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Old January 9, 2010, 09:42 PM   #1
garryc
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Embarrassing call for Backup

Last night I was doing my patrol of prison grounds, alone, outside the fence which covers a farm area of about 1500 acres. We have several state houses on grounds, two unoccupied. At 0130 hrs I found a set of footprints in the snow going to a back door. I followed and found that back door unsecured. I opened it and as I stood there for a moment, hand on weapon, I heard a noise of movement inside someplace.


I stepped out and secured, and called on the radio reporting the situation. I asked for backup. I didn't think it wise to search a house I had never been in and give someone an opportunity to get a jump on me, next thing you know we don't have just an escaped inmate, but an armed escaped inmate with a vehicle and a state radio.

My captain arrived with shotgun in hand. He covered while I searched room to room with my weapon at high ready with my flashlight. There was no power on except to the furnace. In the last bedroom, in the back of a small closet I found a dern cat!


Ok, I expect the ribbing, meow's on the radio and such, but tell me LE's What would you have done?
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Old January 9, 2010, 09:46 PM   #2
wally626
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The big question is did you see human or cat prints. If it was human, I guess he left the door open. I'm not LE but it sounds like calling in BU was a reasonable thing to do, if human prints.
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Old January 9, 2010, 09:55 PM   #3
garryc
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Quote:
The big question is did you see human or cat prints. If it was human, I guess he left the door open. I'm not LE but it sounds like calling in BU was a reasonable thing to do, if human prints.
Both actually, There are cats all over that farm. The human prints I could not age because the blowing snow. As it turned out they have been working on that house and there was construction debris on the floor, I figure I heard the cat run across that. No way it got in after the door was closed, must have gotten in earlier in the day.
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Old January 9, 2010, 10:24 PM   #4
jad0110
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Quote:
I'm not LE but it sounds like calling in BU was a reasonable thing to do, if human prints.
I agree. I wouldn't be embarrassed at all, you did the absolute right thing.
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Old January 9, 2010, 10:29 PM   #5
Scattergun Bob
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garryc

THE EXACT SAME THING, every time!

Part of being in law enforcement is being able to laugh at the sitrep when things don't go as badly as you planed for. A little ribbing is proof that you survived.

Don't get complacent don't get lazy, do the safe thing every time, and LIVE. You are working with the worst of societies lot, and they have all day to figure out how to get YOU.

My best to you, and BE Safe
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Old January 9, 2010, 10:46 PM   #6
StiveC2007
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Just think if you didnt call in back up and there really had been an escaped inmate who did take your gun, radio. one is none two is one
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Old January 9, 2010, 11:52 PM   #7
Big Bill
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I'm not LE either. But, I often repeate this old bit of wisdom in a situations like yours: "Better safe, than sorry." In your case, you did the right thing. You're safe. So, don't be sorry.
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Last edited by Big Bill; January 9, 2010 at 11:59 PM.
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Old January 9, 2010, 11:56 PM   #8
Glenn Dee
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Retired police officer here


I would have done exactly the same thing had I found myself in your situation. Secure, and call for assistance. Despite any ribbing you may get as a result, your around to get it.... and thats what counts.

Good Job !!!!


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Old January 10, 2010, 12:00 AM   #9
cfiben
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i have two cats, they can be pretty menacing.... j/k
complacency kills, good job.
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Old January 10, 2010, 04:04 AM   #10
OfficerJohnson10
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You did exactly what you should have done. Even if you know the interior of the building like the back of your hand, you should still call for back up. I wouldn't even clear my own home by myself if I believed there was a threat inside. At least two officers are needed to achieve a MINIMUM level of officer safety when clearing a building. Those who have the "hero" mentality and try to do things like clear buildings and search suspects on traffic stops by themselves and without back up all too often get themselves hurt and even worse get their fellow officers hurt because of stupid and easily avoidable mistakes. I'd rather take a little ribbing from my partners because I used three officers and a radio air clearance to search a building finding nothing than get complacent all the while thinking "its just another false alarm", walk in and get myself senselessly hurt or killed. Every officers ultimate goal is to go home at the end if their shift in the same condition as when they started; alive.

