By Trey Rusk
Many years ago I worked vice related crimes in Harris County. The shift was from 7pm to 3am. The dress was slacks, sports coat and a tie. The only alternative to the dress code was undercover assignments.
You reported to the office at 6:45pm and attended a briefing. Complaint cards were handed out for various offenses and you hit the street with your partner.
I heard him before I saw him. He was loud and annoying. He didn't dress well and had a know it all attitude. I heard that he had been a discipline transfer to the Houston District. After the briefing, the Sergeant called me into his office. He suggested that the new guy should be partnered with me so I could show him the ropes. I immediately made my feelings known. My Sergeant was an understanding man but it wasn't a democracy in our office.
I exited the office and shook the clammy hand of my new partner. I showed him the complaints and we went to the parking garage where he insisted on driving. We all drove dark blue Dodges but his was special. The floorboard was filled with trash and the interior smelled of spoiled milk.
Once rolling he started sucking snot and chewing on it until he would finally spit it out the window. The war stories of heroic deeds spilled from him as he tried to impress me. He wanted me to know that he was important. The truth was, he was a moron and we both knew it.
One of the first rules of business with partners is to always let your partner know what you're doing and to remain in sight of each other.
Our first stop was a black club with an outstanding complaint for selling to drunks. I didn't find any drunks. The juke box was loud and I asked the bartender/owner to turn it down or I would unplug it. She turned it down, but not before I thought I heard my partner address a patron as "Midnight" while telling him to get out of his way. Things went downhill from there.
My new partner then left my sight and went into the kitchen area and began searching everything while telling the 88 year old woman owner to stay back while he did his job.
Our agency could search almost anywhere on a licensed premises. One of our functions was to look for contraband in the form of unauthorized liquor on the premises. The possession of liquor by the licensee would be contraband on a beer only permit. If you found a match box of weed in a drawer then the search would be found inadmissible because a 1/2 pint of illicit liquor would not fit in a match box.
BINGO! My new partner found what he believed to be cocaine in a one inch square plastic bag along with a small amount of weed. He was jumping with joy and grabbed the old woman and put her in handcuffs and told her she was going to the penitentiary. He felt like superman! I interviewed her and found that she had a heart problem. I told him to cut her loose and file the charges with the DA's office through intake. My partner balked at turning an 88 year old criminal loose because we might never find her. I explained that the only thing this woman had was a shotgun shack Juke Joint and Café in 5th Ward, Texas. She had lived here all her life. The dope case was weak because of the number people who had access to the kitchen. Then I told him not to list me as a complaining witness because I don't file chicken shit cases!
We were outnumbered 20 to 1 and the jail would not accept her with a bum ticker. I took the handcuffs off of her and told him to gather his evidence so we could leave.
Near the end of the shift, I showed him how to process the evidence and to place it in a locker.
The next morning I received a call from the Lieutenant who wanted to know why a paper sack with drugs was left on his desk with my name on it.
I ran the entire clusterfuck down to the LT and went back to sleep.
That night I stepped off the elevator into the bull pen and my new partner hollered, "There's the guy that's afraid to arrest an old lady!" I pushed him away from me and told him, "You listen to me you worm. You wouldn't make a pimple on an police officer's ass. There's not a person in this room that wants to work with you." The Sergeant stepped out of his office and looked around the room then walked back in his office.
That night I got my old partner back and I never saw that idiot again. I heard it was sort of a third strike for him. He was out!
Remember, Treat people the way you would want to be treated. This includes criminals and idiots.
That's the way I see it.