Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 28, 2004

While we are waiting for the $50,000 study to determine what is fair pay for a days work as a policeman, we offer this to show you they are regular people with a great sense of humor. Read these quotes slowly as a tribute to police patience. &uot;Relax mam, the handcuffs feel tight because they are new. They’ll stretch out after you wear them awhile.&uot; Or, &uot;If you take your hands off the car again I’ll make your birth certificate a worthless document.&uot; Or, &uot;Relax Tarzan, if you run you’ll only go to jail tired.&uot;

&uot;Sir, this last question will determine whether you are intoxicated or not. Is Mickey Mouse a cat or a dog?

My experience with the police has been pleasant, mainly because the only crime I have committed is this column. Besides, I am old, physically handicapped, and a veteran of World War II the greatest generation, so they take it easy on my old Buick and me. Both of us have some difficulty passing annual inspections. Eventually I will be in the new veterans cemetery buried with the Buick. But I digress.


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&uot;Can you run faster than 1,200 feet per second? In case you didn’t know, that is the speed of a 9 mm bullet fired from my gun.&uot; &uot;So you don’t know how fast you were going. I guess that means I can write anything I want on the ticket.&uot; &uot;Yes sir, you can talk to the shift supervisor, but I don’t think it will help. Oh … did I mention that I am the shift supervisor?&uot; &uot;Warning! You want a warning? O.K., I’m warning you not to do that again or I’ll give you another ticket.&uot; &uot;Fair? You want me to be fair? Listen, fair is a place where you go to ride rides, eat cotton candy, and step in monkey poop.

&uot;Yeah, we have a quota. Two more tickets and my wife gets a toaster oven.&uot;

&uot;No sir we don’t have quotas anymore. We used to have quotas but now we’re allowed to write as many tickets as we want.&uot; &uot;Just how big were those two beers?&uot; &uot;I’m glad to hear that our Chief Freeman is a personal friend of yours. At least you know someone who can post your bail.&uot; &uot;You didn’t think we give pretty women tickets? You’re right, we don’t. Sign here.&uot;

If you will just take a look in this paper when the faces of wanted by police are printed, you will get some idea of how busy police can be. They never fully catch up with the list of bad guys and girls… for everything from failing to show up in court to assault with a deadly weapon. And we have our share of sickos who prey on females, one way or another. Even increasing traffic congestion is a problem and police have even had to round up doomed pigs when trucks turn over on the way to Smithfield. If you want a position with a variety of chores be a cop. If you like night shifts with bodily risks be a cop. If you like worrying how you will meet the next rent or mortgage payment be a Suffolk cop.

OK, so it’s not as bad as being an army private in Iraq. But you never know which weekend night it will be necessary to pull that gun and use it before you get used. Some people are alive only because it is illegal to shoot them. Even breaking up a domestic spat can be dangerous and cops don’t just stand around and watch, like a lot of citizens do. Domestic wars are usually the result of one or the other married partners returning from a meaningful overnight relationship. These cops are trained to fend off a knife in the hand of a bully or drunk, or a drugged teenager, but what if they are not successful? What is their compen-sation for pain and suffering?

I’m sure these men and women, trained in defensive martial arts, feel unimportant when they spend a day chalking tires in timed parking spaces, or warning beggars to keep their distance, but they do it. How about having to control crowds standing in line to pay their immediately due taxes at city hall. Surely that raises their stature. But they are impressive and a comforting sight when I see them all spit and polish in local parades. I figure they strive to be a class act and I wish them Godspeed in acquiring reasonable salaries. Maybe then they won’t need a second job.

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I can’t resist. &uot;A dumb blonde suspects her boyfriend is cheating on her, so she goes out and buys a gun. She goes to his apartment unexpectedly and when she opens the door she finds him in the arms of another. Knowing she is terribly angry he calls the police but too late; she pulls out the gun. Suddenly she is overcome with grief and puts the weapon to her own head. The boyfriend shouts, &uot;No, honey, don’t do it.&uot; She replies, &uot;Shut up! You’re next.&uot;

Robert Pocklington lives in Suffolk and is a regular News-Herald columnist. He can be reached at