Saturday, 1 April 2017

An Inauspicious Start

I have met and worked with thousands of police officers and 99.9 % were honest and courageous. Most had a dark sense of humour. Some were wildly eccentric but all a pleasure to work with. I did come across the odd difficult one  however. As a young policeman I was first posted to a police station in the suburbs of Birmingham. Now I am not one to bear a grudge but I don't forget if someone has been less than fair. Oh yes the watercolour above is of me as a young recruit.

I digress.  As the newest recruit on the shift I was given all the worst tasks.  Making tea, collecting the shifts takeaway order etc but also sitting with murders and rapists on suicide watch and security duties. Unfortunately at that time in Birmingham we were under constant threat from terrorism and bombings. Security duties were therefore quite onerous. I didn't have a problem with doing these things. Someone had to do it and eventually a new recruit would arrive and they would undertake them. However!

One day I was called upstairs for a progress interview with the Superintendent. I wasn't offered a seat but had to stand and listen to what I will politely called a "dressing down". Apparently in the 3 months previously I hadn't made any arrests or submitted any traffic offences.

It wasn't good enough, What had I got to say for myself?

Well I pulled out my pocket book and pointed out for the last three months I had been given the unenviable task of providing security for the police station. In other words for my 8 hour shift I was walking around a small building and not being allowed to enter it other than for my refreshment break of 45 minutes. I had not been on general patrol at all during that 3 month period. How could I have any arrests?

For some reason this seemed to annoy the Superintendent even more and I left him red faced with his moustache twitching. Apparently I wasn't meant to disagree or embarrass him. I was somewhat annoyed with  the Shift Inspector who had compiled my progress report and told him so when I saw him. That went well!

It was no surprise to me a few days later that I found I had been transferred to the Birmingham City Centre Division where there was plenty of work and I never had a problem with my supervisors.

Today I start a new painting. Not sure what yet but have a couple of ideas.

PS. I am pretty sure there is someone out there who will be recounting a story about me one day. Don't rush though!

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