By Trey Rusk
My first patrol car was a 1975 Ford LTD. It was equipped with a waffle cage mounted behind the front seat. It was called the waffle because some prisoners would hit it with their faces on purpose or as a result of a sudden stop. Thus the waffle marks.
Most patrol officers carry a patrol case. The case contains things that may be needed during the shift that the local agency didn't provide.
Spitters often went to the ER for stitches.
Occasionally, I would have to transport some belligerent asshole who would attempt to spit on officers. I kept a mesh bag with a draw string that would cover the head of a spitter. It always worked well but I still had to listen to them. Sometimes a stray dog would run out in front of the patrol car and I would have to slam on my brakes. The rest of the ride was usually as peaceful as a Sunday drive.
Nobody likes to smell shit.
More than once as a rookie I would be called to transport a Shitter. This was someone who had crapped himself before or during an arrest. As a general rule, Shitters wouldn't be arrested unless it was for a higher level of offense or they were Poppers. POP is the acronym for Pissing of the Police. I kept large black trash bags in in my patrol case. I would place it on the ground and have a Shitter step into the bag then pull it up and tie a knot. Sometimes a Shitter would be combative and resist the bag, so I also carried Vicks in my patrol bag and dabbed it under my nose. Once booked and placed in a cell a Shitter would be stripped down naked and hosed off until all the fecal matter went down the cell drain. Then a clean jump suit and blanket would be given to them. Not only was it humiliating but it was cold. That's why most city jails are called coolers. They are kept cold to hold down the smells and keep the inmates wrapped in their blankets to stay warm. Cold cells equal less trouble.
Critters come in all sizes.
Cattle is king in Texas. When cattle escape the pastures the cops are called. I have wrangled many a steer to keep them from being hit by traffic. There is nothing more invisible in Texas than a black cow standing in the road on a moonless night.
Surprisingly, when a cow is hit by a car and crippled the arriving officer usually has to shoot the bovine. I have never had anyone claim a cow that was hit by a car. The pasture owner risked too much liability and so 1000 pounds of meat lay in the road. I have seen people seriously injured or killed because cattle were standing in a roadway.
Dead cows aren't wasted.
I would call the local boys home and no matter what time it was a flat bed truck with a winch would arrive to cart the cow off for meat and leather. They would also come out for deer. Some of the boys trained as meat cutters and later became butchers. It was a good system.
I miss the simpler times.
That's the way I see it.