Our old pal Motorcop approached me asking if we could jump the fence from time to time and have a chance to share with the other crowd. So today he launches “the Crossover” a chance for him to address fire and EMS folk, while I have a chance to talk directly to his law enforcement officer types.
Kind of a digital cross training experiment where we can air our differences and issues in a friendly way.
If you have something you want the law enforcement crowd to know, send the topic to MC and see if he’ll host with you too.
Here he is, the Po-Po a Go-Go, the guy you don’t want to see in your mirror, Mr Motorcop himself!
Greetings, fellow first responders!
I’m your local law enforcer, MotorCop (MC for short), and I’m happy to have the opportunity to chat with you briefly at the world famous HMHQ. Thanks to my good friend, Happy, for agreeing to The Crossover! It’s our aim to commandeer one another’s site on a monthly basis.
Prior to jumping into it, let me start by saying I grew up in the Fire Service (Dad retired as a Captain), so I’ve always had a soft spot for you all. That being said, I’ve got a bone to pick with you:
Now, I’ll be the fist to say, no one likes the images a scene like the above bring to mind. Unless those happen to be a pair of your kicks, it’s safe to say none of us knows what happened in the above photo; however, it probably wasn’t the aftermath of a good time.
So, what is our collective function when we arrive before the crime scene tape is strewn across the area? I think we can agree the main job is first to treat the injured and prevent further injury. After that, our respective jobs diverge and that’s the topic I want to address to you today.
I’m not a medic. I’m not a doc or a nurse or even a f’n podiatrist. Consequently, I only know the basics of first aid. Ready? Here it is, “Fire’s one the way, pal! Hold on!â€ That statement is quickly followed by, “Who did this? What happened?â€ Of course, I’m rehashing a long standing joke about PD and our ability to render aid, but inside the joke is the key to our differences. My job is to find the bad guy. Yours is to save the victim.
Often, our two jobs:jobs that one would think would dovetail nicely:butt heads like two big horn sheep. We on the blue side of things (sometimes) affectionately refer to you on the red side of things as the Evidence Eradication Team. Y’all pull up in your pretty red engine with your shiny reflective turnouts looking cool for all the swooning women. The problem? You parked the aforementioned engine right over my fuckin’ evidence (be it shell casings, skid marks, etc). You swoop in, scoop up, and bounce:usually leaving God knows what kind of medical flotsam and jetsam strewn about.
I’ve always hated it when people just bitch for bitching sake. So, let’s talk about solutions. Let’s start by saying there is typically a communication breakdown at the scene. For example, a couple weeks ago, I was first on scene at a fully-involved house fire. Within a matter of minutes, a veritable army of firefighters arrived. Instead of me milling about and possibly getting in the way, I found the firefighter with the shiniest helmet and cleanest gear and said, “Hey, Chief, what do you need from us?â€ Then, I got the hell out of the way and let you kids do your thing.
Is there any harm in either of us doing that for the other? If it’s an obvious fire call (medical, fire, etc.) and you just need traffic control, just ask (if I haven’t already). If it’s an obvious PD call (crime, collision, etc.), before you cruise on up and park next to the wrecked vehicle or injured party, stop and think about where you’re about to park that big ass boat you’re driving.
I’m not asking you to compromise the care an injured party may need:but you guys get paid to work out for crying out loud, you can swing walking an extra couple hundred feet. All I ask is for a little scene integrity. What if it were your wife, sister, mother, brother, friend that was hurt or worse? If that person were beyond your help, you’d need us to solve the crime. It’s hard to accomplish that with tainted and/or destroyed evidence.
All I’m looking for is a little mutual cooperation. We’ve both got big egos and sometimes that gets in the way of seeing things a little more clearly. We can keep up the jokes about us eating donuts (which is true:love me some donuts) and you folks getting comfy in your La-Z-Boys (also true:I’ve been in a House a time or two). But, when it comes to the job, what say we both try to be more mindful about what the other may or may not need from us.
See you at the next crash: