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A Journey to the Center of the Mind, Book II The Police Officer Years

By

James R. Fitzgerald

(A few after-the-fall-of-the-Dark Side BPD interpersonal related anecdotes.

These will offer a further glimpse into the minds of at least SOME law enforcement-types,

especially those who had been screwed for two straight years at the BPD, and desired some

sense of, well, lets just call it sweet revenge.)

Bonus Chapter 57a

Before January of 86 was even half over, it was amazing to learn of the friends I never

knew I had at the BPD. Officers who barely talked to me over the last twenty-four months,

including a few fellow sergeants, now wanted to discuss life and all it entailed with me out on

the streets of Bensalem. When our shifts would occasionally cross at night, theyd call me on the

radio and ask me if I wanted them to pick up a hot beverage and have a meet with them. If

nothing else was going on Id usually be polite and agree to do so. Once at our meeting place,

wed start off by discussing the usual stuffsports, family, news, the world, and all that, but as I

always predicted to myself it would eventually come around to the Bensalem PD and the other

officers present role in it.

These guys, some of them actually one-time Zajac supporters, obviously knew I worked

well with Chief Viola. In light of that, they now wanted to get along with me, be my work

friend, maybe by extension be Violas work friend, or attempt to create some such quasi-

coalition. I took their hot chocolates from them, discussed the various and sundry topics theyd
bring up from one patrol car to another, and then eventually go my way. I suppose they were

hedging their bets for the day I may be their supervisor, or would possibly climb higher in the

BPD rank structure.

It would have meant a lot more for me if this half-dozen or so officers had brought me a

Slurpee or a cold soda while I was working in the trailer during the previous summers heat wave

or had come to my support by some other means during those otherwise very difficult days.

But, they didnt bother to do so then, did they?

And now they wanted to be my friend?

These type guys meet the dictionary definition of fair-weather friends. Now that it was

cold out, and coincidently Viola was back in charge, a friendship with me somehow became

important to them. It was one-way as far as I was concerned, and not in the direction they would

have preferred. Again, I was courteous and Id talk to these guys, but as the conversations were

about as superficial as the persons themselves, the relationships with these chosen few never

went any further than the empty cup of hot chocolate.

It was their loss, not mine.

*****

Cops tend to have long memories. Thats a plus when it comes to recognizing wanted

persons, stolen cars, providing court testimony, etc. Such memories can also play a significant

role as officers will maintain strong recollections of being screwed by fellow officers, to include

by those in supervisory ranks.


There was one such supervisor who under the two years of the prior Zajac regime was

really feeling his oats. He screwed with me and a number of other officers at various times

during those years. Now, with Viola back, he wasnt screwing with anyone anymore. This was

for very obvious reasons too, as the newly reinstated chief had recently put this supervisor in his

well-deserved place within the department.

At this stage of this particular supervisors personal life he was single, he had a somewhat

new girlfriend, and he was apparently also screwing her (but in a different way, of course). What

this supervisor didnt know at the time is that the new girlfriend liked to talk. She specifically

liked to talk to one of her female friends. In turn, this female friend also liked to talk,

specifically to one of my trusted BPD squad members. There is no question at all that the

supervisor/boyfriend would not have wanted this type of interpersonal information being

broadcast about. But it wasand before long it would be broadcast about in quite the literal

sense. He would hear it all too. He just didnt know it was about him and his, shall we say,

personal shortcomings.

As this scenario played out, according to the girlfriend, our supervisor was what some

refer to euphemistically as a minute-man. Actually, as we came to learn, he wasnt even that.

He was a minute-man minus 53 seconds.

You see, according to this friend, during very specific acts of intimacy, welllets just

say the guy was a short-timer; a very short-timer. To be more precise, according to the woman

on the receiving end of his intimate activities, he didnt last very long in the act. In fact, his

time engaging in said physical behavior never lasted more than seven seconds. Not seven

minutes, mind you, but seven seconds.


