Behind the Badge

Loud music and the Rookie

I trained many rookies during my time on the Sheriff's Department. I did not really like breaking in new people, I like being by myself. I did realize that someone had to train new people and I felt that if I had to, then the least I could do was try to teach them to be good Police Officers.

I tried to teach them the way my first partner taught me, no nonsense, tough but fair policing. Everyone forms their own style of handling different calls. As a teacher you must allow them to do this, your job is to make sure that they stay within certain guide lines, such as handling the call safely. Often when training a new officer it is easy for you to become frustrated and at times even step in and take over.

One rookie I trained was very soft spoken, which is fine in most cases, however, there are times when you must exert your authority. We received a report of loud music coming from a trailer in a small trailer park. Before we arrived, I told my trainee that this was his call, I was just going to be there if he needed me, but he had to handle it in his own way.

As soon as we pulled into the trailer park we could hear the music. We got out at the trailer and walked up to the front door. I told my partner to go ahead. He knocked on the door but it wasn't even loud enough for us to hear on the outside much less anyone on the inside with that blaring music. I told him to knock again but much louder.

He knocked again, a little louder this time. A voice from inside yelled above the music, "Ya?"

My partner replied in a normal tone of voice, "Sheriff's Department, we would like to talk to you." We got no answer at all, I just looked at the Officer and nodded toward the door. He knocked again and stated in the same tone, "This is the Sheriff's Department, open the door."

That received a reply of "What do you want?"

I had all I could stand, I told him to stand back. I stepped up to the door and hit it hard enough with the heel of my hand to make the windows shake.

From inside came, "Who is it and what do you want?"

I shouted as loud as I could over the music, "It's the Sheriff's Department, open the door before I rip it off the hinges!!"

The music went completely off, the door came open and I was asked, "What can I do for you, Officer?"

After my rookie had gotten all the information for his report and we were leaving I told him, "If I did that right, every drug dealer in the trailer park should have run to the bathroom and started flushing his dope when I yelled!!"

Some of my methods may have been a little unorthodox but I got my point across. I'm sure the collective water bill of that trailer park doubled that night.

by R.L. Dettwiler


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