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Author Topic: Man in Blue.  (Read 4105 times)

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Offline PocketWatchTopic starter

Man in Blue.
« on: December 28, 2015, 10:38:57 AM »
This will be a blog about my occupation which is Police Officer. I will namely be focusing on the fun bits because that's the stuff I want to remember and share.

I live in Belgium so many things might seem foreign or unusual on how they are dealt with, but that is how we roll!

Hopefully this will give you a different perspective and just... makes you laugh  ;)


Side note; I apologize if my English isn't all that amazing in these posts. Usually I write them up right after they happened to try and not lose too many details, but that may show in the lack of proper grammar, punctuation marks, ... Sorry guys! Bear with me.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2016, 08:28:24 AM by PocketWatch »

Offline PocketWatchTopic starter

Re: Man in Blue.
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2015, 06:17:39 AM »
All right, so let's start with yesterday!

According to the night shift they had 4 calls about house burglaries, the morning shift also had 4 and we, as the late shift, had 3.
We started with a call about graffiti on a house's door and went on to the burglaries right after. The first two were pretty normal but then we got to the third house...

This old lady from around 87 years was already talking to one of our detectives about how it might have happened. You know old ladies. They usually live alone and have nobody to talk to. The detective, in this case, was the head of detectives and weighs around 250 pounds and has a mustache like a walrus. I swear, it's like he's meant to play a lead role in a crime soap, he just fits the bill.

Det. Walrus is a nice guy, knows everything about anything but also feels the need to joke around with both the citizens and our department's rookies. So while he was listening to the lady's story he was constantly glancing at me and making faces and answering very loudly. So me and my partner took over since there wasn't anything the detectives could do to help the investigation, and for the third time heard the story about how her deceased husband had placed the grating in front of the cellar's opening and that they used to go to to markets and find treasures....
We were taking her statement when the story passed her lips a fourth time so me and my partner both cut her off at the same time asking "YES BUT WHEN DID YOU SEE THE GRATING HAD BEEN MOVED?". She kind of zoned out at that moment and still didn't give us a clear answer so we just tried ending it as quickly as possible so we could get out of there.

Before we left she asked us if we could help her put the grating back. Nice as we are, we helped. She went back to the cellar and we handed it to her from the outside. Two policemen holding a grating, sitting on their heels, glancing at one another when she talked about her husband again and waiting for her to move all the stuff in the cellar.

"Just a second, haha, I'm not as fast as I used to be."
"Don't worry about it ma'am, take your time" *makes circle with hands signaling to finish this in the next minute and run*

She was a nice old lady, but we don't think anything actually happened. She also called the precinct after. Sadly we were back when she did so I got to listen to her story one last time on the phone before we got a call for an alarm and I got to cut her off one more time. (lots of fake phone throwing/smashing inserted here and coworkers laughing at my misery)

Sometimes it does feel like I'm doing more social work than anything else lol.



*Also, around nine pm we caught a couple doing... stuff in their car. We shone our spotlight at them and asked for their ID and told them off. When we got back to our car we lol'ed because we couldn't care less and it's funny to just embarrass them.
** The old lady was playing a card game on her kitchen table. Something like Solitaire but my partner swears if it was that she was playing it all wrong. Throughout our shift I heard him mention it a few times, going "Maybe it was this game... But then she's not playing that one right either." I threw a few possible games at him but the discussion kept going on "None of the cards were layered numerical, nor followed up with the same color... it just doesn't make sense!"
I think when I see him again tonight he might still be wondering about it. (The big investigations in an officer's life, whoop)


I have to work tonight as well, so either we get no calls or we get calls all through the night. Either way, we're getting gourmet from work and I pray we, at least, get to eat some of it before it gets too crazy. Wish me luck!
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 03:25:48 PM by PocketWatch »

Offline PocketWatchTopic starter

Re: Man in Blue.
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2016, 09:52:09 AM »
Luck was on my side yesterday. Not that anything happened, which is exactly the point; nothing special happened so I had a rather enjoyable New Year's Eve at work.

We started around 7 pm, taking over from the afternoon shift (who got to go home 3 hours earlier because it was a holiday) and immediately our dispatch informs us of 4 interventions on hold. Since the afternoon team was just sitting around talking in the kitchen that was pretty annoying because the calls had been on hold for 25 minutes already. But it was probably a miscommunication on both sides. Whatever the case, we were with 2 teams for the night shift so we divided the interventions to get back as fast as possible and start eating.

We ate around 8 and had no calls all through the dinner. *thumbs up*

The little interventions we had throughout the night were; noise complaints, runaway dogs (because of the loud fireworks), drunk kids knocking on neighbours' doors aaaannnd.... That's about it.

