28 June 2010

About 12 pounds of pressure...

From the Cop Side: When I started out as a young copper over 30 years ago, we were issued nice shiny new Stainless Steel Smith and Wesson Model 66 .357 magnum revolvers. At that time, they were about the best pistol you could get. (I still think the Colt Python was the best revolver ever made, but they were too expensive to issue)
S&W Mod 66

As a kid in the police academy I learned how to fire the Smith and Wesson revolvers “double action.” The means without cocking the hammer back. On a un-modified revolver, this took about 12 pounds of pressure. If you cocked it, it only took about 4 or 5 pounds of pressure.

The entire time Smith and Wesson has been making double action revolvers; they really haven’t changed much at all. If you fired one made in the 1950’s it felt about like one made in the 1980’s.

I’m sure there are some who read this and argue that you could “work the action” and make it smoother and lighter…but for an issued weapon, we did not mess with them.

I remember how proud I was when I got hired on and went in to the station for all my equipment issue. They measured me for my uniforms, issued boots, gun belt and when they handed me a brand new in the box Stainless Steel Smith and Wesson Model 66 .357 magnum revolver, I was very happy. I did not get a used revolver, but a brand new one…never been issued to any other copper. That was a good day in 1979.

12 pounds of pressure

My first night on patrol by myself after I was off the F.T.O. (Field Training Officer) Program, I was so happy. I look back now and realized I really had no idea what the hell I was doing... and if we had a cop today with no experience, he or she would get a good solid 18 week with a few F.T.O’s, not the two weeks I got with some old guy on day shift who kept falling asleep as I drove the car around.  I really DKS (Didn't Know Shit)

…anyway, my first night I made 3 felony arrest and got into a foot pursuit. Well, I actually didn’t chase the idiot who ran away from me on foot…he was on foot, I got into my patrol car and figured I’d just let him get tired and all. He ran for about 6 blocks, never realizing that he wasn’t going out run that old Dodge V-8, but he finally just got tired and fell down. Fat kid was really out of shape. He just went to jail tired.

A few months later is when I remember the 12 pounds of pressure.

One of the other coppers I was working with one night--let's call him John--- called out on the radio that he was at some kind of disturbance at the Stop & Rob Market. I rolled over to back him up. As the other John the cop was talking to some dumbass about not disrupting life and peace of the rest of the world, two other turds were walking out of the store arguing. It was a very loud and nasty arguement...lots of bad words and yelling. 

I was trying to cover my partner, but I had to turn to see if the other two were going to be a threat to us. One of the turds had a small pocket knife in his hand and was telling the other turd that he was going to cut him.

Without even thinking or realizing it, I had my Shiny Stainless Steel Smith and Wesson Model 66 .357 magnum revolver out of my holster in my hand and pointed at turd with a knife much quicker than I could have ever drawn if I was only at the range.  That draw impressed me and I don't think I've ever been able to draw that fast again.  It was truly amazing. 
I began yelling for turd with the knife to drop the knife, drop the knife, drop the knife, drop the knife, drop the knife,drop the fucking knife. All for nothing as he didn’t even blink or turn to look at me.

.....the other cop finally figured that what ever I had going on was now more important than the loud turds he was talking to….and he called for more cops. I’m not sure where he thought they were coming from, because I knew that we were the only two cops within miles who were not really busy. (yeah I know of TV they always have plenty of cops for everything…but this was real life cop work in them days)

So, by this time my partner John, was now looking at turd with a knife, except where John was standing John couldn’t see the knife. I’m standing there yelling at the idiot to put the knife down, and now the cop I was backing up is my back up, but he still doesn’t see the problem so he’s just standing there with nothing useful in his hands. (Something useful in those days might have been a baton, gun, or mace).

So about the 50th time I yell at turd with a knife to drop the knife, I realize that he’s not looking at me, but he’s lookin’ at the other turd whom he’s pissed of at about something. I think to myself: “Maybe he doesn’t see that I’m a cop because he’s not lookin’ at me standing here with the blue uniform, badge, police patches, cop haircut, cop mustache, gun belt and this really big friggen gun in my hand.”

So, I say a few magic words: “I am a police officer, drop the fucking knife or I am going to shoot you!!!” in my best outside voice.

He dropped the knife, I spun him around, put on my shiny new handcuffs and threw him into the back of my patrol car before a crowd could form and come and rescue his dumb ass.

