Officer Dummkopf #1: An Incorrect Exit Strategy

This is the first installment of a new series of posts that I want to write. After thinking about some of the wonderful police blogs that are available and the endless content of continuous heart-stopping action, I decided that describing some of my less than inspiring moments on the job might be a fun niche.

Though this is the first formal post about the misadventures of Officer Dummkopf, it probably should be numbered 1b-—as 1a is included in this post about how I inadvertently aided a car thief in his great escape.

“21” The police dispatcher’s soft drawl breaking the radio silence on what had been a quiet morning on the graveyard shift.
“21” Being the eager officer fresh from the academy, I immediately replied hoping to get a hot call.
“10-43 at Riverpoint Apartments, 221 Hastings Place, Apartment L-3. Talk to an officer about problems with a neighbor.”
“10-4” I replied frowning.
Well, that is about as far removed from a hot call as one can receive. Maybe the problem will be with the neighbor’s dog stealing laundry off a clothes line, I thought, and I can get into a foot pursuit or something—-I didn’t have time to workout before my shift anyway.

“21-97” I chirped over the air to let the dispatcher know that I was on scene of this critical police call; somewhat disappointed that none of my colleagues were interested in taking the loud music/barking dog/all of the above apartment dweller complaint call for me so I could go back to “real policing.”
At apartment L-3, the front door opened after one knock. Behind the partially opened door, I could see another smaller closed door (probably a closet). I was ushered by a friendly face away from the two doors and into the apartment’s living room where two older females stood.

The talker was a middle aged fellow who was translating for the women as they only spoke broken English. It seems that the older women needed the handicapped parking space adjacent to their building, but one of their young fully-fit neighbors evidently used the handicapped spot regularly when no other places nearby were open (more specifically if he had to walk more than 15 feet to his stairwell).

The offending neighbor’s car was not currently parked in the handicapped zone, and the folks just wanted some advice on how to prevent the situation from happening in the future.

After explaining the process that involved talking to their apartment manager and getting the handicapped parking spaces properly marked, they seemed content. I answered their couple of questions and handed the talker a complaint card with my name on it. I added that they were welcome to pass the information along to their building manager if he/she needed any further explanation.

I said my goodbyes to all, felt good that despite being a new officer my informational speech seemed confident and effortless. Yes, I thought to myself, I am getting the hang of this cop thing.

I turned, walked away from the living room and back toward the two doors.

I grasped the gold knob on the left, and in mid-pull realized what I had done. The smaller door swung open and I was staring directly at a closet stuffed full of women’s coats with a couple of handmade quilts on a top shelf above a clothing rack.

“And if you need anything else from me, I’ll be here in your closet,” I declared.
After my goof, we all had a nice laugh (as stupidity does cross language barriers). I exited apartment L-3, this time through the correct larger door, a few more shades of red than when I entered.

I was definitely glad that no other officer had dropped by to see how my big call was progressing.


Erin said...

lol. Noah once took a wrong turn into a parking lot instead of onto the nearby street while he was in training. His FTO told him to turn on his floodlight and pretend he was doing a safety check before moving on :)

Sandra G. said...

I can totally picture you doing an amr flourish as you made your 'parting; declaration...too funny

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt said...


That was great!!!!

Oz Girl said...

This is too funny! I will enjoy your future posts in this same vein. What a unique idea! :)

Slamdunk said...

Thanks all. Tell your husband I can relate Erin, I will have some wrong turn-like posts in this series as well.