I was finishing some reports about 3 minutes before midnight before we all went outside and watch the fireworks. It was pretty cool because a little after midnight every precinct that has the same dispatcher, took turns to wish everybody a 'great new year' over the radio.



Hopefully, everybody had a good time too! Whether you were at work, home or with friends/family! Happy New Year people!
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 03:24:49 PM by PocketWatch »

Offline PocketWatchTopic starter

Re: Man in Blue.
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2016, 03:29:48 PM »
Nothing special happened the last few shifts but there was this one intervention I'd like to talk about.

I had a night shift yesterday and before 2:30 AM nothing really happened. Just some noise complaints by somebody's neighbour up until we got a call about a car crash.

We were working in two teams (4 people) and we all go to the accident. We get there and see and AUDI A3 completely crashed into a tree that stood in the middle of a small neighbourhood. We see two guys and one girl standing next to the car, unharmed. I ask if anybody needs an ambulance but nobody does so I get the alcohol tester out of the trunk of our car and set up the machine. It was freezing cold and those machines are like dinosaurs, so it takes a LONG time for it to warm up in such weather. Let's say it takes around 5 minutes (which is a long time when you're a cop) for it to finally start. I go over to the driver and tell him how to blow, how long, etc..

At this point it's starting to dawn on us he really doesn't want to cooperate because he blows like one would breathe. I tell him multiple times (AND SHOW HIM) how hard to blow and only when he blows hard enough will the machine start beeping; an indication that it is registering the air.
The guy blows like a fucking pansy*and all four of us are getting really agitated.

After the fifth time, he finally manages to get the beep tone and blows successfully. Result: P for positive.

Now he turns to me and asks for the 15 minutes you are allowed to wait BEFORE DOING THE TEST. I tell him the test is already done and that he should ask for 15 minutes before the beginning of the test. He and the other guy go into a rant on how we're supposed to let them know it's before the first time you do the test. We all tell them that we're not obligated by law to inform him of the 15 minute waiting time and that it is up to the person involved to ask for it before the testing.

Then they switch their story that he had asked but apparently I had ignored his request. Bullshit. What would I gain from not allowing anybody his 15 minutes? Absolutely nada.

So, after a big old discussion from their side we manage to get the guy into our car to take him to our precinct to do the follow-up test and see the actual amount of how much he had to drink.

Big whoppin' surprise, the dude blew 0.79. If I tell you that the maximum you are allowed to get is 0.21 percent then you know how plastered he must have been.

From the time we did the first test to the time we did the second there were approximately 40 minutes in between. Now, ladies and gentlemen, if you STILL get 0.79 percent after 40 minutes, trust me. You drank a little more than one gin tonic, okay? And no amount of waiting time would have gotten you anywhere near the allowed 0.25 percent.



Dude was around 23 years old and he had called his dad to come pick him up. Dad comes and he's looking like a goddamned saint. Honestly, he looked so heartbroken and unsure of what to do. I think the car was leased so guess who's going be paying for the damage? Daddy of course. Crashing an AUDI A3... I DON'T even want to THINK about how much it's going to cost, let alone the fine the son will be getting for the DUI.

Oh, and before anybody is starting to feel sorry for the kid; he supposedly had another car crash two weeks ago. His drivers licence was given to the court because he wasn't allowed to drive for those two weeks MEANING, aside from that motherload of a DUI he was driving without a license.



I don't get a kick out of the amount of money he'll have to pay (because face it, I'm sure he'll be paying zero and it'll all be for his dad to figure out) but it does soften the burn that the judge he'll face this time won't be as forgiving as the last. Hopefully.

If there's one thing that pisses me off more than anything in this job is drunk drivers that do not seem to realize the severity of what they were doing/did.



This time, it's a tree. Next time it's somebody's kid. Last time I checked, they are pretty fragile.




*'xcuse my french
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 03:23:12 PM by PocketWatch »

Offline PocketWatchTopic starter

Re: Man in Blue.
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2016, 09:06:51 AM »
One day you're sitting with your colleagues in the intervention room (where the computers are set up to write up reports) and for the whole of the 8-hour shift the sole subject is; sex.

You joke around, telling dirty jokes and the level of everyone's intellect is stuck at around -5 on a scale of decency in the workforce.

Even one of the head inspectors goes as far as to reminisce about his youth when he was a playboy that had multiple girls to 'get it on' with.



The next day you're sitting in the same room, with almost exactly the same people and for the next 4 hours the subjects are; education, intricate business propositions, etc...

To quote one of my most intelligent coworkers; "A company is filled with sharks. There's a need to streamline ideas and handle it like an organic product for the better of the global market image."

There was also talk about how to improve the current school system and one subject went as far as how companies already have a cure for a certain skin disease but they abuse the buyer with their sleazy sales pitch.


