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11/20/2019 5:07:11 PM
Posted: 8/3/2009 6:05:20 PM EST
Went out on yet another suicide call today. 40-something man stuck a 9mm in his ear and dropped the hammer.

I immediately grabbed the major scene checklist and started working on it. Photos, medical examiner notification, measurements, all that. I was in that cold, almost clinical autopilot-like haze until we rolled him over to take more photos, and saw, stuck in the puddle of goo, a photo of his family clenched in his left hand. He had probably been looking right at it when the bullet screamed through his gray matter.



Knocked me right off track. Suddenly the aching feet, tired eyes, and slightly tight gunbelt from eating too much over the weekend all started hurting. Massively.

I unstuck myself from the floor, peeled off my rubber crime scene booties and gloves, and took a walk down the block.
Link Posted: 8/3/2009 6:19:48 PM EST
This means you've kept your humanity.

It's a good sign to have reacted this way.
Link Posted: 8/3/2009 8:41:54 PM EST
Your only human brother......it's good that things like that get to now and again. Alot of people expect for us to just do this job without any feelings. At some point you just have say "enough".
Link Posted: 8/3/2009 9:13:19 PM EST
God bless you, Brother. Nothing in the policy book says you can't take a breather. We've all been there. I was at a house today serving a Writ of Restitution on some serious shit kicking, white trash, idiots. Spent over two hours watching these two morons posture, moan, and bitch. The "cowboy" (emphasis added) stated that he couldn't wait to leave "This f&#@%g country and get that job in France!" I looked at the other deputy with me and said, "How bad does this guy think he has it where he can say the U.S. sucks and he can't wait to get to France!?" The house was literally knee deep in crap, food, diapers, you name it. And these fools had three kids, one an infant. I got so steamed I wanted to choke out Cowboy Joe! We told them they had to take the "BASICS". Cowboy grabbed a half bottle of Crown Royal, a half a six pack of "Dr. Thunder", and a BBQ burner replacement part. Wife, who was high on Oxycontin, stumbled about and grabbed moldy food and dirty clothes. Wanted to strangle them both. I hate evicting people, worst part of my job, but these two deserved it, and they'll never learn.
Link Posted: 8/3/2009 9:57:46 PM EST
Isn't it kind of odd how one little detail (on calls where 99% of the general public would lose their lunch) can turn on a switch in your head? We deal with this stuff so often and become so numb to it, that sometimes you wonder if you are anything like you were before you became a cop. What you described happens to me a lot on scenes like that. I'll go about my business until something about the scene gets to me (i.e. finding a family photo in the deceased persons hands). Like everyone else above said, it reminds us that we're human.
Link Posted: 8/3/2009 11:17:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/3/2009 11:18:15 PM EST by coconut1]
Originally Posted By JellyBelly:
This means you've kept your humanity.

It's a good sign to have reacted this way.


You make me feel like a callous asshole.

OP, good job on taking the mental break and getting back into it. we all need breathers but no one wants to look like they are sluffing off work or come across as having a weak stomach. Not to mention we aren't exactly the most open types with our, what do they call those things, you know, women?

oum, feelings?
Link Posted: 8/3/2009 11:26:16 PM EST
Those are the calls that just don't fuck up your whole day... the fuck up your WHOLE WEEK.
Link Posted: 8/3/2009 11:32:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/3/2009 11:37:56 PM EST by AdrianUSP9]
The more dead people I see, the more "business as usual I get." But yeah, every now and then, you see something that throws you a curve... hope you're doing well. It always makes me really appreciate my family, and how good I got it....

I had a really bad one just the other week. Called in as a suspicious person - officer arrives to find the guy in the driver seat with a gun in the car with him. Won't give up the gun, dialogue was not going anywhere when I arrived on scene with others. Another PO snuck around to deploy the Taser through the pass side window, I snuck up and was covering him from the driver's side rear quarter panel, 7-10 feet away. Primary officer did a great job talking and distracting him. I waited a couple seconds to make sure the Taser was working, and was just starting to move up to get eyes/hands on the gun (in his lap) and / or get another Taser on him and BANG. Second later, the gun flies out of the window. Definitely the harriest call I've been on, and the closest I've come to pulling the trigger. I was maybe 10 feet away. One round to the chest. Pulled him out, started working, but he was dead within a minute. Seen plenty of dead people, but he was the first to die right infront of me. Watching his eyes slowly turn gray....

