Sunday, February 15, 2009

Whistling Past The Graveyard II

Another offender (not in our house, thankfully), went to that great penitentiary in the sky this evening. I don't know who he was or what he died of, all I know is basically he was dead when the officer found him and as of the last report I got as I was leaving, he was still dead.

Ok, that was bad.

I'm slightly sorry that I said it.

But, once again, it's our version of whistling past the graveyard.

When I heard the radio call of a Code 16 (medical emergency) and that the offender was "unresponsive" I thought "Oh, snap!" We have a number of offenders who will be unresponsive for several medical reasons, either seizures or heavy medication or other things. And occasionally we will find one who has been beaten or assaulted in one way or another.

And once in awhile one will fake being unresponsive for one reason or another. Either to claim some medical disability and maybe garner some sympathy, or sometimes they just want to lure an officer into their cell. We had one guy who never had any history of seizures before coming to prison suddenly start having them and "accidentally" assault staff members while he was "seizing".

He actually got away with it a few times until we wised up and I believe somebody broke his nose during one of those episodes. Miraculously, he was cured of his seizures after that.

The wonders of modern medicine.

But the offender tonight wasn't faking, apparently. After the Code 16 call I heard "Be advised, he's not breathing." That's not good.

Saw staff running around the yard between the house and medical and the gates. Saw an ambulance come in and then leave empty. Apparently they pronounced him there and left him for the coroner to come pick him up. Like I said, I don't know all the details.

Don't know who the man was of anything about his case or whether he had a family or how he behaved in prison. All I do know is that he died.

And we spent an hour making bad jokes about it. Just whistling, that's all.

We're not heartless bastards. Well, most of us aren't, anyway.

My partner BG summed it up nicely.

"He's completely rehabilitated now."

Amen, brother.


  1. And the "whistling" goes on, even onto your blog, thanks to Guy.

    I like BG's comment. Have to use that someday if I ever get the opportunity.

    (affiatic) <-- a lesser known sea near the Adriatic.

  2. Guy- I'm more than a little bit sorry that I didn't think of that one last night. It's better than most of the stuff I came up with.

    Auntie- We all have our ways of whistling. And if you knew BG, who is big and quiet and rather "stoic" in his demeanor, you would have been as shocked as we were when it came out of his mouth. It was totally unexpected.

  3. Don't know if I ever discussed this with you Rev. We have, at any given time, about 2700-2800 offenders. Most of these guys have lived hard lives, i.e., drugs, alcohol, smoking, violence, poor medical care and diet, diseases such as HIV and Hep C, etc. It amazes me that we have only 4 or 5 a year "expire". I live in a town of approximately 2000 people, and the the number of folks that pass away is easily ten times that. I guess it's true what they say, only the good die young.

  4. BA- That's so true. I was just commenting on the spate of really awful humor that ensued during the event. I imagine it would be the same if we were firemen or EMT's or the like. Or even (heavens forbid) real police. I can just see my review in front of the Office of Professional Conduct even as we speak....

  5. My dad is a retired cop. The stories he would tell us around the dinner table was for his benefit. If he didn't laugh about the stuff, he might have gone lunny.

    Like the time at an accident when they had to look for the head of the vic. Everyone wanted it found, but nobody wanted to be the one to find it.

    Cops is humans too.