Friday, August 11, 2006

Siren Song

Headline: Police offered prizes for most tickets

Five officers from the department's North Division earned $10 gift certificates to Dick's Sporting Goods, although officials Wednesday couldn't say how many tickets were issued between July 1-8.
Naturally, some people are in an uproar claiming the whole thing was unfair. As I read this story, though, I was reminded of a time when I was on active duty, stationed in Denver, CO.

There was an on-going service member DUI problem. In an effort to combat the issue, the base commander decided to offer a ‘day off’ for the entire base – cops and firefighters excluded, of course - if the base could reach 30 days without a DUI.

Upon reading the memo, my supervisor came up with his own incentive for his police officers. Since we weren’t included in the base’s day off, he offered a day off to any one of us who could catch a DUI within the 30 days.

Eyebrows raised with enthusiasm as thoughts of extra time off swirled through our heads. Let it be known that we worked rotating shifts, every holiday, and hardly ever had a chance to get additional time off, while the rest of the base majority worked banker’s hours and had weekends/holidays off.

The war was on!

For the next couple of weeks, we worked like fiends; sniffing a little harder than usual, checking ID cards a little bit longer, as we waited for that undeniable stench or unique slur to present itself.

Of course we still managed to get DUI violators but they were all civilians. We needed a military offender to land the prize. So far, nothing crossed our path. Absolutely nothing!

It came down to the 29th day and the clock was steadily ticking away toward their victory. My shift began at 11pm; the main entrance gate was my duty post for the night. Every driver had to be checked out before entry onto the base was allowed.

At exactly 11:28 pm, the moment I had been waiting for finally arrived. A red Jeep weaved up to the gate, giving off subtle clues to the distinct possibility that an extra night off could actually become a reality. As soon as the guy rolled his window down, that familiar whiff of air let me know that I could start making plans.

The usual procedures followed. I got him out of the car to conduct a few field sobriety tests. Of course, he failed miserably, but the last test given was the clincher. All he had to do was simply recite the alphabet.
Me: Sir, I need you to recite the alphabet – without singing – beginning now.

Him: a-b-c-d-E-F-G… of course, singing the entire time and coming to the dramatic ending of, “…now I’ve said my ABC’s, tell me what you think of meeeeeEEEE!” (falsetto)

Me: I think you’re drunk.
The next morning, toward the end of my shift, the rest of the base workers started to arrive and asked excitedly if they made it through the 30 days. Although I maintained a professional demeanor, it was with great pleasure to tell them no, and that a person was caught within 30 minutes of their deadline; I was smiling on the inside, though.

The base commander was mad as hell. He decided that person's name and squadron would be placed on a billboard for the entire base to see and let everyone know exactly who screwed it up for the rest of them.

So, yes, I see nothing wrong with incentives – negative or positive – whichever happens to get the job done. Also, I found the gift certificate in this story to be very amusing, and appropriate, considering it was for a place called Dick's.

You may wonder what I did on that hard-earned day off. Well, I must admit, I went out and got drunk, of course! However, I had enough sense to call a taxi.

7 Comments:

Blogger Ben said...

Well of course you had to get drunk. I mean it was a major scoop worth celebrating in the best possible style.

Copious amounts of booze.

Now I need an excuse for being a drunken degenerate tonight. Will they take me on temporary gate duty ?

5:43 AM, August 11, 2006  
Blogger OnMyWatch said...

probably not.

The only excuse you need is that it's friday, but be careful - those crazy people drive on the wrong side of the road over there. :)

5:52 AM, August 11, 2006  
Blogger Raydude6131 said...

TOTALLY unrelated to your post but i saw this and thought you might like it. Never knew it existed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ub8zh6CPoo&search=Eddie%20Van%20Halen%20Eruption

1:31 PM, August 11, 2006  
Blogger Raydude6131 said...

By the way, we have Dicks SPorting Goods up here. Just in case you were wondering, their website is NOT...I REPEAT NOT...Dicks.com. THAT.....is something entirely different that I, my mother, a few aunts and cousins didnt need to see on my computer.

1:35 PM, August 11, 2006  
Blogger OnMyWatch said...

Ray: COOL. Thanks!!! :)

Oh, and thanks for the sporting goods store tip, too. hilarious.

1:49 PM, August 11, 2006  
Blogger Rocky said...

Did you have to throw him in the drunk tank? And just to ease my civilian mind, it wasn't an actual tank, was it? ;-)

9:19 PM, August 13, 2006  
Blogger OnMyWatch said...

Rocky: no and no. small, temporary holding cell with a bed and that's about it - - not much different from basic training accomodations. ;)

4:57 AM, August 14, 2006  

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