"funnylibs" also took a couple of jabs at me in the Northwest Herald comments to today's Jail article about how I couldn't cut it as a "real" cop, and so I thought I might provide some information about my long time interest in law enforcement.
As a college senior I applied to the Border Patrol and took the written test, which was a snap for me, because I was a Russian language major in college. The test was a combination of law enforcement questions and a mock language. When I got to the oral interview, the first question was, "Where did you miss that one question? We never had anyone score a 99 before."
Life as a Border Patrolman sounded pretty glamorous (had I been single), but I had a wife and small daughter, and I didn't think they'd like living 50 miles from the nearest running water or finding rattlesnakes or scorpions in the house all the time. The Border Patrol interviewers explained that many applicants were eager in the first year but quit during to family pressure.
When I was a college senior (1964), I was offered a fellowship at the University of Florida for a masters in criminology. At the time I was also offered a Ford Fellowship for graduate study at the University of Chicago, and that's the one I chose. Once I got there, though, I realized my mistake, because I didn't want to study Bulgarian and logistics, and so I resigned the fellowship and suggested they give it to someone who would appreciate it more. Later, when I looked back on those days, I wondered why I didn't contact the U. of Florida and express renewed interest.
In Colorado in about 1975 I applied to the Littleton Police Department and was #3 on the written test. They refused to process me further, saying I made too much money as a life insurance salesman and wouldn't be happy on a police officer's pay. I figured I could push them on it and win, but then I would have been washing police cars instead of driving them.
I also applied to the Colorado State Police, but I was 1/4" too short, wore glasses, and didn't have a Hispanic last name. I decried the vision requirement, because I knew several patrolmen who wore glasses, but the eye-guy assured me that NO state patrolman wore glasses. Little did he know.
And even later, in about 1985, I applied for a job with the Lakewood (Colo.) P.D. That department was one of the first in the country to outfit its officers in grey slacks and blue blazers. That was the uniform in 1971, when I moved to Colorado. I still have the nice letter from then-Chief Pierce Brooks, thanking me for helping them apprehend some kids who were stripping a car.
So maybe all this helps explain my interest in law enforcement - good law enforcement. I was always a citizen first, cop second. Police should be the first to obey laws, not the last. Maybe now you know why I complain as I do about some of the cop things going on in McHenry County.
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