By Curtis Jackson
There are some deputies that looked great all the time, and…. some looked like yesterday’s newspaper. This deputy, (RT), was one that took great pride in his uniform appearance. He was very meticulous. Highly shined Sheriff’s Badge had all the smaller badges that you could, and were authorized to put on your uniform, e.g. shooting badge and flags. He had plastic coated shoes and gun belt, fresh creases in his pants/ shirt, brushed chromed 357 weapon, and his hair some how never messed up. He would never even think of driving an un-vacuumed dirty vehicle. He was what we were all encouraged to look like. He also was an excellent street cop. Basically an all around good guy.
He and his partner, a trainee, were working 15A on the early morning shift. We were working EM shift in Willowbrook. Another Willowbrook unit drove by us, and advised us, via the one index finger up method, that they wanted us to go to the car-to-car frequency. They indicated they saw (RT) and his trainee drive behind one of the businesses off Rosecrans and Broadway. One of the deputies said they parked their vehicle in the alley near there, and “snuck” up on (RT). They observed him “backed in” behind a commercial building. He was parked next to an oil well, between some old dirty oil barrels. Apparently relaxing, and resting his eyes a bit. I was personally shocked (RT) would allow his vehicle’s tires to roll over a dirty area like that, much less park there.
The plan of these two deputies was to light off a complete pack of firecrackers near (RT), and his trainee. Basically to scare the “bageezzemas” out of them. After much discussion it was determined that the risk of someone getting accidentally shot was too great of a risk to take. So… the deputy with the firecrackers determined he could lessen the risk of someone (him) being injured if he attached a longer fuse. This would enable him to be completely out of the immediate area, but within hearing distance. After much “I don’t knows” and “what ifs”, plus laughing a lot, it was finally agreed to by all of us mature 20 plus year old deputies. The deputy with the firecrackers did his job. It was apparently a good job, as everyone had time to back out of the area.
After a short period of time had elapsed, the firecrackers did what they were supposed to do. RAPIDLY EXPLODE. According to his trainee; believing they were being ambushed (RT) dove out of his vehicle onto the oily ground, and took cover behind an oily barrel. It didn’t take him long to figure out a prank had just been pulled on him. (RT) didn’t at the time, and I imagine even after these thirty plus years later, probably still hasn’t found any humor in this “training scenario”. Probably never will.
After the incident occurred, the only traffic we heard from (RT) was that he was going TEN-19 (return to station) apparently to change clothes. (RT), nor any one else involved really ever discussed this event after that. I finally have, but it has been much much later.