You did fine in your situation and if anyone seriously tells you that you need to be less of a (insert negative word of choice) and not call for back up, keep my previous sentence in mind.

Also, it has been my experience at least in my dept that those who give you a little ribbing and bust chops when you " screw up" (ie: talk to a citizen with your fly down, inadvertently key up your radio while talking up your latest romantic conquest in excruciating detail with your partner, etc) are the ones who are going to have your back when the SHTF and those who keep their "comments" to themselves until you are not around are the ones you need to keep your eye on. Don't worry about the ribbing. What comes around goes around and everyone slips on a banana peel sooner or later LOL.
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Old January 10, 2010, 04:31 AM   #11
B. Lahey
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So the guys call you "Catman" for a few months or decades... at least you didn't shoot Santa Claus:

http://thelawdogfiles.blogspot.com/2...nta-claus.html

You got off easy.
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Old January 10, 2010, 08:31 AM   #12
ClayInTx
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A PO’ed tomcat can get mean. Nothing to mess with. Call Animal Control for back-up. A momma cat with kittens? Call Animal Control for TWO back-ups.

Seriously, you did exactly right.

The only thing wrong I see is you shouldn’t have to do a patrol outside the perimeter like that by yourself and your Captain should have brought another guard with him.

So it was a cat? What it could have been was much worse. Even if you patrol in pairs you still need to call for back-up. As a previous poster said, “Those convicts have all day to think of ways to get you”.
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Old January 10, 2010, 08:47 AM   #13
ArmyJerry
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You made the right call, plus it got everybody off their butts and created a little excitement for the night. Be careful out there.
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Old January 10, 2010, 08:52 AM   #14
garryc
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I don't worry about the ribbing, fact is I'll rib a fellow officer and tell him at the same time he or she did good. All part of being on a team.

But, some people can only see an LE situation with what is known after the fact. Review boards tend to have that problem. It's almost as if one of the job qualifications for anyone in the LE field is clairvoyance. Actions done by a reasonable suspision from information KNOWN AT THE TIME don't seem to carry any weight, especially when those reviewing have an agenda to come to a conclusion and only have to construct the facts to suit that end. Politics

I think one of the biggest issues to defeat in a post incident situation, no matter if it's LE or civilian, is getting the persons reviewing to see only what you saw at the time. It's a sort of vicious loop when people see a situation only in hindsight and can't or won't see that this information comes on time line. They can't seem to get around that you have to act on the information on hand, not what is known later. It's like watching a painter paint, you may have difficulty knowing what his intent is while he's painting, but after he's done it can bee seen at a glance.

I always keep in my mind what often happens when you Ass/u/me.

Last edited by garryc; January 10, 2010 at 09:14 AM.
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Old January 10, 2010, 09:55 AM   #15
ClayInTx
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garryc.

Submit this report for review:

Officer was alone and patrolling outside the facility perimeter. He found footprints leading to an unoccupied building and the door unlocked.

Upon hearing noises from the inside of the building he called for back-up. His captain arrived with a shotgun and ordered the officer to investigate.

Upon investigation he found the occupant to not be an escaped convict and to be merely one trying to find shelter from the weather. He evicted the occupant. Because of the non-criminal intent of the occupant no charges were filed but the occupant’s identity was noted in case such intrusion was found to re-occur.

Ladies and gentlemen of the review board. please review the above described action and make recommendations of what should have been done if different than as described.

Thanks to all of you for your very serious attention to this matter and for any action you deem necessary in the future.

Respectfully yours,
Officer garryc
Captain Back-em up
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Old January 10, 2010, 11:10 AM   #16
garryc
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Quote:
garryc.

Submit this report for review:

Officer was alone and patrolling outside the facility perimeter. He found footprints leading to an unoccupied building and the door unlocked.

Upon hearing noises from the inside of the building he called for back-up. His captain arrived with a shotgun and ordered the officer to investigate.

Upon investigation he found the occupant to not be an escaped convict and to be merely one trying to find shelter from the weather. He evicted the occupant. Because of the non-criminal intent of the occupant no charges were filed but the occupant’s identity was noted in case such intrusion was found to re-occur.