We did a de-brief, which helped answer the "what if" questions, and seemed to help everyone through it - but honestly, I didn't feel bad for the guy. In fact, I was kind of pissed at his selfishness. Guess I'm just glad we didn't have to shoot him, cause that sounded like his plan....
Link Posted: 8/3/2009 11:42:05 PM EST
its the bad kid calls that still get me. i have taken 'breathers" before.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 6:21:44 AM EST
Originally Posted By AROKIE:
its the bad kid calls that still get me. i have taken 'breathers" before.


Ditto
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 6:24:53 AM EST
Originally Posted By coconut1:
Originally Posted By JellyBelly:
This means you've kept your humanity.

It's a good sign to have reacted this way.


You make me feel like a callous asshole.



I would've thought to myself, "hey, his wife is kinda cute... AND SINGLE!"

But I'm not a cop, I'm just an asshole...
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 7:12:41 AM EST
People ask me all the time how we deal with all the bad stuff we see. I don't even bother explaining it, because they won't understand anyway.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 12:48:23 PM EST
Originally Posted By AROKIE:
its the bad kid calls that still get me. i have taken 'breathers" before.


This one, in retrospect and in comparison to some other calls and cases I have worked, wasn't that bad. I guess it just caught me off guard - nobody likes being blindsided. I also think the two years and change I spent in administrative assignments before taking over the crime lab might have gotten me a little complacent and rusted out some of my mental armor.

Learning experience, I suppose. We all need them periodically.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 1:12:57 PM EST
I went to a call a few months ago of a guy who sat on a Toro zero turn in a shed, turned it on, and let the fumes take him out.

I couldn't help but think, I bet I could get this mower at a great deal...



Hate that you got blindsided... but I know you're GTG. We got your back!
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 1:38:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/4/2009 1:41:22 PM EST by Snowleopard]
What are 'breathers'?

Originally Posted By SwatDawg15:
People ask me all the time how we deal with all the bad stuff we see. I don't even bother explaining it, because they won't understand anyway.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile


I find that as I go thru life, I am saying my mental command to activate my detachment a few times a day. Usually, it's to lock out my emotions to continue with the task at hand. Sometimes, it's to trigger the outlook shift so I view the situation as a different occupation. Ie, go analytical, gather data to report back to your superiors with a report that they can read and know as if they had actually been there.Sometimes, it may be something as simple as "Don't get angry, don't get scared.........solve the problem".

BUT...........if it is a situation where I don't need to issue that command, even though it might be on the tip of my mental tongue because it is practically like habit, then I don't "say" it.

Because to feel is to be human.

You do what you need to do to get thru life.
________________________________________________________––
("Don't you hear it, Chancellor? The gunfire, the screams, Time Lords, Outsiders, aliens out there dying?"––The Doctor
"Then I suggest you remember your training in detachment."––Chancellor Borusa
"Oh, I prefer to remain attached, Chancellor, because I do want to care.", (w,stte), Dr. Who "The Invasion of Time")
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 4:17:44 PM EST
Breathers are just 'taking a breather'. Taking a minute to just relax, catch your breath, grab a smoke or a dip, get some fresh air.

So you can go back in and look at the fucked up shit that we all have to see far too often! And then discuss what we're eating for dinner with our partners
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 4:58:50 PM EST
Originally Posted By pevrs114:
Breathers are just 'taking a breather'. Taking a minute to just relax, catch your breath, grab a smoke or a dip, get some fresh air.

So you can go back in and look at the fucked up shit that we all have to see far too often! And then discuss what we're eating for dinner with our partners


I see. I guess I misread it. I was taking it as some kind of child abuse situation where the infant had been smothered or something.
_________________________________________
("I'll be out in a moment," -Admiral Skeet Kelso to his Exec then to the barkeep, "Bartender, a shot of scotch.", making it seem like he is taking a breather but proceeding to question the barkeep, (w,stte), "Solar Crisis")
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