Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Page Thirty Two - Not a Catwalk (Copcast #147)

It cannot be denied that there are some people that find police officers in their uniforms a powerfully appealing image to behold. It is also true that there are some officers who are so enamoured of how well they look in all their kit that they walk around like fashion models on a catwalk.

In his role as tutor constable, George has become used to many students coming onto the unit fully equipped with new gadgets and kit that they have paid for out of their own pocket. Admittedly some of it is useful, like a decent torch or fixed penalty ticket folder, but some of it is not so useful like a key holder that stops your keys from jangling or a PAC tag clip that also doubles as an effective ligature if you get into a rumble. The job provides new recruits with enough kit to start them off, all of it at the most economical price. Things like handcuff holders where the seams split and baton holders that lose your ASP in a foot chase. In short the job knows it will need to replace these items on a regular basis, because police officers will break them.

George will confess to having a number of items bought & paid for by him, including an adjustable cuff holder (for a leftie), a leather MAT belt and a decent adjustable baton holder. He is also the proud owner of a Garrity LED torch that he purchased in Walmart three years ago for $5.00 (including tax) whilst on vacation in Florida. It is still going strong and it sits nicely in a job issue baton holder. In addition to all this he owns a TAC vest to carry it all and has his POLSA 'Gucci' kit safely stored in his locker. All of George’s kit is engraved with his collar number as, hard to believe though it may be, there are some light fingered individuals out there who seem to think that re-assigning someone else’s kit is 'fair game' if it isn’t nailed down. George himself feels that they should have their fingers cut off, he bought his kit for practical reasons, it lasts and he relies on it.

Whenever a new bunch of students arrive on the Training Unit the Sergeant ceremoniously strips them of their newly bought kit, when and only when they are released onto shift they allowed to wear their non-job issue stuff and then only with their new Sergeant’s approval. One new student however recently took exception to this, declaring that he would use both his two new torches as the job ones were, in his words, 'sh***'. George shrugged and said “Okay Jason, whatever”.

One of Jason’s new torches was an LED light that clipped onto his stab vest. It was very good at its job, Jason could write tickets in the dark (as opposed to writing them out in a dry, warm police car) and made him look a bit like Robocop. George quietly wondered how long it would stay attached to Jason’s stab vest though. He didn't have to wait long to find out, a few days later they attended an officer assistance call, two officers were struggling with a drunken male whilst his mates were trying to set him free. Jason jumped into the fray, pushing them back and giving them warnings to move on. One lad had to be pushed more than the others and the officers all ended up piling on top of him leading to a short scuffle. The drunken lads were nicked for drunk & disorderly, the van arrived and both were taken away.

George checked on Jason and pointed out that only the back of his LED torch was still attached to his stab vest. A look of horror fell across his face and he started to look frantically for the rest of it in the dark. He produced his other equally expensive LED torch that apparently harnessed the power of seven suns, to aid his search for the first LED light, only to find it had a cracked case and refused to work.

George lent him his. Jason found the missing light under a bench some 20 feet away, the lens destroyed and the clip cracked; apparently it had been trodden on during the scuffle. With some angst Jason threw George’s $5.00 (including tax) torch back at him and his vest torch in the nearest bin. Teddy and pram parted company in spectacular style as the former was tossed in a far corner with extreme prejudice. Of course Jason’s experience is one George now shares with all new students and happily unlike him, most of them get the message.

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