What I'm trying to say is; I love my job, and we men and women in blue are but mere humans too.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 03:26:19 PM by PocketWatch »

Offline Lucian

Re: Man in Blue.
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2016, 01:31:58 AM »
Just wanted to say I'm enjoying reading these, and they give a certain insight to what you have to go through in your job. Keep up the good work man.

Offline PocketWatchTopic starter

Re: Man in Blue.
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2016, 06:55:25 AM »
Thanks Lucian! It's great to hear somebody's finding all of these ramblings interesting haha!

Offline PocketWatchTopic starter

Re: Man in Blue.
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2016, 08:11:30 AM »
Just did two night shifts in 2 days so feeling pretty tired + headaches.

Did one Friday (start at 9 PM - 7 AM) and one Saturday (7 PM - 7 AM). You got to get lucky with whom you work with during night shifts. I have 2 colleagues that are in my team permanently but occasionally somebody needs a different shift or they need a day off (for personal life reasons) so they switch with somebody from another team, meaning you end up working with that person they switched with. There are a lot of new people fresh from school that joined our precinct / intervention team so it's all about figuring out how to work with one another without completely wanting to bash each others faces in. I'm kidding, I don't have that feeling with anybody. Well. Maybe on person. .. He's only been with us for 3 months and he walks around like he's been a cop for 25 years and as if he owns the place.

Heads up to rookies; as long as you're not getting used (i.e., constantly having to write the reports and the seasoned cop is doing nothing to help you) please respect the work ethics of your colleagues that have been working longer than you.


I got crazy blessed with my team. I used to work as a prison guard 4 years ago and there's one guy who I, to this day still, consider one of my closest friends. I'm very logical and realistic when it comes to friendships at work. To get me to trust you there's a mountain that needs to be moved. So to end up with a good friend after working in prison I figured it was a once in a lifetime thing. But the guys I work with now I feel it's the same thing all over again. Don't know how I deserved to get that lucky with colleagues but I ain't mad!



Anyway, onto the interventions;

First night shift we literally had one intervention and our dispatcher gave it to the first team so me and my teammate had to do nothing LOL.

Yesterday we started off with a 'possible suicide attempt' concerning a woman who texted her soon-to-be ex-husband to 'Tell their daughter that she was sorry and that she couldn't go on like this anymore'.

First team goes with the head inspector to the husband to get his statement, and me and my partner for that night patrol the streets to try and find her. Eventually, the mother of the guy managed to call the woman and asked her to come back to the house. When she got back her explanation was that 'she just needed to go outside for a walk and have some time to herself' and that she 'didn't mean that text in the way he interpreted it'. ... Really, though?

We inform her of the possibilities to talk to psychologists at our precinct and if there is anything that she needs, we are there for her. Poor guy was crying and stressing out so badly. I hope they figure everything out because that's a shitty thing to go through, thinking the mother of your child wants to kill herself.



Second thing we got, besides the usual, was a house burglary. We get there and are greeted by 5 members of the family. 3 adults and 2 children under the age of five. I understand it is rather traumatic seeing your house broken into and your rooms searched by strangers, but the mother was all over the place. So were the other two adults. They were raising their voices, telling the kids to 'go to bed, go watch TV, stay with us'. I mean. The kids were crying and shouting and having all kinds of impressions telling them they should be scared.

We take pictures, bag up boxes that could possibly have fingerprints belonging to the thieves (9 out of 10 they wear gloves) and sit down at the kitchen table to write up a statement for our report. Five minutes into it there are 3 more men who walk into the house (more family members, I assume) and they start roaring up the stress level again AND freaking out the kids just a tad bit more, just in case they weren't agitated enough already.

We work for 3 towns where the primary languages are divided into around 20 percent Flemish and 80 percent French. My French is okay-ish enough to be able to do my work but when you have 8 people freaking out at you in a language you're not THAT fluent in... You got the explanation for my headache.

Also, imagine trying to write down what happened in a second-language and having 13 people talk over each other. (you guessed it, after ten minutes 5 more family members burst into the door to give their piece of mind) Let me tell you, it ain't easy.

I don't want to imagine how they would act if anything worse would happen to this family. Not that a burglary isn't bad, but it's not like your spouse is going around texting you that they want to end their life if you catch my drift?

The man of our first intervention held himself up more than all 13 people of our second one did. But we try and accommodate each and every person as well as possible and keep repeating in our heads that not everybody is the same. Again, go figure my headache.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 03:27:50 PM by PocketWatch »

Offline PocketWatchTopic starter

Re: Man in Blue.
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2016, 08:23:11 AM »
I'm going to use this specific box to put all my more enjoyable interventions / anecdotes in.

