Monday, August 27, 2012

Blog Future and layout.

When I first started this blog, I thought I was leaving Law Enforcement, or at the very least, the Department that I work for.  As you can see, that didn't happen.  I got lucky.

I found that writing for an unknown audience is therapeutic in it's own way, so I am going to keep it up.

However, this time, I am revamping the intent of this blog into how my life has changed.  Instead of picking up the pieces and moving on in a different direction, I will be picking up the pieces, and rebuilding my career.

I will continue to tell "War Stories" in the story tab, and will write updates about what is going on in the posts section.  I have added a new page.  It deals with police suicide.  I encourage y'all to read it and share the link I provided for the National P.O.L.I.C.E. Suicide Foundation with your co-workers.

Take care, and be safe.

Feel free to leave comments or messages down below, I would like to hear from you guys and gals.  I saw in the traffic activity that I had people from Russia reading this blog of mine, and it blew my mind!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Look who's back!

Don't call it a comeback, I've been here for years. 

Wow! What a week. Last week, I got a call from the lawyer with the news of my case. The lieutenant in charge of Internal Affairs had sent a final offer, as was decided by the new Chief.

Now, I'm not going to go into details, but basically, I get to keep my job. I had to meet with the IA Lt in the afternoon later that day. He presented the same deal that my lawyer was able to work out, and we spoke about what I did, and how he and the Chief felt that my career was worth salvaging. I have to give them credit and respect. The way they spoke to me was respectful, and put it in a way that I could take ownership of the situation. I was able to see this as an opportunity to move on and improve, not an ass chewing that leaves you feeling like a scalded dog.  

And like that, the next morning, I was reinstated!

I spent the next day driving around the county collecting my weapon and certification card from the academy, my badge and ID card from the quartermaster, my radio from the radio room, my car, computer, and ticket printer from the district. 

I ended up in the same district, but a different Platoon I was on. I also did not get "my" car back, but at least I got a decent car. 

My first day back was yesterday. I really had a sense of pride as I got dressed in my uniform and went off to work. You really don't appreciate what you have until it is stripped from you. The last 10 weeks while I was suspended, I was on a roller coaster of emotions. Now, I get my powers back, and for the first time in a long time, I understand the level of responsibility and sense of duty I have. Before, it was a job.  Just a J O B. I forgot why we do the work. I lost sense of the importance of our line of work. 

Well, it took quite a knock in the pants to get Shamus to re-evaluate what he was doing wrong. One of the most important lessons is to not cut corners to try to clear calls out quickly, and to do the job right the first time. 

Cutting corners almost cost me my career, my pension, and most importantly, my dignity and calling. 

DO the job, folks. Do it RIGHT. It may get pulled out from under you if you don't. Or worse, it could get someone hurt. 

So, keep them belts on, we are going to finish this ride together. Still picking those pieces up, and I'm trying to move on. Why not join me? We'll try and have a good time at it. Don't forget to check the story tab up top. That's where the tall tales, and yarns are hiding. With every new post, I'm going to try to add a new story. 

Until next time......

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Is that a light at the end of the tunnel?

Well, in the world of Law Enforcement, things are always changing. In the time since I wrote the last post and now, which in real time had been about three weeks, the department I work for has had a regime change. The Chief had retired, and a new Chief came in. With that came a change in personnel. This was a good thing for me, because now it looks like I get to keep my job. The new administration appears to be a little more forgiving than the old for what I did wrong.

Well, this is a really strange feeling. I was prepared to leave. I was starting to heal the wounds and get used to the idea that I wasn't going to be a police anymore. Now, after I pay my penance, I will get my gun and shield back.

This whole experience has played heavy on my mind. I have learned a great deal about myself and those around me. I see some people for who they are, and I see what is important to me.

Early on I prayed and agreed to let God take complete control of the situation. I tried to give Him complete control and not to stress. That was the hardest part, the not stressing. I was a beast to live with. I have to give a lot of credit to Mrs. Shackleford, for not kickin' my keister to the curb.

Things aren't all done or set in stone yet, and the deal ain't done, but an end is near. I still have a way to go until my ordeal is over, and I will keep the blog going. 

Check back and visit ole' Shamus, we still have a while to go, and stories to tell.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Still a Cop to the neighbors.

You know, it is a real weird feeling not having my police car around anymore.  The agency I work for gives you a take home car.  A lot of agencies around here do it. Well, it's been about two months now since I got suspended, and it's the little things that stick out. Neighbors started asking, "Shamus, where's the car?". I just smile and say, "They have me in the office right now.  Someone else is driving it."  

Well, tonight, I get a knock on the door, and it is a neighbor from down the way. He needs some advice, 'cause some dudes followed his teenaged daughter home and weren't too cool.  While I am chatting with him, it comes up. "Hey, I notice the car isn't around anymore, are you still in the department?"  

Now, I know people don't understand how cop stuff works, so they don't mean it, but, it really sucks.   Every time someone brings it up, I feel a knife in my chest. I feel like I am out of the game, and watching from the stands.  

You know, I am. I am watching my career wind to a close. Old Shamus is resigning, six years earlier than the standard twenty year tour. No pension, no retirement badge, no party, no nothing. 

Well, enough of feeling sorry for myself.  The work front is creeping along.  I have applied to a smaller township department. This township, ironically, works in the same jurisdiction I work for now. Same dispatch system, same reports, same academy. Other than that I have sent my resume out to a few places, filled out some online job applications, and am just waiting for my union lawyer to work out the details of my resignation. 

More on that as it comes. 

The Beginning

You know how if you know a cop, you always want to hear the cool work stories. Well it ain't much different in the old Shackleford family. Every Holliday or bar b que, I hear "hey Shamus, tell us a good one". And if I'm in the mood, or been having a good time and feel chatty, I'll spin a yarn or two.

Well, one day a friend of mine said, "Shamus, you are a funny sonovagun. You ought to do a blog thingy". And I said, "Nah...I could get in deep shit over that". Well. I'm about to quit the cop job, after 14 years, so I figured what the hell, why not start that blog I been kicking around for the past few years. See how it goes.  So here we are......

A little background before we get started.

My name is Shamus. I am a dude in his mid 30's at a crossroads in his life. I am watching my dream career fizzle out and disappear right in front of my eyes. There is not too much I can do about it now.  What's done is done.

The suck part of it is, I did screw up. But in this case, I screwed up at the wrong time, in the wrong way, in the wrong place.

Well, if you like a story of how an aging dude picks up the pieces and moves on, buckle up.  This is gonna be a bumpy ride...

Let's go back in time....... not that far back!

I was hired by a suburban police department in 1998. I started the academy in the fall, and it lasted six months. To say it was fun, would be telling a huge lie. It sucked. I have never been challenged more in my whole life. Mentally physically, and I matured a lot in those six months.

I was 22 years old. I had some community college under my belt, and was a volunteer fire fighter for a neighboring county.  I had seen death and broken bodies before, and was sorta used to the whole public service scene, just from a different point of view.

When I was hired I was a fresh face. No military experience, no real life experiences other than the VFD. I still lived at home until the first weekend I was in academy, when I moved out with the girl who is now my wife.

Oh, I was over weight too.  Well I learned something rather quickly the first day. Drill instructors do not like over weight recruits. I was tortured for six months straight. These two knuckle heads, who neither of them did 20 years on the department either, used to come up to me each morning during inspection.  One would stand on either side of me and say, "Shackleford. I just love the sound of that name. Frank Sinatra should have wrote a song and called it Shamus Shackleford". Let me tell you. That shit got old quick.

Well fast forward, I graduated in the spring of 1999. Still 22, still young, still overweight, but about 25 to 30 lbs less overweight. Proud to say, I even passed the final physical agility test and was awarded the PT ribbon.

My career was less than stellar from the beginning. I was picked on a lot. Rookie hazing type stuff. Now, don't get me wrong here. This ain't a feel bad for old Shamus thing I got going on here. Just a little taste of what horse shit young cops have to go through. Especially if they are a little bit different.

I had a lot of senior officers I looked up to and took the time to show me the right way to do things, and was good to learn from. I also dealt with the typical high school mentality and the cool kid bully horseshit too.

In my close to 14 years I have had great times, and really shitty times. I have been recognized for some really great things I have done, and been busted..or suspended..several times.

In this blog, or story, I want to share with the world, and hopefully pass on some knowledge to younger guys and girls, the unedited side of American Law Enforcement.   I am going to chronicle some stories for y'all. Of course, I’m going to change names, and places. I will have to leave stuff out, and because this is supposed to be entertainment, I am going to keep most of it on the lighter side. No one wants the details spelled out of a gruesome evil done to some kid. I don't want those memories either.

I am also going to talk in real time about my transition from being a Police Corporal in a suburban Police Department into whatever new career or adventure that I move along into.

If y'all want to ask questions, and have any comments feel free.  If it seems that that takes off, maybe we will have an, "ask Shamus" post day.  Who knows, I'm new at this.

So sit back, grab a beverage, maybe a snack, and enjoy the ride.......