To digress here for just a momentif youre a supervisor in any profession, and you are

regularly (in a non-sexual sense) screwing your employees, and information such as being a

minute-man leaks out in the workplace about your regular (in a sexual sense) screwing habits

with one of your other employees, you better be prepared for the worst. If the profession

happens to be law enforcement, and the people you have (again, in a non-sexual sense) screwed

in the past have access to police radios, you better be prepared to hear about it, whether you are

even aware its about you and your issue or not.

So, heres how some officers decided in their own little ways to get back at this guy.

When the supervisor would either be at HQ on or near the radio console, or when he would

occasionally be driving around the streets in a marked patrol car, the officers would purposely

make certain comments over the police radio for him and everyone else to hear. And, each

comment would somehow include a certain two words. Those words were simply, seven

seconds.

Pick the topic of any real-time law enforcement function, or one even close to it, and

these guys would find a way to fit seven seconds into the broadcast, just to mess with this

supervisor.

A few examples include:

22-10 to Base, Ill be arriving on location in seven seconds.

22-12 will be out of the car for about seven seconds.

Sarge, Ill be at your 10-20 inlet me see hereseven seconds.


If I must admit it, my overall favorite such exchange took place late one night when one

of my officers filled in the verbal blank for another officer during a radio broadcast, with it then

being taken even a step further. It was something like:

22-8 to Base Ill be out of the car for

The other officer then cut in and stated in question form, seven seconds?

The original broadcasting officer then radioed, 10-4, seven seconds. How did you

know?

The second officer then stated, it came from a little birdie.

Upon this broadcast discourse making its way onto the Bucks County Police Radio

airwaves, the sergeant in me was compelled to come forth. I got on the air immediately

afterwards and called for a meet with my squad members. Once we were all together, I nicely

but firmly told them that these radio exchanges were getting a bit out of hand and should stop. I

readily acknowledged they were fun at the time, it was nice getting back at this formerly

officious supervisor, but it was time to cease and desist. After some further friendly debate, the

men reluctantly agreed to do so.

Then, just after I/we declared this truce, the so-targeted supervisor himself happened to

get on the radio with a request for me to come to HQ to discuss some admin matter. I replied,

10-4, en route. He then made the mistake of asking me my estimated time of arrival (ETA). I

couldnt resist, especially as he just lobbed me this high, floating softball of a pitch. So, I swung

hard and hit it solidly over the fence.

Yes, I looked at my guys first, smiled, and responded on the radio for all to hear, My

ETA isabout seven seconds.


My officers were still rolling on the ground laughing as I drove from the area in my

patrol car. I was actually closer to seven minutes away from HQ, but that didnt matter to me,

my troops, or the supervisor. Especially him as he didnt pick up on it, even when I was six

minutes and fifty-three seconds later than my broadcast ETA to him.

As these types of things tend to have a shelf-life, this transmitted tomfoolery lasted just

several weeks. My squad would get into it whenever we would happen to be working the same

time as this particular supervisor. He never picked up on the references, certainly not that which

any of us were ever aware. Several of our dispatchers did, and when one or more of the

offending officers would stop by the radio room, they would ask them, Whats all this seven

seconds stuff about? The officers would just smile and tell them its an inside joke.

Apparently, the supervisors girlfriend, who was the occasional recipient of his seven

total seconds of intimacy, also eventually felt it/he was an inside joke. She broke up with him

after only a month or so of dating him. I guess she just didnt have the time for him. Or

waitwas it the other way around?

I suppose the moral to this story is, if youre gonna screw with your employees, make

sure they know nothing about your sex life. That would be especially true if you are a minute-

manor less, such as in this guys case. It may come back to haunt you at some point, and

possibly even over a police radio.

*****
I couldnt leave this early transitional time frame without one more story concerning

Bensalems own Det. John Donson. You remember him, the Miami Vice wannabe. He was the

narc who did everything except make any narcotics arrests. Well, it seems he made a few

enemies within the department along the way. It wasnt only me with whom he played his little

games. Now a few of these other guys were playing some little games back with him and he

didnt like it.

But first, as I occasionally like to do, a bit more of late 20th Century cultural history

here.

At some time in the mid-1980s, in Philadelphia, there was a local on-air television news

reporter/sometimes anchor who found himself embroiled in a very weird controversy. It seems

he became the victim of one of the urban-myths spreading around the U.S. at the time. It was a

particularly nasty one too. It involved a person allegedly being rushed into the emergency ward

of a hospital with(ahem)a live gerbil stuck up inside his rectum.

Ill forego the graphic details of how these scenarios were purported to have ever actually

occurred, but the basic story was always the same, in almost every part of the country. It would

be an either named or unnamed human patient, the inner tube from a paper-towel roll, and of

course, a live gerbil. Ill leave it to the memory and/or the imagination of the reader to figure out

how and for what reason these two seemingly unrelated carbon-based life forms, a piece of

rolled-up cardboard, and a hospital ER, continued to find their way into very similar stories. But,

they did, over and over again.

For the better part of year in the Philadelphia area, a virtually identical story, always

bereft of any specific details except for the news guys name and the sub-species of the rodent,
maintained itself by word of mouth. The story eventually made its way into the gossip pages of

the local newspapers and on the various radio morning zoos, although they would never

reference the reporter directly by name, only by inference. Nonetheless, after a while, it got so

bad that the reporter was forced to leave the TV station and the Philly area permanently.

This particular urban-myth took on a life of its own in the BPD when someone came up

with an almost identical version of it. However, instead of it being the local TV news guy, the

name John Donson was duly substituted. During the course of the police department re-telling of

this tale the detective even earned a new nickname. That would be, Gerbil John. It was not a

nickname that Det. Donson, aka Sonny Crockett, liked or approved of, to say the least. In fact,

it made him mad, very mad, I heard some say. One day, as I was told, GJ became apoplectic

when he came to his detective desk, pulled out his chair, and on it was sitting a little toy gerbil,

or some such rodent, perched halfway inside a cardboard paper-towel roll.

Apparently, finding this urban-myth come-to-life and actually sitting on his chair resulted

in John going ballistic. Not literally as with his gun, thank goodness, but emotionally so. In fact,

it got so bad for Gerbil John, I mean, Sonny, I mean Det. Donson, that he decided to take a few

weeks off on sick leave immediately afterwards. He needed it for stress related purposes, he

claimed.

It certainly didnt help Det. Donson that at the same time his main man, mentor, rabbi,

and the one to whom he owed practically his entire career, Ted Zajac, was now all but a washout

at the BPD. So, when these two issues collided, one real involving a human, the other not so real

involving a stuffed animal, he temporarily lost it. Very understandable. I guess.


I believe Det. Donson may have later insisted to Chief Viola that an investigation be

conducted in an attempt to determine who left the fake, furry creature and paper-towel roll on his

chair. Needless to say, it never happened as the chief was focused on solving actual crimes in

Bensalem.

Im not sure if there were pictures taken of the crime scene, a chalk outline drawn on

Donsons chair, or if the items were collected and placed into evidence. Geez, if the latter had

occurred, I would have gladly left patrol, just for a day, for the sole purpose of sending Det.

Donson one of those evidence deposition forms like I did before. The lone item on this one

would have been one gerbil and cardboard tube. And, should it be returned, destroyed,

escheated, retainedor stuck up your ____?

Ill again let the readers memory and/or imagination complete the rest of that request.

Lastly here regarding Det. Donsonhis whole Miami Vice wardrobe and look thing

eventually faded away. He reverted back to a more traditional wardrobe while at work.

(However, I cant tell you how he dressed at home.)

Actually, Donsons former drug squad also went away too, not that anyone else in the

PD or in Bucks County would have noticed its loss. In its place, a new drug squad was formed

by Chief Viola shortly after beginning his second term in office. The two guys chosen to work it

kicked some drug dealers asses for years to follow, putting a major dent in the narcotics

distribution trade in Bensalem, Bucks County, and Southeastern Pennsylvania, along the way.

And, no, they didnt bother dressing up trying to look or act like TV actors playing narcs.

These two were the real deal and not playacting like the guys before them.