Just the Facts, Ma'am

Thonie Hevron; bringing you the stories behind the badge

More off-duty

Cops, by nature, want to help. Sometimes that drive can cause unforeseen problems.

Last year, Marin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jim Mathiesen was killed while trying to help out a friend of the family. The circumstances are beyond tragic. Mathiesen was off duty when he received a call from a friend who received death threats from an ex-boyfriend. The ex showed up shortly after Mathiesen arrived and killed the unarmed deputy. The link to the news story: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Off-duty-Marin-deputy-killed-trying-to-help-friend-2353962.php#next   

It’s common knowledge that domestic disputes are the most volatile of all calls for service. Whether you know the involved parties is irrelevant. Officer Vilho Ahola of Petaluma (California) Police Department  could attest to this–if he was alive. On November 7, 1969, he responded to a domestic between a couple he called friends. He was shot in the neck and rendered a quadriplegic until in death in 1998. Read his story on the Officer Down Memorial Page: http://www.odmp.org/agency/3091-petaluma-police-department-california

Back to how civilians react to cops in social situations. At parties that aren’t “cop parties”, most law enforcement people I know, offer another profession when asked. I’ve heard cops call themselves trash collectors, personnel specialists and even rocket scientists. This is to avoid the coffee shop scenario described above.

It has been many years since I dated (thankfully!) but the last thing I want to deal with on a blind date is intrusive questions about what I do for a living. Some people are scared off by law enforcement (ya gotta wonder what they’re hiding!), some are fascinated by it–that’s another post altogether–and some have pre-conceived ideas about the cop personality that don’t allow the freedom to enjoy a new relationship.

I’ll conclude this post with a promise to address more “cop talk” issues for the reader and the writer next week. As always, please feel free to ask questions. I’ll do my best to answer.

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This entry was posted on August 19, 2012 by in Law Enforcement, Writer's Notes.

Cop Talk

For all things about cop culture-the work, the family, the days off.

The purpose of this page is to educate writers of all genres to be accurate in their portrayal of law enforcement professionals. This includes meter maids (I was a "lovely Rita" many years ago), dispatcher, patrol officers, detectives, and administrators.

I have many resources in my 35 year career in California law enforcement. I index and explain common errors that found in all media. Guests will also post about police professionalism today and tomorrow as well as historical articles about the way things used to be, "back in the day".

Examples of police media myths: missing persons cannot be reported by anyone but the family; missing persons reports can't be taken until the subject has been missing 24 hours; all cops eat donuts.

You get my drift.

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Schedule

Just the Facts, Ma'am posts Sundays and Wednesdays. Guest writers Gerry Goldshine, Hal Collier, Melissa Kositzin and sometime Woody Hoke take us through the days and nights of those who protect and serve. Extra postings will include California 'Officer Down' notices or something special. I will update progress of my current literary project as they develop. --Thonie Hevron

Just the Facts, Ma’am copyright

© Thonie Hevron, Just the Facts, Ma'am 2010-present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thonie Hevron with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Thank you.

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