Wednesday, June 22, 2005


I know it might be hard for most of my faithful readers to believe, but I was sent to "Sensitivity Training" on several occasions while I was a cop.


It's true!

Seems the police department administration didn't feel I was caring and empathetic enough.

Go figure.

I can't remember all of the reasons and exactly how many times I was sent, but I do remember that the times I was there, I'd see the same faces all the time. It was almost like detention in high school.

"Hey Phil! You again?"

"Yeah Tommy, I know it's hard to believe!" As he rolls his eyes...

You get my point.

I do remember one time though. It had to do with a severed arm and my sometimes uncontrollable runaway mouth.

Then throw into the mix my extremely warped sense of humor.

One afternoon several years ago, my partner and I received a radio call to assist in traffic control around a MVA (Motor Vehicle Accident) As we arrive and look around to try to figure out what had happened, which became obvious almost immediately.

A gentleman riding a motorcycle was traveling westbound on Girard Avenue and was approaching the intersection of 5th street. It was slightly drizzling, and the recessed trolley tracks in the middle of the street were quite wet. The light had changed to red for our biker, and he hit the brakes. As he was doing this, a tractor-trailer was pulling though the light on 5th street, heading northbound. He had the green light. The biker hit the brakes again, and the rear wheel of his Yamaha hit the wet rail. Causing him to go out of control, sliding sideways on his right side under the trailer, and in the process severing his left arm.

As I walk up to the scene, the paramedic from the fire rescue squad, whom I'm very friendly with came running up.

"Tommy, the guy is unconscious, but we can't find his arm. It's a clean sever and if we can find it quick, they might be able to re-attach it if we get him to Episcopal (hospital) soon! Fuck the traffic control and go find the arm!"

"Ok, Fred."

My partner and I took off up the street, looking all over the place. I finally find the arm under a parked car about a half-block up Girard Ave. I reach under he car and retrieve the arm, stand up and yell over to my partner.

"Hey, Jim! I got it!" Holding it up for him to see. He trots over as I'm looking at it and I notice it still has the wristwatch on it.

I look at my partner, and straight-faced say...

"Hey, look! It takes a licking and keeps on ticking!"

He laughs, and we trot on down to the scene where we turn over the limb to the rescue squad. The victim and his arm are both loaded into the rig and they speed off to the ER.

We didn't think anything of it until later when we heard the radio call that everyone on the job hates.

"**** Car, take your headquarters."

Oh, shit! What did we do now? We both wondered...

We roll into the district and the sergeant is waiting for us. It was then we found out what was so bad.

Apparently a citizen who was standing by the accident scene overheard my comment to my partner and didn't think it was all that funny, and being a concerned citizen decided it was in the best interest of the city to report this gross breach of misconduct and take it upon himself to get a "Bad Cop" off the streets.

Three days off without pay and eight hours of sensitivity training later...

I still thought it was funnier that hell.

The instructor in the class was even funnier. She was some twenty year-old right out of some liberal college in Massachusetts somewhere.

She began by telling one grizzled old veteran of the department that he shouldn't hit children.

"Hey lady. Do you have any kids?" He asked her.

"No, I don't."

"I have four teenagers, from fourteen to eighteen. Shut the fuck up. You don't know shit about it!"

It went like that for the better part of the day. And I laughed my ass off the whole day listening to this claptrap. Someone who hasn't got a clue what it's like is going to second-guess me and tell me how to do my job.

Taxpayer's money well spent.

I went to see the biker at the hospital several days later and even he thought it was funny. He recovered fully, by the way.

And I still have folks ask me why I don't get on a PD here in West Virginia.

And go through that shit again? No way. I'm done living in a fishbowl, thank you very much.

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

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