17/01/2016

I remembered this anecdote yesterday because it happened with the partner I was working with last night.

It was around the end of summer (the weather was still pretty nice and warm) and we were patrolling the streets, just chilling. One guy called in sick so we had to sit with 3 people in one car. I opted to sit in the back because I was feeling exceptionally lazy; I didn't feel like driving nor like working the radio.
We drive around one of the churches in one of our towns and the radio was blasting some sappy love song. We pass a young couple sitting on the grass on a blanket and the driver (guy from yesterday) puts the car in reverse to drive back to the couple. The guy next to him turns on the 'megaphone' in our car and holds it close to the radio, filling the whole street with the sappy love song.

If that wasn't hilarious enough (I was practically dying from laughter) the driver opened his window, pointed at the couple and shouted in his worst English "ESPECIALLY FOR YOU, EH".

I'm sure the couple will tell this story to people they know and get some weird looks because it sounds pretty impossible. But, it happened and sometimes we cops aren't around just to taunt you. We can be pretty romantic too.

06/02/2016

I remember one time we, a teammate and a guy that just graduated from the academy, worked the night shift and stood before a red light at around 3:45 AM.
We were talking when suddenly we hear a noise to the left of us and all three of us look and see a car. A car that crashed into somebody's front fence. And the driver is bleeding and crawling out of the window. ... It was like we reacted in slow motion. Like all three of us took 2 minutes to actually register what we were seeing before we jumped into action. Turn on the blue lights, inform our dispatcher and help the guy out.

Long story short we finish the report but still need to get the alcohol test from the driver. We go to the hospital and request for a blood test. (this is the time we waited 2 hours for it) The kid was about 19, I think? And when my teammate (he's been a cop for about 6 years now) starts asking him about how much he had to drink that's when my capacity to hold in my laughter gets tested.

The kid was hooked up to the heart monitor. My teammate tells him (very gently and casually, I promise you) that the amount of alcohol he told us he had to drink just didn't match up with the alcohol test.

The heart monitor starts beeping non-stop and the kid is crawling through every possible door to assure us he had no more than 1 big glass. BEEPBEEPBEEP

Man, I wish we had heart monitors available during every interrogation.

09/04/2016

When you're 6 feet something, and your female colleague is 5 feet 4 and you both need to climb over a fence; I simply step over it and she waves her hands at me to help her-> I pick her up and put her down on the other side.

We were both smirking the whole day just thinking about what kind of image that would have been to an onlooker.

01/05/2016

During my team's night shift we got dispatched for a house that presumably was on fire. Usually, for anything related to fire, all teams working get dispatched to it. So all 4 of us rush to the house and walk the small, narrow driveway that leads up to it. It was already pretty dark and since we weren't really smelling anything out of the ordinary we weren't really taking it seriously (I know, bad cops). We were laughing and holding our flashlights up to our faces like you do when telling a ghost story. Sorry to burst anyone's bubble on how cool cops must be- we're definitely not.
Finally, we reach the house, and there's this sort of lamp inside that makes it look like flames. We ring the doorbell and a bunch of people answer the door in surprise. We explain that we got a concerned call from one of their neighbours and they apologize; it was the owner's birthday party and the theme was, you guessed it, fire.

Everything is fine so we say goodnight and are about to leave when the partygirl (40ish year old woman) pulls each one of us in for a kiss on the cheek. Because it IS her birthday after all and we can't possibly leave before we congratulate her; this delighting many of her onlooking guests.

One of my more pleasant interventions, I must say LOL
« Last Edit: May 05, 2016, 02:19:15 PM by PocketWatch »

Offline PocketWatchTopic starter

Re: Man in Blue.
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2016, 03:53:27 PM »
Been a while since I wrote something here. I guess it's a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. Sure I chose this line of work because I understand (though, I doubt any of us in blue ever truly do unless something really bad happens) the dangers that come with it, but if I can be honest? I'd rather nothing happen at all as opposed to days filled with fighting for my life, ya know?

But I need to admit the days when absolutely nothing happens are amazingly boring and hard. Those 12-hour shifts where you are doing the intervention shift and you already finished up every report you had are the worst man. There are only so many times you can patrol the same damned streets for hours on end before you start thinking that trying to chew through your wrist might not seem so bad 'cause hey, at least you're doing something. And when you do fight off the urge to mutilate yourself and try and do whatever on the computer for a while, there is only so many times you can handle people that are not doing intervention stare at you as they pass while they're thinking 'Shouldn't you be outside patrolling?' before you want to gnaw their wrist off.


To be honest, though, a few weeks ago I had the best intervention since becoming a cop. (Side note; I had already worked 42 hours in 4 days so I was pretty exhausted.)

