Just the Facts, Ma'am

Thonie Hevron; bringing you the stories behind the badge

The Call Box: Doin’ Hard Time

 

By Ed Meckle, Retired LAPD

It is July and I have just turned 22. I am a recent graduate of the Los Angeles Police Academy, a highly trained law enforcement officer, a former marine and I can run forever and I am assigned to the Lincoln Heights Jail—operating an elevator.

lincoln-hgts-jailFirst let me tell you about the Lincoln Heights or Main Jail. Built in 1931 in Art deco styleart-deco-at-lincoln-heights-jail (whatever that means). It is five stories of cement in Lincoln Heights, an area just north and over the river from downtown LA. Railroad tracks were squeezed between the jail and river (just barely). At night when the trains went by they usually sound their whistle. It was sort of, “I’m out here and you’re not.”

 

The first floor is given over to administration, two very large courtrooms (division 30 and 31), the “Gray Bar Grill” (our in-house restaurant), the front desk information section together with the bail bond windows. Actually, I only got stuck with the elevator job a couple of times but I just wanted to bitch.

Floors 2, 3, and 4 are cell blocks for those serving time, generally short sentences of 30-60 days etc. Floor 5 is the Women’s Section, the only place in the entire city where you can book a female.

The front or information desk was where the action was, it was busy enough that usually four or five officers were assigned to answer the phones and handle the public. We maintained the index for all prisoners in the city and we stayed busy. This was before computers.

My first brush with celebrity

bcrawfordEven working nights, we stayed busy. One night, standing at the counter was Broderick Crawford (Academy Award winner for “All the King’s Men”) together with some studio functionary. He had just begun a new series ”Highway Patrol” and looked every inch the movie star—camel hair overcoat with up turned collar, fedora with down turned brim, dark glasses (indoors at night) and it would not have surprised me if there was an ascot under the coat. The functionary inquired about a prisoner, “Yes, we have him.”

“Where is the car he was driving?”

I gave him the information and they left. I later found out Crawford had been arrested for DUI so many times he lost his license, so the studio supplied him with car and driver. The driver later was arrested for—you guessed it—DUI. All they wanted was the car, forget the driver. Sort of “Leave the gun, bring the cannoli.”

I never did figure why Crawford was there. He never spoke a word….

Part 2 on Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Advertisements

2 comments on “The Call Box: Doin’ Hard Time

  1. Anne Fitzgerald
    September 25, 2016

    Our family loved this story, Ed. As a matter of fact, the day before it was posted we were watching episodes of Highway Patrol and discussing Broderick Crawford and his DUI and drinking issues. So interesting to see your account the very next day. We are Ward Fitzgerald’s family and as kids we watched Highway Patrol daily. We were NOT allowed to watch Mod Squad — the premise that hippy ex-criminals would become a police detectives galled Dad. (We had to go watch it at the neighbor’s — we kids thought the show was cool!). We love your stories! Thank you for posting them here. ~ Annie Fitz

    Like

    • Thonie Hevron
      September 25, 2016

      Anne,
      So glad to hear from you. Ed has become a regular and I post his stories almost every Wednesday. There are plenty more, too!
      Thanks, Thonie

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on September 18, 2016 by in The Call Box 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.

Goodreads

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.

Categories

Fictionophile

Bookblogger, Fiction book reviews, author interviews, mystery series, cover, love, bookish thoughts...

Nancy's Notes From Florida

Author Nancy J. Cohen discusses the writing process and life as a Florida resident.

Logical Quotes

Logical and Inspirational Quotes

RedheadedBooklover

Just a redheaded woman who is obsessed with books

Stories by The Spotlight on Medium

Thonie Hevron; bringing you the stories behind the badge

So you wanna be a cop?

Real world information for those looking for employment in Law Enforcement and Corrections and advice and stories from a veteran cop.

Donut County Cop

Random thoughts of a suburban cop at a department right outside a major US city...because blogging is cheaper than therapy.

Cop Musings

Thoughts From Behind the Badge

DAVE FREEDLAND

Author of Crime Mysteries & Suspense

The NW Fire Blog

"Fire News in the NW and Beyond"

The author's Blog

Discussions, Interviews, Suggestions for Writers

Hook'em and Book'em

Thonie Hevron; bringing you the stories behind the badge

clswinney.wordpress.com/

#1 International Bestselling Author of true crime.

Just the Facts, Ma'am

Thonie Hevron; bringing you the stories behind the badge

Horse Listening

Horses. Riding. Life.

JUSTICE FOR RAYMOND

Sudden, unexplained, unattended death and a families search for answers

%d bloggers like this: