Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Rockland Cop Chronicles, Part I

I just recently decided to get a part time job, if "decided" means "was ordered to under threat of ejection from my parents' house." I got hired by the New City Sheriff''s department, which was odd, because I didn't even think cops worked part-time.

Seriously, it's like an even more hilariously incompetent version of Reno 911! over there. My first day I was driving a squad car. I didn't even have a badge or uniform. My partner spent the whole shift drunk, and he gave me his gun because he "can't shoot for shit anyway." He had me spend the day just tailing random cars ("Blackie's up to no good, follow him!"), looking to trick them into speeding up or making them too nervous to drive straight. We had to stop one guy because my partner had me driving so close I accidentally bumped him, resulting in the following exchange: "The fuck you stoppin' at that light for? You playin' with me?" When the guy responded with "Red means stop," my partner accused him of trying to outrun us. "By stopping?" he said. Then he got a ticket.

We went back to following random innocent people ("A hybrid? Smoke that fuckin' hippie!" and "This one's yellow!" were his best reasons for singling people out.) and caught a few going a couple miles over the speed limit. Whenever they kept their shit for more than five minutes, we'd pass them and my partner would give them the finger or throw a beer can at them. I almost stopped at a red light when he flipped the siren on and told me "Floor it! It's the fuzz!" I was starting to get suspicious of this guy actually being a cop, but a few more days working for the force would show this to be the standard behavior for most of them.

After he wrote several more tickets for "disrespecting the badge" and "tryin' to shake us," we went to a diner for a coffee break. This was after maybe forty-five minutes of work. (I'm serious, he averaged a ticket every three minutes.) Over coffee, he started crying, and told me he used to be big, a star football player for the high school. I began asking him if the Rams really ever had any "star players," having never had a winning season since the school was formed in 1923, when he just grabbed his gun from my lap (I didn't have a holster, so I'd just been resting it there the whole time.) and fired it into his mouth. I just left him there. I mean, come on, it was ten fifteen, I hadn't even been trained yet!

When I got back to the station, I heard the chief say, "Damn shame. Finn was a fine officer. I was just going to recommend him for State! We'll never see another one like him." That's it. That's what happened. There wasn't even any paperwork to fill out. I got the rest of the day off, not because my partner just killed himself, but "just 'cause... what the hell, eh?" Oh, and they gave me his gun. They didn't even put a new clip in it, so it's still got 5 of a dead man's bullets in it.

The next day, I had a new partner, also an alcoholic. We were driving around an area I'd never been before, and I think my partner was lost too, because soon we started seeing Hasidic people everywhere, and that started freaking him out. "Shit, we're in Monsey! Turn around!" he said. I asked him what the problem was, and he said "We're not the law here, the Hasidim run this place! If they catch us here, they'll take it as a declaration of war! Quick, go back!"

This seemed sort of strange to me, but when I started thinking about it, it seemed to make sense. Hasidim always did seem to play by their own rules. Reckless driving, domestic abuse, lynchings, it was all normal around here. I always wondered how they got away with it, and I was about to find out. I tried to make a U-turn, but as soon as I had an opening, a gray minivan came out of nowhere and blocked me. I threw the squad car in reverse, but another one boxed me in. They opened up, and men wearing long black coats, black hats, with twin curls in their hair, and women wearing long skirts, conservative blouses, with their hair in kerchiefs poured out. Children dressed the same way came running from all directions.

"Play this CD, it might scare them off!" my partner suggested. I put it in the player, and turned on the megaphone. Christmas music blasted outside of the car, but it only made them mad. They started beating on the car, jumping on it, and a few of the men pulled shotguns out of their coats. At that point, I just decided, "fuck it," and floored it. I plowed through several children, onto the sidewalk, and around the vans. They started firing at us, and chased us for several blocks in their minivans. I got on the nearest highway, hoping to get away from more child casualties, but they'd beat me there. In the fast lane was another gray minivan, going five miles below the speed limit. I was fucked.

To be continued...

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