I worked that day with a colleague I don't really have that good of a connection with. We talk and we joke around but more times than not she reverts any conversation to her 3-year-old son and well, I'm just not a kid person.

That aside, the day started off with another burglary in a house. We do what needs to be done; interrogate the victims, take pictures, yadda yadda- and we find footprints in the snow. Mind you it was fucking freezing and when you're practically going on 5 hours of sleep the capacity to imagine yourself sitting on a beach in the Bahamas to feel a little warmer just doesn't work. The footprints lead to the railroad on the side of the house, 5 meters below. So me and my partner get the great idea to follow the footprints all the way down to wherever they might lead.
We both get scratched up by the sharp plants and our fingers are getting frost bitten even with our intervention gloves on, but, all in all, it was really fun. (I can say that now, in that moment it wasn't LOL)

We get back to the precinct and start the report, eat a little snack, ... And then we get a call about another burglary, one where the thieves have been caught red-handed by the owners of the house. This house wasn't located in one of our towns but in a neighboring town so the dispatch called us to go there for backup.

We get to the train station where they were last seen and we continue our search on foot. After a while, we find footprints next to the tracks (hm, sounds familiar?) and we start following them together with a 50-year-old guy that works for traffic in our precinct. We've already been running since we got out of the car when suddenly a train that passes us STOPS and HONKS* in the middle of its journey. Because of that, we just KNOW the machinist has seen our suspects. My partner starts yelling and picking up the pace again (damn this girl can fucking RUN) and we cross the tracks because the footprints ended on our side. We see them again on the other side so we run, run, run, run on and on FOREVER.

During all of this, there are 7 teams (who are helping with this intervention too) trying to come through to the dispatch at the same time we are. One of the teams asks the dispatcher to call RAGO (air support) and after a lot of discussions ** they eventually hit RAGO up and they come out to help us with the search.


All in all, we were on foot for a good 2 hours running and searching, but we never found the suspects LOL.
I know it must seem like a big disappointment and waste of manpower, but for us, for each cop involved, it was so COOL.  We don't ever do any foot-patrols, and the chances of actually catching thieves red-handed are very slim so to be able to have both those things combined in one intervention is just... It was awesome and I had a fucking blast.


Once the search got called off me and my partner went back to our precinct (I devoured my food because I hadn't eaten since 11 am) and we had a great conversation about the intervention with every colleague from our precinct that helped out.

Happy to say, that intervention changed things between me and that colleague; it brought us just a little closer. Now, whenever we see each other at work there's this knowing smile we share about that crazy shift.




* Don't really know if a train actually honks, but you get the picture.

** As we are running and have the footprints as the only tangible lead we can go on, we hear the dispatcher ask things like; "is it opportune, have you seen the suspects, do we know where they are?" I suspect they need to ask these questions before asking RAGO to come because it's not cheap to use the helicopters, but we're wasting time by having this pointless discussion! Lie if you have to and get that helicopter here!





(I apologize if it's sometimes hard to read these stories. I've never been good at essays and I don't put as much effort into this as I would put into an RP. I still hope you enjoy them, though.  C:))
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 03:29:44 PM by PocketWatch »

Offline The Dark Raven

Re: Man in Blue.
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2016, 06:21:34 PM »
Thank you for your service and bravery.  I am still reading up on your blog, but I wanted to say that.

Offline PocketWatchTopic starter

Re: Man in Blue.
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2016, 09:04:07 AM »
Thank you Raven.

I always feel weird when people say that because I don't feel like the work I do isn't that heroic. But it sure is nice to hear that we're appreciated.

Offline PocketWatchTopic starter

Re: Man in Blue.
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2016, 09:05:17 AM »
25/01/2016
Proud to say me and one of my teammates caught somebody with the highest percentage of alcohol we both had ever encountered. Part of me is sad I'm boasting about something that includes people that are still driving despite being hardly able to walk without swaying towards to fucking floor, but still. I am proud because we caught him.

We were driving on the highway (the one we mostly use to get from one on of our towns to the other in high speed. Cuts our arrival time in about half) when there's this car passing us at around 165 km/h. (Highway speed limitations are 120 km/h in Belgium) The highway was pretty deserted since it was around 2 am in the morning, so it was rather hard to miss our striped car... Unless you are maybe too high or intoxicated to care and adjust your speed with the police right there next to you, of course.

We turn on our blue lights and our sirens and signal him to follow us. It's pretty easy. You just drive behind us at the speed we are driving and stop when we stop.
But oh no, no. Not for this guy. We're driving at a correct speed and he's a mile behind us now driving at 50km/h on the fucking highway! Me and my partner are stressing the fuck out because this guy is making the drive off the highway practically lethal!

