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While backing up a City Officer, I become the common enemy.

At times we were called upon to back up the City Police department at a call they had. I received such a call one night. A city officer had been sent to a residence for a domestic dispute. The Police Department was very busy and had not had another free to go with him as his back-up. The city officer had been on the scene approximately fifteen minutes when I arrived.

I found the officer in the living room with two females and two males. I was there to act as the other officer's back-up, it was his call and I planned to let him handle it his way.

I quickly learned from the conversation that the two couples had been living together, but something had happened between the two women and they could no longer get along. One couple was therefore moving out. There were several boxes sitting around the living room where they had been packing. The two women were verbally throwing stabs and jabs at each other while the two men seemed to be trying to keep them calm. This went on for a couple of minutes until one of the women said something to the other that the boyfriend did not like. He told her to watch what she said. At this point the other boyfriend told him not to talk to his girlfriend like that. A shouting match began at that point.

The city officer finally got them to quiet down and told them that they needed to do something because we could not stay there with them all night. That helped for about five minutes then everyone started arguing again.

I hated to take over the other officer's call because that can cause hard feelings, but I just could not stand it anymore. I told them all to shut up, then I asked who was moving out. When I found out who was supposed to be leaving, I told them that they better get their trash packed and moved out because I was getting tired of all of their crap. Not meaning to degrade the city officer yet trying to make a point, I told them that they might pull this crap with the city police department, but if they had not noticed I was wearing a brown uniform and I had better things to do than listen to them. I told them if they could not move themselves out, I could. I'd just put them all in jail.

Now that they had someone else to focus their anger on, they quit fighting among themselves and finished packing. All four of them helped put the boxes in the car. At this point I was able to leave. I did not worry about the city officer having anymore trouble because the incident was over, and besides I was now the bad guy and I was leaving.

Ralph L. Dettwiler
(Former) Sergeant
Beaufort County Sheriff's Department
Beaufort, South Carolina

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