Oh yeah, when he dropped the knife, I kind of looked down and my pistol and realized that I had already applied about 6 pounds of pressure on the 12 pound trigger. He never knew how close to being shot he was. I was really glad that I did not have to shoot him.

24 June 2010

The "Gunner Dance" Part II

(from a March 08 posting, a story about a mission into Baghdad in spring 2005)

From the Soldier side: Well, I took a few days off from "blogging" (where did that word come from, sounds like someone got sick on the computer...He blogged all over the keyboard.) Well, I got complaints that I was taking too long getting on with this story. Now don't forget, it's not the job, but how you had to get there that made for the "rush" and adventure.
M-249 SAW- Squad Automatic Weapon

Gunner Dance: Part 2. As our convoy of 3 Hummers exited the main gate, we paused to charge our weapons. I chambered a round in my M-4 ( a 5.56mm gas operated carbine that could fire semi auto and 3 round burst) and my M-9 (a 9mm 15 shot pistol made by Beretta.) I had field stripped both the night before to clean them and make sure they were in perfect order...I knew they'd work if I needed to fire them.

The hero of this story is the Gunner. I was sitting next to "Big J" who was standing up in the turret with the M-249 SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon ( a gas operated belt fed 5.56mm machine gun) pointing forward and around in a 180 degree arc.

As we got further from the base, local traffic got worse. Remember, Baghdad was the worst place in Iraq at that time (early 2005) and it had more people in one city than Bosnia had in the whole country!

We had heard that suicide bombers would ram a car full of explosives into convoys, so every time a car came at us from an intersection, Big J would spin around the gun and hold up his hand and blow a whistle. He was so big, 6-6 and over 250 LBS, I think he scared the shit out of a lot of would be suicide bombers just by his size.

The entire time we were driving, Big J kept spinning and jumping around in the turret always looking for a threat and keeping cars and people away from the vehicle. He never stood still...not for one second.

I had two concerns: #1) Keep scanning out the windows and look in whichever direction Big J was not look.

#2.) Keep my hands and other body parts away from Big J’s feet as he danced around next to me.

It was hot and I was sweating just sitting on my ass in the rear passenger seat....even with the AC on full blast. I know Big J was getting a work out. Every once in a while he'd yell down for me to hand him a bottle of water from the ice chest. He emptied a few liters in a short time... and still kept dancing around.

Every time a car came towards us, I would get ready to drop my window and point my M-4 at the car and fire if it didn't stop. But there was never any need for me to take any action since Big J had us covered.

45 minutes later, we were at the FOB where I had to do my investigation. I still can't discuss that, but the chow at that FOB was some of the best I'd had in Iraq. I completed what I could do for the day, as we had to head back by 1500 hours.

We loaded back in the Hummers and drove back. Big J doing the same dance the whole way. One Iraqi pulled in front of us and seemed to not know we were behind him...trying to pass. This is what we called in Civilian Law Enforcement as a "HUA Driver" (Head Up Ass) So the team leader told his driver to give the car a little "tap" to get his attention. That did it and the idiot moved out of our way. I so wish I could do that back home in the patrol car...and don't think I haven't been tempted.

When one old Iraqi Toyota pulled infront of our convoy and drove slower than Driving Miss Daisy, the team leader told the driver to give him a bumper tap.

Big J never stopped dancing the entire time. Thinking back on it now, I might have called this “Dancing with the Stars”

We made it back to base without incident (sort of). I got out of the Humvee feeling very tired. I looked at the 3 gunners, the drivers, truck commanders and the team leaders and thought:"these guys do this almost every day and I just did it once and feel worn out." (this would not be my last ride) Those guys were real heroes.

In June 2005, Big J was doing the Gunner Dance on a convoy into Baghdad. His normal team leader was called off for something else that day, so another friend of mine, Roberto, took the team out.

An IED hit that Humvee that day, killing Roberto, and severely wounding the two new replacements and Big J. We were told Big J was medivaced to Germany, and he might die.

He did his Gunner Dance for the doctors and is back on duty for the California Army National Guard. Roberto is taking teams out in heaven everyday.

21 June 2010

I called it: "The Gunner's Dance"

(OK readers...I have to go off to some cop training this week, but I couldn't leave you all hanging.  This is Part II of a three part adventure I posted in March 08.)

From the Soldier side: For those who've been reading my blog for awhile, you know I think I'm very lucky to have worked with some real honest to God heroes while I was in Iraq.