FINALLY, after 20 agonizing minutes, dude finally understands what is expected of him and parks behind us when we find a parking lot.
First words we heard (and smell) out of him? Yeah, he's a goner.

I'm going to save you his rants and explanations that told us he has no realization of how dangerous he's being and just tell you his percentage; 1.03 mg/l AOL.
Remember I said in another post that the maximum percentage that Belgium allows is 0.21? Yeah.

Have a little chart;


Me and my partner always joke around, crossing our fingers and hoping for a max of 0.64 percent whenever we do a test.
At 0.65, we have to finish the report the same day we do the test, and if you're already halfway your night shift and are feeling pretty tired that's the last thing you want LOL.*

I'm just guessing this was a case of alcoholism. He probably drinks nonstop to get such a high percentage. And I would love to say that getting caught will stop him from drinking and driving, but I can't. I've only been working for 2 years (since finishing school) and the amount of people I caught driving without a license AND intoxicated just tells me it's an unrealistic wish.


*If it's just alcohol intoxication, it's not too bad. But when it's alcohol intoxication + car accident (including cars, people, houses or various permanent objects on the streets, ....) you know you're working god knows how much overtime before you finish everything.
I'll tell you what we need to do in such a situation;

- Take pictures + print
- Measure the accident (oh yeah, jot down those meters)
- Draw the plan (we have a program on the computer for this, but it's damned intricate. So if you can't use the computer you need to draw it. On paper. On scale. Without errors or you get to start over.)
- Take everybody's statement (when they're not TOO drunk or TOO injured. If they're injured and going to the hospital you need to get their statement another day.)
- Alcohol tests (If they're too injured and going to the hospital you need to go with them and ask a doctor to take a blood test because they not capable of blowing in the damned tubes. I had to do that once. Took us 2 hours waiting in the hospital because it was nighttime and the only available doctor was at a car accident...)
- Write the report. (Times, alcohol test results and the time you took them, describe the pictures, describe every detail of the accident, add the correct times of when you called a superior, the correct times when you arrested somebody, cuffed them, frisked them, etc... etc...)
- Send letters to every person involved. (Say there's a car that crashed into a tree. The tree probably belongs to the city. So you have to send a letter to the city to inform them. That's right. Inform them of the injuries of their tree.)
- If there's somebody that died you get to go tell the parents or partners. Preferably as soon as you're free to do so. (I have done this before. Not cool.)

If you're lucky you are working in two teams and have the time to actually do all that without getting dispatched to other interventions.
If you're unlucky, you're working the night shift and you're the only team working and there are 4 interventions waiting that might include family violence, other car accidents, ....



Next time you see cops working and you think they're being a little rude or not as considerate of your feelings, try thinking of what I told you. I know we chose this job but we ARE human and have limitations too. Thank you.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 03:30:56 PM by PocketWatch »

Offline The Dark Raven

Re: Man in Blue.
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2016, 09:20:15 AM »
Thank you Raven.

I always feel weird when people say that because I don't feel like the work I do isn't that heroic. But it sure is nice to hear that we're appreciated.

I have many friends in the local PD here.  They get shot at regularly.  I don't have the balls to do that, so that's always brave to me. :)

Offline PocketWatchTopic starter

Re: Man in Blue.
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2016, 09:35:59 AM »
Mad respect to them!

It's very rarely that cops get shot at in Belgium (knock on wood). That's what I mean when I tell people to consider the differences between the European police and the American police.

But I guess guns aren't the only things that kill people and cops do deal with a lot of other types of aggression. Thank you!

Offline Oniya

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Re: Man in Blue.
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2016, 11:09:11 AM »
We were driving on the highway (the one we mostly use to get from one on of our towns to the other in high speed. Cuts our arrival time in about half) when there's this car passing us at around 165 km/h. (Highway speed limitations are 120 km/h in Belgium) The highway was pretty deserted since it was around 2 am in the morning, so it was rather hard to miss our striped car... Unless you are maybe too high or intoxicated to care and adjust your speed with the police right there next to you, of course.

We turn on our blue lights and our sirens and signal him to follow us. It's pretty easy. You just drive behind us at the speed we are driving and stop when we stop.
But oh no, no. Not for this guy. We're driving at a correct speed and he's a mile behind us now driving at 50km/h on the fucking highway! Me and my partner are stressing the fuck out because this guy is making the drive off the highway practically lethal!

Just for the metric-impaired - speed limits there are 72 MPH.  Guy was pushing 100 MPH when he passed you, and then dropped to about 30 MPH when you put on your lights.  Generally, US cops will get behind you and signal you to pull over at the nearest safe location.  (Handy if they drop to grandma-speed, not so much if they decide to floor it.)

