Friday, March 02, 2007

Police and Paranoia

My dad was a cop in the military, I believe. I can't get much information about what he did, though he's willing to talk about other things I could care less about, while dodging any direct questions.

But I believe he was a cop.

When he retired, he joined a sleepy suburban police force in the town we lived in. That made life damn interesting during the divorce proceedings, which took a whole year, because there was always a cop car near our house, and he always knew if there was a different car in the driveway.

After the divorce went through, a sleepy small town cop's salary was too small, so now he's a cop in Memphis. A traffic cop. Who drives like rules are for others.

A hooker stole his truck once when he was undercover, we came home from an Easter camping trip and he showed up with the news clipping about it - of course, the officer's name wasn't printed, but I still get a laugh out of it.

You'd think with my dad in Memphis, I'd be free from police in this town? Nope, his wife (the woman he was sleeping with while married to my mom) also works for the police department. She recently got promoted to detective, which was great, we were truly happy for her, but because they have so little staff, she was back to regular cop within a month. (Seriously, no hard feelings towards her - just pity that she has to put up with him.)

So what does that have to do with anything?

Just the fact that real police officers have been a part of my life forever. The fictional ones don't count, but I will somehow marry Lennie Briscoe, despite his death and fictional state. We're working through that.

Anyways, Tuesday night around 11:30 I saw a police car parked in the turn of the road that borders the field behind my house. I saw the lights go off and my paranoid, conspiracy section of my brain turned on.

It couldn't have been speeders? On a week night? And he or she was far from the highway, but still quite visible to anyone thinking of speeding into the area.

Only one conclusion made any sense - mass murderer, psychopath, Dick Cheney - loose in the woods by the creek.

Until I told Becky and she said he was probably napping, which makes a hell of a lot of sense, but common sense was gone Tuesday night.

The car stayed there until 1:30. 2 hours, parked with the lights off, on an entrance road to a suburban neighborhood.

Damn right I was paranoid.

So Wednesday afternoon, I was spending a nice day outside, doing nothing, reading, hassling the dogs, when I decide to call the non-emergency number and find out what was going on.

As a citizen, don't I have the right to know?

We don't live in a police state, they are not above the law, above questions, no matter what they think.

My sister kept yelling at me, while I was on hold, saying it's a waste, they're not going to tell you anything! "Why are you doing this?"

"Because it's my right as a citizen of this city."

According to the man I spoke with, sometimes they sit in places like that to do radar. Except most of the car was visible thanks to streetlights. And it was too far from a busy street. The street I'm on is filled with speeders, but there are no cove-like areas for them to park. So sometimes some women will sit outside pointing a hairdryer at the road. Slows 'em down a bit.

There was nothing on the books for our neighborhood, he gave me no reason for the cop's presence.

So no mass murderer, that's a good thing.

Probably a napping cop on duty, doing radar checks.

I wanted to walk up there and ask, "What's up?"

But my mom said no, it's 12 in the morning, have you lost your mind?

So I didn't even get a car number.

I wonder if it was my stepmom...

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