M-1114 Up Armored Humvee-Turbo Charged with .50 Cal

Mission East Baghdad Part 2:

The "team leader" (I'll call him "W") for the convoy I needed to hitch a ride on was a one of the best leaders I knew in Iraq. He did everything he could to keep his folks alive. One of the people who worked with him on almost every mission is a man I'll call "Big John" the gunner. Now as a team leader, for a very small convoy( 3 Humvees) going into Baghdad 6 days a week, "W" could have taken the #2 vehicle "Victor" position in the convoy and had one of his security teams take the lead...but "W" would have none of that...he lead the way.

(In most IED attacks at that time, the first vehicle was usually the one hit and killed.) For my mission, I wanted to ride with "W" in his truck and have Big John as the gunner. I gave Big John a lot of his weapons training prior to going to Iraq, so I wanted to see how he took the training...he exceeded my expatations!

The morning that I was to go with these guys, I have to admit, I was a little worried. I'd only been on a few convoys so far, (and I'd been in country 4 months at this time) but "W's" teams had been out about 70 times at this point. I wasn't worried about insurgent assholes, I was worried that I wasn't as good as these guys.

For the convoy briefing, "W" said I'd ride in his truck so we could chat on the way out. I felt good about this, so I loaded my spare ammo and crap in the back seat. Big John would be standing beside me in the gun turret. My secondary job would be to take over the gun if the gunner got hit or anything....so I went over the weapon really quick with Big John. It's funny now he was the teacher... Like where the extra ammo belts were stored, current rules of engagement, sectors of fire, etc.

The brief was done and we started rolling towards the big gate on the other side of the camp...to roll out into Baghdad....I'm glad that I had eaten a big breakfast (remember one of my rules of combat: "you can't shit your pants in fear on an empty stomach!")

To be cont.

18 June 2010

It's not the job, but how we got there that was exciting!

(This is a recycled story from March 2008, this was when I was telling the "public" version of some of my Iraq missions.- CI Roller Dude)
From the Soldier side: OK, on with the next mission story...this will be called:" Mission: East Baghdad."

When I returned to base from my last mission at Al Asad, I was told that I was giving up my "team" and getting a new team and assignment. This assignment was coming from a very very high place...but the battalion I worked for was still trying to figure out who I was getting on my new team and where they'd get us a vehicle.

Airborne Taxi Cab Lightening thing patch

So, in the mean time, I reported each morning to the Ops office and drank coffee. My second day sitting in the Ops office I was approached by the civilian who worked there. We'll just call him " Jim". He asked me if I had ever done any kind of investigations before. I told him I'd been a cop for over 25 years at that point, and was a detective at one time and did a bunch of shit in Bosnia. He said that would work, so he told me of a little mission he needed me to do.

This sounded very interesting...the mission...but getting to the job was where the real excitement was. I would have to go to one of the Forward Operating Bases (FOB) in Baghdad. The funny part was, we were on the far west side of Baghdad and the mission was on the far east side. So, to get there required riding in a convoy.

I discussed the investigation with the civilian and then had to wait for one of our "teams" to return from a mission so I could ask the team leader if I could ride out with them one day to do my "job."

The team leader came in with his team at the end of the day. They were very tired, so I waited until he'd unloaded his gear and presented him with my travel needs. He was all for the mission, so he said he'd be happy to haul me out to the FOB in 2 days (they needed a few days to submit a trip ticket.)

Now, I had to get my self ready. Wow, riding a convoy into Baghdad, Iraq. When you looked at the average daily events in Iraq, Baghdad usually had more "Sig Acts" in a day than the rest of all of Iraq put together. It was a shithole of activity. IED, VBIEDS, Snipers, Suicide dogs, pot shot takers, bad drivers, Suicide Vest Bombers, camel shit, donkey shit, people shit and all kinds of other assholeinsurgents.
(And the really funny thing is...the roads were still better than the freeways in California!)

All I needed to do was get my gear squared away and have my notes ready for the investigation I had to do. The Drivers had to prep their vehicles, the gunners had to prep their weapons, the convoy commander had to make a route plan and list all soldiers who were going etc etc. I had the easy job.

To be cont.

14 June 2010

My Flag Day....

From the Soldier side: It’s Flag Day (in the USA for my readers in other countries)

There are some special days when many folks put up the American Flag. I know some who fly theirs every single day. I regret that if I left mine up all the time, some delinquent would steal It.—which should be a special sort of crime I think.

I’ll ask both the Vets who read this and others, what does the Flag mean to you. I know I have folks from other countries reading, so I’ll ask you the same question. Your country’s flag should mean something to you. (I have a flag from each country I’ve “visited” out of a matter of respect for that country, but I only fly one outside my home.) If you live in some really screwed up country, maybe you don’t care about your flag. Sorry about your luck. (It's funny, I've been to some countries that have no runny water, but they have internet and cell phones.) 
Have a beer for the Army's Birthday!

When I was about 19 years old…a young Private First Class in the US Army in the famous Berlin Brigade – Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry C/2/6, we’d have to pull some kind of guard duty every few months.  Life was: Go to the field, go to training, go to guard duty, then go to the field, then go to training, then go on guard duty...repeat.
One type of guard duty we had was called “Brigade Guard”. This was guarding the Brigade Headquarters and special ammo points. This was mostly for show, but we took it serious because our sergeants wouldn’t let it be any other way. We were not really concerned about what anybody else thought, but we wanted to impress our sergeants—we had to since we looked up to them as some kind of Gods or something. After all, they were all Viet Nam Vets.

This type of guard duty required that we have two types of uniforms ready. The Army “Class A’s” with all your awards and stuff (I think I had one ribbon back then) and the old OD Green Fatigues. The Class A’s were worn with jump boots tucked into the pants –“bloused.” The Fatigues were highly starched and pressed--- like cardboard. We were inspected before each guard mount and if we weren’t perfect, the sergeant would send us back to our room to correct the problem.

The jump boots were highly polished, so shiny, that they looked like glass when we were done. Just to help them shine a little bit better, we’d put a little Glo-Coat floor wax on them. Man what a shine. Good thing we didn’t have to kick anybody’s ass, or the shine would have cracked off.
I figured the first time I was going on Brigade Guard that I’d get stuck on the ammo point. After all, I was the new guy just out of AIT (Advanced Idiot Training).

The Platoon Sergeant looked at me, asked me some questions about my “General Orders” and such. Then he told me to put on my Class A’s…I was going to be on the Flag Detail.

This elicited a bit of bitching from some of those who’d been there longer than me. This was an honor…and the best detail. All we had to do was raise the flags in the morning and take them down in the afternoon. We didn’t have to rotate on and off a 4 hour guard post every 8 hours. Cool!

I don’t know why, but every time I stood by the Berlin Brigade flag pole and raised or lowered the flags each day, I felt something special.
Keep that weapon pointed down range!!!

OK, don’t tell anybody I got all warm and fuzzy, it’d ruin my image.


11 June 2010

Sight Picture, Breathing control...

A re-do of an old post.

From the Soldier side: When asked: "CI-Roller dude, how did you get your team and yourself to keep going out over and over whilst in Iraq?"

I know some of you reading this are in leadership positions, and others are, but don't yet know it. I used a combination of things to get my team and the teams I took over to keep going. If I didn't tell you this story...when we were going into Falljuah on our first mission, in Dec 2004, I could tell my lads were a little uptight the morning we got up before the mission. I looked at them and could see it on their faces.
As we loaded stuff from our tin cans (trailers) to take with us, I told them: "we need to go eat a big breakfast!"
"Eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, oatmeal, cereal, apples, oranges, SOS, coffee, tea, milk, orange juice, toast, everything we can eat!"

The younger soldier looked at me and had a puzzled face and said: "I'm not sure I can eat anything right now..."

I looked him right in the eyes and said:
"Men, you can't shit your pants in fear on an empty stomach."

That got them to breath, laugh and we had chow and drove on.....
Somebody asked me one time, if I had to shoot anybody in Iraq, how could I do it.  I answered with:
"Sight picture,control your breathing....trigger press.  FIRE!

08 June 2010

14 things to do on deployment.....

From the Soldier side: As most of my regualar readers know (all 3 of you) I do like to post things to help others who may be going on a war deployment.  Remember, in most cases YOU have to make your own fun! 

To Maintain A Healthy Level Of Insanity while on deployment to Iraq

14 Things Private Snuffy Taught Me in Iraq!

1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Humvee With Sunglasses on and point a Hair Dryer At Passing vehicles.... See If They Slow Down.

2. In the PX, Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don't Disguise Your Voice!

3. Every Time your boss ask You To Do Something, ask If They Want Fries with that?"

4. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker in the TOC For 3 Weeks . Once Everyone has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch to Espresso.

