himself out.

As the subject was helping himself to a few beers, and some snacks, he had noticed a fight on the street. Being the responsible citizen that he was, he called 911 from the business line to inform dispatch about the fight.

He went to jail, and a lot of people laughed at that one.

I spent an interesting few years working for the Columbia River Drug Task Force. I saw a world that still makes my skin crawl.

A big part of that job is to develop, and work with confidential informants. The informants do controlled drug buys or provide information.

Prior to a controlled buy you meet with the informant, talk to them, and search their possessions, vehicle and person for contraband. During a female-to-female search it was determined that the informant had an eight ball (eighth ounce) of meth in her brassiere. Oops! No one said that criminals were smart.

On a frequent basis officers hear suspects state, “These are not my pants,” when you start a search after an arrest.

On one occasion I felt a syringe as I did a pat down prior to a search. I queried the suspect, “Okay the pants aren’t yours, but what about the syringe?”

The suspect replied, “Yeah, that’s mine.” An admission on the baggie of meth in his pants pocket was pretty easy from there. It’s seldom that easy.

I miss being a cop, and though I don’t miss the negativity or the stress I do miss the laughs.

Next time you see a cop, be sure and tell them thank you. It is not an easy job, and we do appreciate the recognition.

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