Just the Facts, Ma'am

Thonie Hevron; bringing you the stories behind the badge

The Call Box: Not Miami Vice, Part 2

By Ed Meckle, Retired LAPD

lapd callboxAlso assigned to nights was a three-man prostitution squad, of which my old partner Frank Isbell, was the newest member. Whatever they were called, ladies of the evening, soiled doves, or my favorite, fallen angels, they were simply targets for the Hooker Squad. As conspicuous goes, they were the ultimate. They generated almost daily citizen complaints and no matter how many we busted, they proliferated. There were several small pockets around the division but the main attraction was Western Avenue from Adams south to Jefferson. This six block area supported 12-15 sporting girls each and every night. Sadly, this was “Sugar Hill” my old radio car beat.

 

Watching the cop shows on TV these days, the vice squad procures two or more hotel/motel rooms. One is the “command post,” the other is wired for sound and video. You would think they were after a Russian spy, not some street-walker. I’m sure they would find our method “quaint” and overly simplistic.

 

Using our own cars (no special insurance or waiver of liability), we drove up to the corner. When she approached, we waited for the magic phrase, “sex in exchange for money or something of value.” usually money of course. The pitch was usually street slang but the meaning was clear. After a short bargaining session to lend credibility, she got into the car and we said our magic phrase, “You are under arrest.” We drove them to a nearby location where the paddy wagon was parked, unloaded, and went back for more. It was all verbal, no witness, no fancy recording. It was all “He said, she said.”

doc-w-reflectorMostly to amuse ourselves, I suppose, we sometimes donned disguises. I had a white lab coat with stethoscope around my neck and a head mirror on. Now for those of you too young to know: it was a chrome disc on the forehead by means of a black strap. Doctors used to direct reflected light to a specific area. Some ENTs (Ear, Nose, and Throat docs) still use them.

Now to think, would a doctor wear one in the car? Well, I suppose it lent an air of familiarity. She even called me doctor.

 

clint-walkerOne night, I got third in line behind two real tricks. She turned them both down and got in with me. When I busted her she said, “Damn. I turned down two live ones and get in with you. I look in and see them long legs, blue jeans, cowboy boots and hat and think I got me a date with “Cheyenne.”  Actor Clint Walker played Cheyenne Bodie on a popular TV show then running. The ladies were usually cooperative when hearing the magic words and very, very seldom ran or resisted. There were exceptions. One of our ladies threw a milkshake in Frank’s face. Part of it hit the inside driver’s window, running down inside the door panel and shorting out the electric windows. Another of our guys had his jaw broken when slugged by a Good Samaritan who saw the arrest and thought the lady was being kidnapped.

 

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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 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

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© 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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