5. In the PX, In the Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write ' For Marijuana.
6. Skip down the hall Rather Than Walk and see how many looks you get.

7. Order a Diet Water whenever you go to eat in the Mess Hall, with a serious face.
8. While walking around Sergeant Majors, whistel tunes from Disney movies.
9. While watching AFN TV, Sing Along At The Opera

10. Five Days before it’s time to rotate home, Tell Your Friends You Can't Attend The Party Because You have a headache.

11. In the PX , When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream 'I Won! I Won!'

12. When Leaving the Mess Hall, Start Running towards the Parking lot, Yelling 'Run For Your Lives! They're Loose!'

13. Tell Your fellow soldiers, Over Dinner, 'Due To The Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go.'

And The Final Way To Keep A Healthy Level Of Insanity


04 June 2010

It's not the dumb questions, it's the lack of seeming to give a .....

From the Soldier side: Since I returned to California from serving in Iraq & Bosnia, I've learned more each day about how to help others who've been to war to cope with life. As I've talked about before, one of the most annoying things civilians do is to ask some pretty dumbass questions. It's not really the dumbass questions that I personally find so annoying, but so many times the person ask the question, but they don’t really seem to want an answer.

I still recall while working at the Police Department I used to work. When I returned from Bosnia, one of the “Desk Jockey Admin Pukes” (DJAP) asked me: “How was Kosovo?”

I responded by looking at him and saying: “I don’t know, I was in Bosnia.” Then he proceeded to tell me how he knew what I had gone through because he did a year of ROTC in college 30 years ago. Wow, no shit? I was impressed. A year of ROTC in college compares to what?

I was pretty sure he was a retard before that…but his comments sealed the proof. When I returned from Iraq, I waited for him to ask me how Afghanistan was.

I’ve learned to answer the common question: “What was in like in Iraq?” with: “It sucked and it was hot and dry.”
Ahh!  The fresh smell of Fallujah in Dec 2004

Most people really don’t want to hear that everything smelled like camel shit and sand got into everything. But to tell you the truth, I really didn’t mind being there….they expect me to whine about it, but I liked it. (not that I’d want to go again.)

But the thing I seem to find the most annoying is when somebody tells me of a relative…usually a nephew or niece, that: “Is in the military and going to…uh…er….I think Iraq.”

I often ask: “What branch of the military?” So often they have no friggen idea. I just look at them and suggest: “Don’t you think you should find out….maybe send them a care package or something?”

For some reason, I can’t figure out how somebody can’t know if a relative is in the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard. Those things are kind of important to some of us.

I guess what my point is, if you are going to act like you “support the troops”, then figure out at least what branch they’re in and where they’re going. I wouldn’t even expect some to actually think that there are different jobs in the military.

The other funny thing I’ve noticed is; so many folks in the United States have no idea where other countries are. One person I know asked me before I deployed to Bosnia: “Isn’t it hot there?”

I looked at her with a puzzled expression and said: “Well, it’s kind of like Truckee, CA with landmines.”

She said: “I thought it was in Africa.”

Oh, what is the problem with our citizens.
OK, to help with that a little, I’ve included a little link here:



02 June 2010

DO NOT ENTER...because...

From the Cop side: I don't often write about current police stuff...because I would hate for some citizen to become upset with how stupid they really are in our eyes.  But, shit, I've been a cop in California for 31 years now...minus 24 months for national guard deployments to fun places like Bosnia and Iraq....but I' guess I've seen and heard a lot of "stuff" in my time. 
I try to think positive about it all and like that old Monty Python song..."Look on the bright side of life" or somethinglikethat.  In crazyness and crime I try to help and do good. 

But, one thing I've noticed in the area I work...an observation that I've noted many times.  The newer car drivers don't want to obey signs and stuff if they don't know why they are there. 
Take the case of the Do Not Enter signs where  a very large ass bus has to exit an area.  I went to traffic court today...and the silly little bitch driver said that she saw the many signs telling her not to turn and enter into an area the big ass bus has to exit.  But she felt since there was no sign telling her it was a big ass bus exit, that the judge should dismiss the cite. 

I could tell that the judge wanted to call her a silly little bitch, but he refrained from such verbage and just made a funny face. 

Guilty, pay the fine, next case. 


I wish they'd let me make up the road signs.  There would be no questions any more....ever.