Offline PocketWatchTopic starter

Re: Man in Blue.
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2016, 01:39:12 PM »
Haha thanks for the help Oniya!

To be honest he was so far gone that it wouldn't have matter if we were in front or behind him lol.

And we didn't know he was plastered until he dropped to that speed and drove like a mad man. We were just going to pull him over for speeding.

Offline PocketWatchTopic starter

Re: Man in Blue.
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2016, 11:51:14 AM »
You know you're a (Belgian) cop when;

1. You find forgotten alcohol test tubes in the pockets of your uniform pants at the end of the day, or when you decide to wash them

2. You have guessing games with your colleagues for what to call day-to-day items. "What's that word for the green fence, wire thing with big holes in it?" *somebody suggests a word* "No, that's the fencing with the small holes."

3. You read a sentence out loud as you're writing up a report to get some help on how to best formulate what you're trying to say. *get five different opinions on how to say it best, eventually stick with how you wrote it in the first place*

4. Second-guess your writing skills in your mother language after spending the whole day talking in french and, surprisingly, a lone intervention in English.

5. Mess up all three languages and mix 'em all together.

6. Can't read your own handwriting (interrogations on the street) because you were either, a. suffering from frostbitten fingers, or b. you had to hurry, or c. you just couldn't be bothered

7. You're at a party and when the 'Sound of da police' comes on all your friends start pointing at you

8. You are a hoarder of blue pens. I myself have 2 hanging on my vest and 3 on my sweater. The possibility of lending one to somebody and never getting it back is 99%, so better be safe than sorry. Oh and we definitely steal pens from each other too.


To be continued...
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 03:31:47 PM by PocketWatch »

Offline PocketWatchTopic starter

Re: Man in Blue.
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2016, 12:26:13 AM »
My very motivated pep talk to my coworkers this morning;

"Listen up people, I'm going to say this only once and I expect you all to listen," *points at guy at the left* "you, no traffic accidents," *points at guy to the right* "you, no murders or deaths," *nods at guy across the table* "and you... Well. I'm willing to do some alcohol today, but only one."

(Some people always have the same interventions, like they attract it when they're working, that's why I address them with exact precision)

Guy from the left: And now we'll probably have a traffic accident with somebody dying.
Guy across the table: And the other driver is insanely intoxicated.
Me: No, no, no! The other driver will be taking flight so you can all forget about it!


Always fun times on a Saturday.



Edit
In the end, we got; 2 burglary alarms (both negative), beggars on a busy parking lot, some traffic violations, found a car that was reported stolen, 2 lost dogs running on the street (never found them) and shoplifters.
Though, we managed to make time to go ahead and continue a weekend shift-tradition my second teammate and I started 2 years ago;



Picture 4 cops leaning over a newspaper, trying feverishly to fill in the crossword puzzle. Oh yeah, we're badass.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2016, 12:28:40 PM by PocketWatch »

Offline PocketWatchTopic starter

Re: Man in Blue.
« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2016, 08:44:12 AM »
After months of looking forward to some time off, it's finally here! Going to be on a trip with friends aka NOT working.

On my last day, which was monday, one of the new guys asked me if I was going to miss is. and I replied with a confident 'Hell no, man.' The rookie looked slightly shocked at my reply, so I simply added 'Give it a few more months, and you'll understand why I'm saying this.'

To me, there is still nothing better out there than being a cop; the hours/days we spend in those striped cars, laughing and sometimes being pissed, writing up traffic tickets, taking alcohol tests, the lack of sleep and never ending reports to write up, kids that wave at you when you pass and adults that glare at you when you dare to slap their fingers for something they know is against the rules, the shared bond between every cop you meet, ...

But sometimes it can all get a little much and you need a break to prevent from making stupid, life-threatening mistakes. So, right now? I'm not going to miss working and will put it all behind me.





Edit: A few weeks after I was back to work the rookie came up to me and said 'If I would go on holiday now, I wouldn't miss it either' and I just laughed and patted his back.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2016, 05:14:58 AM by PocketWatch »

Offline PocketWatchTopic starter

Re: Man in Blue.
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2016, 06:42:25 AM »
When even as a cop you don't take any speculations of attacks on your country serious because it's something that's very far from daily life, but then get pushed with your face into reality and it's. Sickening. Disgusting. Inhumane.

I have tons of friends, my sister, who work in or near Brussels. Even me, I am 20 min from the center of it. So you watch fb carefully to see if they registeref as 'near Brussels, but safe'. And it's again, not something you ever, EVER thought you'd be doing.

Two of my friends were at the airport and merely a few feet away from one of the attacks. They saw smoke and heard the explosions.


I. I just don't know what to say.

Offline PocketWatchTopic starter

Re: Man in Blue.
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2016, 06:42:24 PM »
So except for A LOT (and I do fucking mean A LOT) of extra shifts that are primarily focused on the safety of Brussels, life as a cop in Belgium has pretty much been the same.

My team welcomed a new player and we all fit like a glove. Everything depends on the people you work with. Your mood, the amount of work you (want to) do, the way you do your work/address your clientele, ... Right now, it's the best team I've ever had.


About those extra shifts;

I did one last Sunday, which meant being put in a Van with 7 other cops, drive to Brussels and do some patrolling about. It was so hot out, but we weren't allowed to take off our HYCAP coats (dubble coated with fabric that can get you through fire unscathed for a few minutes). Something about our image and being dressed in unison.
We were walking around in groups of 4, sweating our asses off and walking around the same neighbourhood for 5 hours- lots of sarcastic 'hey, you're here too?' and 'haven't seen you in a while!' when you pass the other teams for the 15th time. 

All in all it wasn't too bad, and it was touching to see the flowers and the chalk writings on the stock market building in the Beursplein.







Going to be doing another next week in Zaventem. Waking up around 2.30 to be at work around 4 and at the airport around 5. Oh the joy.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2016, 11:55:49 AM by PocketWatch »

Offline PocketWatchTopic starter

Re: Man in Blue.
« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2016, 12:04:47 PM »
We're currently in the possibility of buying badges to stick onto our bullet-resistant vests (the correct name for bullet proof vests) and raise some money for the cop that got injured during the terrorist attacks.

Around 9 euro per badge goes to him and help out. I think they're goddamned spiffy and ordered them with one of my teammates.







*Interesting fact is that this was the exact same slogan my class came up with to put on our t-shirts during training. But the principal said it had too much of a negative feel. We used it anyway because we were pretty stubborn and we felt that it actually had a real positive, strong message.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2016, 04:09:30 AM by PocketWatch »

Offline PocketWatchTopic starter

Re: Man in Blue.
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2016, 10:04:40 AM »
The shift for Zaventem went ok. Pretty painful waking up at 2:30 in the morning though.

A full 10 hours standing upright and checking people's passports and boarding passes. It was like an assembly line towards the end. "Passport-ticket-okthx-passport-ticket-okthx". But we kept it enjoyable and filled with humor between all of us cops.

A few people thanked us for our service and wished us luck- one very old lady even pinched my cheek and told me I was doing a good job LOL



Can't wait for everything to go back to normal.

Offline PocketWatchTopic starter

Re: Man in Blue.
« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2016, 10:41:16 AM »
Surprise, surprise, the Head Inspector in charge of providing people for HYCAP shifts (Brussels, Airport, Music festivals, ...) put me on another list for the airport.
I stood outside for 12 hours, on and off switching between 2 teams of 3, and was dead.fucking.tired.

Aside from 7 cops, they added 4 soldiers (army). I assume the government is thinking that too many bodies just isn't enough.

I am taking this very serious, but they're seriously going overboard with this shit. Add the fact that the soldiers were doing 24-hour shifts (without ONE SINGLE break) and are at the site for a non-stop rotation of 4 weeks. One told us about his son going home for his break and it simply consisted of his clothes being washed, getting a good amount of sleep and visit his girlfriend for a few hours before getting back to the airport. And for what.

We're sitting ducks for any terrorist out there.




On a happier note, I did a late shift (my preferred shift) the other day and the Head Inspector for that day told me and my partner to log us in as Team 410. This is the team that is just there when things get really bad, or there are too many interventions for the first two teams to finish on their own. The reason was that he, and another Inspector were taking 3 interns (whom are going through training atm) with them so they could learn how to handle interventions, the radio, etc...
We were like 'fine by us, we are exhausted from the airport shift anyway'.

Let me tell you. It's been MONTHS since it's been such a busy day. I think they shared 15 interventions between both teams while we were just chilling, eating and patrolling about LOL
We were joking about the fact that 'hey, he told us to be team 410, so unless he explicitly asks us to help out we're just going to do whatever' 'he's probably kicking his head right now for picking this day to go outside with the interns'*...

But, around 5 pm there was a call for 'Violence between partners' so we offered to go as well. We arrived first which means one thing; first team on the scene writes up the report. I will add this meme which perfectly explains the feeling of arriving second for interventions:




We weren't too bothered, though. They already had 10 reports to write up that day so we so kindly did that last one.



One more night shift and I have time off until next weekend. I assume I don't need to say I didn't brag about this to the soldiers. Poor guys... mad respect goes out to them.





*This HI never goes outside unless there's an intervention that requires the assistance of an HI -> this is around 2% out of all interventions, so you can find him inside and relaxing for 98% of the time.