Well there is no big earth shattering news today, so I thought I'd tell you a war story.
Over the course of my 25 year law enforcement career, I had the good fortune to see some interesting and bizarre things. I also had the opportunity to see some really funny things. Some of the funniest shit- just happened to be things that I watched cops do. Sober, excuse free, cops. This story is one of the finest. You will never see this story on an episode of "Cops." There is simply no way that this story can remain untold. It will take a little character development, so please bear with me. I am going to use fictional names to protect the guilty.
A little over 20 years ago, I was patrolling a small town in Idaho. A much larger city that wasn't too far away was experiencing a big manpower shortage. I went to work for that city as a part time police officer, working a couple of extra shifts a week. It was during that time, in the early 90's, that I met the hero of this story. He was a Corporal by the name of "Rock" Jackson. Rock was a Vietnam veteran, an old time cop with over 20 years on the department. He was a gun nut and the department's range master. He was born and raised in Idaho. We liked each other right away.
Rock was a rural redneck, a real "ridin' fence" kind of cowboy. He talked slow and was never in a hurry to do much. He always invited me out for "pie" when we were working. At a place called "Sodbusters" no less. As much as I liked Rock, I gotta say- he wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. But he was a good guy, not a hard ass, and the kind of guy that tried his very best to be a good cop. He had a big heart and he did what he was told. He was well liked by virtually everyone.
Rock was one of those rare guys who never used drugs-ever. Not even in 'nam. Like I said, he was a redneck. He wouldn't have known what an ounce of pot looked like unless the bag was labeled "marijuana." Dope just wasn't his thing. But that didn't slow him down any.
In the late 70's, Rock decided he wanted to go to work on the local drug task force and in order to do so, he had to attend training which taught participating cops how to put together drug deals, surveillance, drug identification, that sort of thing. Participating officers would still be required to patrol in uniform but be called on from time to time to help with drug enforcement. Rock was very excited about working with the drug task force.
A few weeks after taking drug training, Rock was on patrol and driving down an alley. As he came down this particular alley, he spotted an incredibly tall marijuana plant growing in the back yard of a residence- not far from the police station. He radioed to dispatch that he would be out of the car on a marijuana grow. He knocked on the door of the home, got no answer, and left a note and a business card. Rock then returned to the back yard and snapped a photo of the large marijuana plant. Rock then uprooted the plant and dragged it to his patrol car. The plant was so tall that it would not fit in his trunk. Rock slid the 16 foot long marijuana plant under his light bar. It stretched from the hood all the way back to the car's trunk. Rock then got in his car and radioed dispatch that he was clear. He also stated that he was en route back to the station and he asked dispatch to contact the head of the drug task force, a man I will call Bobby. Bobby agreed to meet him back at the station.
Upon arrival at the station, Rock grabbed the marijuana plant and dragged it into the station's back hallway. There he was greeted by several cops, mostly drug task force members. After dragging the plant into the building, Rock looked at Bobby and said, "Isn't that the biggest pot plant you have ever seen?" Bobby and the rest of the cops were speechless as they gazed at the plant. You could hear a pin drop. Finally, Bobby leaned over the plant and said out loud, "That is the biggest fucking elmujuana plant I have ever seen, Rock!" Bobby broke out in hysterical and uncontrollable laughter. The rest of the cops were laughing so hard that they were crying. Rock had uprooted somebody's young elm tree and seized it. The worst part is that he had left his name and phone number at the house.
When they told me this story I laughed so hard I nearly pissed my pants. I forgot to ask the guys what the supervisor told the people when they called and asked about their missing tree. I can't imagine how they explained that.
Nobody told that story outside of the police department. I think it was just so embarrassing that even the cops felt sorry for Rock. He really was a good guy. I haven't seen Rock for 15 years. As I was writing this story- I started laughing- like this had happened last week. Every once in awhile, stories like this one bring a smile to my face. That's when I realize I really do miss law enforcement and all of the interesting and zany things that people do. On both sides of the law.