Wednesday, 10 December 2014
Page Fifty - Away on His Toes (Copcast #165)
There are so many reasons why people become police officers, probably as many reasons as there are officers. Beyond the reasons for joining though, there are the unexpected reasons for staying. For instance there is the heart-stopping moment of excitement when a call comes over the radio for units to assist with a call to 'suspects on premises'. Those calls often seem to come in when everyone is in for refs and the canteen is packed. After the briefest of pauses during which you could hear a pin drop, there is usually absolute pandemonium.
Resembling a scene from a World War Two film, set in a fighter squadron ready room, everyone suddenly scrambles for the doors, grabbing their kit on the run. Once outside, bodies will hurl themselves into every available vehicle and no one cares who is supposed to drive; if you end up in the driver's seat, then you drive.
One late Turn, George and his team were in for dinner when just such a call came through followed by the mad dash outside. George found himself squeezed into the back seat of a Panda with three other lads. Now a Panda is a small patrol car, what would be called a sub-compact in the US and squeezing four fully grown adult males and their kit inside is something close to impossible. Still, they made it and with Mack behind the wheel, the little car even managed to start moving, under protest. Mack was originally from Glasgow in Scotland and his thick Glaswegian accent was perfectly suited to the tirade of threats and curses that he hurled against the Panda as he urged it to accelerate out of the rear yard and through the back gates. Once outside he threw the steering wheel hard to the left ... and slammed the car head on into the front of the armoured police public order carrier that was now parked on the roadside. It hadn't been there earlier and Mack hadn't expected to find it just outside the gates to the yard.
There was dazed silence for a moment and then Mack's door suddenly burst open and he was out of the car, running as fast as he could along the street. The handful of passers-by stopped and stared at the uniformed police officer, the front of his white shirt stained red from blood that flowed from a cut to his forehead, running away from a marked police car. The three officers left in the car could only watch in dumb amazement.
Mack was almost out of sight when he eventually slowed, then stopped before turning reluctantly back to the crashed car and his colleagues. Once he got back to the others, George grabbed him by the collar and hissed in his ear "What the bloody hell were you thinking mate?"
Mack looked embarrassed as he quietly explained, "Mate, you know I grew up on a council estate outside of Glasgow don't you? Well it was a bit of a rough old spot and we couldn't afford a car, so I didn't exactly have driving lessons until I joined the Army. You see, if you ever managed to get hold of a car to drive it wasn't likely to be yours so if you ever crashed it was best to run away from it as fast as you could before the police arrived."
"Okay," said George, "but that still doesn't explain why you just made off on your toes, away from a pranged police car."
"Ah well," replied Mack touching his still bleeding forehead. "When I banged my nut just now on the wheel, I was confused for a moment and I kind of panicked I simply reverted to old instincts. You know, crashed car, run like hell."