Ladies and gentlemen of the review board. please review the above described action and make recommendations of what should have been done if different than as described.

Thanks to all of you for your very serious attention to this matter and for any action you deem necessary in the future.

Respectfully yours,
Officer garryc
Captain Back-em up

LOL that's funny! I can see the head scratching and hear the "What The %$#&!!"

Better yet, I can hear the command to report immediatly. In that such a command would be on first shift, mid day, and I work third I would get an automatic 4 hours pay, just for driving in and saying it was a cat. Choice dude, that's choice.


As to my follow on post. I'm trying to stress the point that you should not talk under stress, other than pointing out evidence. Settle down first, and make darn sure you present the information in the exact order you recieved it. That goes for LE and civilian in a UoF situation. Once facts are on paper they are very hard to change.

If you are under stress while making a statement you will make statements that address that which stressed you the most, they will likely be out of order and missing key smaller components. That person looking at the file will not be in tune with your mind set at the time. He will read it with an assumption that you were completely calm and rational. Guard against that.

Last edited by garryc; January 10, 2010 at 11:18 AM.
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Old January 10, 2010, 12:04 PM   #17
win-lose
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I'm not sure why you are even questioning your call....

Thank you for the job you are doing! Be safe.
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Old January 10, 2010, 12:10 PM   #18
Matt19
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You did the right thing garryc. Now in briefings or over coffee, simply spoof yourself and your encounter with "Danger Kitty".
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Old January 10, 2010, 12:37 PM   #19
garryc
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Guys, Ain't the first time I've been ribbed for doing my job. As long as the person that is doing the ribbing is a pro themselves I just laugh with them. When it's a rookie though, differant matter. they don't know enough, nor have been around enough, to involve themselves.

Rookie are not what they used to be, mostly cocky kids. I don't remember the last time one brought me a sandwich, or cleaned the snow off my truck. Seriously, when I was a rookie we did that stuff for the senior officers. We knew we relied on their experiance and they trained us. We appreciated their guidence.

Even today, if I advise a junior officer to do something, and it is wrong or they didn't understand me, I will and have stood before the man even though I don't have to.
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Old January 10, 2010, 04:34 PM   #20
guns and more
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You're lucky the cat didn't jump out of the closet. A guy could have a heart attack.
You chose wisely.
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Old January 10, 2010, 04:41 PM   #21
garryc
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Ahh, but if that cat did try to escape, running, in the dark, and I hit, why that would be one heck of a shot. Problem is, my cuffs don't go that small. Had to walk it out in a paw lock.
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Old January 10, 2010, 05:10 PM   #22
old bear
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Dude you did the right thing. After 27 years on the job I would have done the same thing.
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Old January 10, 2010, 06:33 PM   #23
357 Python
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As a cop and former armed security patrol officer you did it just right. Let the others rib you but remember the first rule of law enforcement. At the end of your shift you go home.
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Old January 10, 2010, 06:58 PM   #24
armoredman
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Gary, as a current Correctional Sergeant who just happens to run Complex security, good job, wanna come work for me? I need a few more with thier heads screwed on straight.
ClayinTX, being in this job for a few years, he's lucky there was someone avilable to respond, some places are pretty short of staff. Kudos to the Captain for going, most of mine would say, "Sergeant, get on it." Actually, I would have notified him on the way out. A possible escape is NOTHING to mess around with, many escapees have killed again while on the run, as they have literally nothing to lose.
Well done, Officer.
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Old January 10, 2010, 07:11 PM   #25
garryc
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I think one of the best complements I've gotten for a long time came from an inmate. From our farm dorm you can see the entire highway and all the places people drop contraband for the inmates to pick up later. I found some items, mostly tobacco (a high value item) and one cell phone. Nothing for months now. These inmates see me searching the road sides and into the fields.

I picked up an inmate one night for transport, old con I've known for years. He says, "Hey Mr C, is that you walking around with dat spot light?" I said, "That would be me." He said, " Man, you got dis $#@^&^% place all dried up, ^%$#@!(*&^% can't get nothin' no mo'."

I told the Major, deterrence always has a greater effect than interdiction, you just can't measure it easily.
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