Most police log entries are mundane. Some are sad, of course. Others horrific. But then there are a select number that captivate. They conjure the Seinfeld catchphrase, “Who are these people?”
Most police log entries are mundane. Some are sad, of course. Others horrific.
But then there are a select number that captivate. They conjure the Seinfeld catchphrase, “Who are these people?”
A personal favorite was mined by my colleague Sue:
“Female party called 911 to complain that the Chinese buffet had gone up $1.”
The officer making the entry resisted the opportunity to embellish, which was stoical indeed, even to inquire whether she was talking about the lunch – which I think would have more prosecutorial possibilities – or the dinner buffet. The officer also didn’t mention whether it was explained to the woman that a spike in wonton soup prices didn’t constitute an actual emergency, perhaps with emphasis added via Taser.
Another entry that intrigued: “Female party reports boyfriend is reportedly naked and intoxicated; 65-year-old man placed into protective custody.”
Now, it might be “age-ist” of me, but I just expected the naked, intoxicated boyfriend to be younger. I guess you’re never too old to get naked and intoxicated.
But this recent entry stood out among the bemused buffet patrons and the naked, intoxicated 65-year-old boyfriends who occasionally grace the logs, even though it may seem to belong in the mundane class.
“Motor vehicle stop, citation issued for failure to use turn signal.”
This rocked my world.
In years of police blotter creeping in several different communities in the quest to fill a newspaper’s police-log page, I couldn’t recall anyone being cited solely for a lapse in signaling a turn.
Can you picture this malefactor queuing up at the prison chow line, sandwiched in between hardened convicts clasping their metal trays before them, when one growls, “What’re you in for, kid?”
That can’t go well.
And, frankly, too bad for him.
Because you misunderstand me if you think I believe the officer was being overzealous.
Failing to use the turn signal is clearly a sociopathic trait. We all occasionally forget, granted. I’m referring to the serial turn-signal scofflaw.
See if these sociopathic behavioral patterns from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, apply to this person:
· Fails to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors
· Lacks remorse
So I’m all for the police logs becoming more populated with entries signaling society’s demand for signaling.
Turnabout, after all, is fair play.
Frank Mulligan is an editor in GateHouse Media New England’s Plymouth, Mass., office, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.