Just the Facts, Ma'am

Thonie Hevron; bringing you the stories behind the badge

Ramblings: Cop Dreams

By Hal Collier, Retired LAPD

sweet dreamsThink back to the days when you were very young.  Your mom or dad would put you in bed and maybe kiss you on the forehead and say, “have sweet dreams.” Why did they have to say dreams? You were afraid to go to sleep in your bed.  Some nights there were monsters under the bed or the monsters were in the closet. Didn’t matter—they were someplace in the room. You’d wake up screaming for your mom! If you had parents who never read Dr. Spock they might let you sleep in their bed for the night.

Flash forward a few years, now you’re in school and the monsters are gone but so are your pajamas, that’s right you’re naked in class. Who hasn’t had that dream?

You somehow reach adulthood and if you’re lucky you’re no longer naked in public. Now you’ve moved on to adult night mares. You wake up in the middle of the night asking yourself, did I pay the electric bill or what will they ask me at the IRS audit next week?  My point is that you will always have bad dreams!

cant sleepI’m about to describe some other bad dreams that sneak into what was supposed to be a restful night. That’s right cop dreams. Now, I don’t want some $300 dollar an hour doctor to analyze my dreams. I have enough things to think about when I lay my head on the pillow.

Early in my cop career, I had visions of bad guys trying to do me harm but one dream really stands out. I was in Hollywood just south of Hollywood Boulevard in a parking lot. I was chasing this dirt bag in a trench coat. I got within 50 feet of him when he suddenly turns and is now holding a machine gun. Oh, crap. I dive behind a parked car and make myself as small as I can behind the front wheel. Bullets are hitting the ground all around me. I suddenly have a shotgun. Don’t ask me to explain where it came from. I pump a shell into the chamber and without looking I reach around the front tire and fire off all five rounds at where I think the dirt bag is standing.

 

it_s_all_just_a_bad_dream____by_whatabunchoffreaks-d19r7o0

I’d love to tell you I filled the asshole with double OO buck from the shotgun but, no. I suddenly sat upright in my bed. My heart raced and I was sweating. I tried to reason—it’s  only a dream, but I really would rather have been naked at my high school prom! Guess how much sleep I got that night.

I had many cop dreams during my 35-year career. They usually involved not being able to run from danger and the worst were that my gun wouldn’t fire. It jammed or I couldn’t pull the trigger. Now, I didn’t have these every night or in my case sleeping during the day, but I still had them every so often.  I sometimes punctuated my dreams verbally. That’s right, I talked in my sleep or better said, I yelled. That usually woke up my wife and the dog, and it explained why the cat slept in the other room.

 man and wife sleepingAfter thirty-five years of sometimes violent encounters, I retired. I assumed that after a while the dreams would be replaced by dreams of retired old folks. Wrong! I’ve been retired for over 12 years and I still wake up punching my pillow or yelling out to halt! In these dreams, I sometimes have partners that I haven’t seen or talked to in decades.

 This upsets my wife and dog very much. I can now go back to sleep rather quickly but my wife tells me in rather stern terms that I need to sleep in another room. Sometimes she suggests I sleep in another county.

I asked around and found that most cops, retired or not, have these dreams.  You can take off your badge, and throw away those uniforms, you might even lose contact with old partners but the dreams will always come back. They’re deep inside of a cop’s head for life. You just never know when they’ll resurface!  

Hal

P.S. Do you still have cop dreams?

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3 comments on “Ramblings: Cop Dreams

  1. fuzthatwaslapd7612
    September 3, 2017

    THERE WAS A RECENT MOVIE WITH HALEY JOEL OSMENT ” I SEE DEAD PEOPLE” AS A KID WHOSE WORLD AS POPULATED WITH THE DEPARTED..
    I SEE DEAD PARTNERS AND LONG GONE COPS AND I ALSO HAVE THAT SAME DAMN GUN THAT WON’T FIRE. WELCOME TO THE CLUB , EVEN AFTER 40 PLUS YEARS IT DOSEN’T END…WELL WRITTEN………….. 7612

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Warde Miller
    September 3, 2017

    My kid dream, it’s a rainy day, get to school go to Cloak room, take off raincoat, & I’m in my underwear! Cop dream, daytime, go into building & its pitch dark, ala Clarice in “Silence of the Lambs” & I don’t have my flashlight!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mmgornell.
    September 4, 2017

    I’m not a former cop, but it does amaze me the worlds we create in our dreams in our dreams, and the details sometimes–just had one this morning and was thinking about the dream topic.

    And now in my “second childhood” (smile), I can’t remember the name of a person sitting next to me sometimes, but I can remember traumas all the way back to grammar school in my dreams. I wish there was a vacuum or cleanser (metaphorical) that we could use to sweep all that stuff away.Though probably good we have our dream safety/release valve. Excellent post as always.

    Liked by 2 people

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This entry was posted on September 3, 2017 by in Ramblings by Hal 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.
--Thonie Hevron

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