Just the Facts, Ma'am

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The Call Box: There Will Be Blood

lapd callbox

 

By Ed Meckle, Retired LAPD

 

It was either 1960 or 61 when my partner, Frank Isbell and I caught the dream job for the summer: we were assigned to work the night watch at Dockweiler State Beach. It was at the very end of Imperial Highway where it crossed a quiet frontage road just south of L.A.X. As you crossed the road you continued on to a huge man-made berm or bluff which over looked the beach and ocean. It was strictly a picnic area as there were a hundred or more large concrete fire rings on the beach. Where you drove into the area, on this bluff was a fairly good-sized building with glass all around. This was the H.Q. for the people who ran the parking lots/the lifeguards and us, the police. From this bluff you had a commanding view of the entire area.dockweiler-beach-closed-tampons-needles

The assignment was really a piece of cake as the beach attracted mostly family or church or school groups all usually well behaved. We had a Jeep donated by the lifeguard service to drive the beach area which aside from the fire rings consisted of a paved parking lot. Crowds usually numbered in the hundreds and as previously stated was family oriented—with some exceptions. We usually drove the area slowly to ”show the flag” as they say. Then up top to drink coffee and watch with binoculars. At closing time, nine or ten p.m., they would blink the parking lot lights. Families would begin packing up to leave and all would be gone on time.

Not this night. As the last of the families drove away, we noticed two males still on the beach—drinking, a no-no. We blinked the lights again and used the ”bull horn” to advise them to leave.

In a very loud voice the pair told us to commit a lewd act upon ourselves. Not very polite. They were advised the gates would be locked in five minutes and they and their vehicle would spend the night (a bluff, of course). A few minutes we heard breaking glass. Looking through the binocs, we saw them taking glass bottles from the trash and breaking them on the parking lot. Bad language is one thing; this could not pass. This was our house and you don’t act like that in our house.rubbish on the beach

We stopped them at the gate and they were escorted back to the parking lot and told to pick up every piece of glass.

One of them said, “But officer, we are barefooted.”

Frank and I replied as one, ”We noticed, now get busy.” There were no brooms available, dustpans nor anything to carry the glass but their hands and arms.

Twenty minutes later, we were satisfied and they were released. There were bloody footprints everywhere and it looked like some crazy crime scene.

I can just imagine the consequences if we did that today. God help me, I loved the job.

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This entry was posted on July 13, 2016 by in The Call Box, Writer's Notes and tagged , , .

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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Just the Facts, Ma'am posts Sundays and Fridays. Sundays scheduled writers Hal Collier, Ed Meckle, Mikey, and John Schick take us through the days and nights of those who protect and serve.
Friday postings feature authors sharing their thoughts about this journey we call authorship.
Extra postings will include California 'Officer Down' notices or something special. I will update progress of my current literary project as they develop.
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