I Asked a Veteran Cop About Doughnuts, Lethal Weapon, and MacGyver
Look, cop stereotypes exist for a reason. With movies like Lethal Weapon and Rush Hour planting the idea that all cops are dual-gun wielding doughnut-munching tough guys with rogue partners from hell, I decided it was time to straighten it all out and ask a veteran police officer his opinion on every cop movie stereotype out there. I took to the streets (of the Internet) and found a grizzled NY police officer who didn't mind answering my offensive questions. And, yes, I'm still technically under arrest.
If you could gain one superhuman robotic skill like RoboCop — what would it be?
I would want RoboCop's borderline invincibility. Dude can take a bunch of shots and not be harmed. Knives can't go into RoboCop either. It's like this: a lot of people will go watch a bunch of cops movies and think it's all running and gunning, but in reality that's far from the truth. So if I were actually involved in a big shooting, I would rather be able to not be shot. Besides, I already have a sick sense of aim.
Have you ever had a rogue wildcard cop partner ?
Yes, but not remotely close to the ones portrayed in movies. I think the statute of limitations has run out as far what he's done but yes, he was a wildcard and put me in bad spots.
Would you ever work with Mel Gibson?
Mel Gibson from Edge of Darkness, Thunderdome, or Lethal Weapon? Whatever the case may be — no. If there were ever a cop in real life that emulated any of his characters, that cop and anyone around him would be instantly fired.
Is your boss a no-nonsense tough-as-nails hard-ass who threatens to knock you down to sergeant at the drop of a hat?
No, even my boss's boss's boss isn't like that. My parents were cops, my brother is a cop, and I've been a cop for almost nine years at three different departments and have been exposed to several other departments, and there has never been anyone like that. There are d!@k head supervisors out there that a lot of people don't want to work for, but not like the movies.
They're delicious. I try not to be caught dead eating them while in uniform. However, often times if a cop screws up (is late to work, loses a foot chase, sounds like a girl on the air when calling for help) he is tasked with bringing a box to roll call as penance.
Have you ever gone so undercover that you’ve forgotten which side you’re on?
No. But there are cops out there (that eventually get caught and fired) that simply slide over to the dark side. They make friends with prostitutes and start protecting them while "trying to offer help." They get caught with drugs in the house while their wife is out. Or, they try to be cool with some dude downtown and find out that said dude is the subject of a federal investigation and start providing the dude with secret info, which ultimately interferes with the investigation, and they'll get fired as a result. True stories. I got a bunch. But they're not as a result of going under cover as much as an idiot got hired as a cop and made idiotic decisions.
Would you take on Jackie Chan as a partner? That is, a cop who speaks little English, but is a master of the martial arts?
Yes. The language thing is a challenge but as long as there is some basic English, we can work around that. But, having a kung fu master by your side would be badass and an added sense of security.
Have you ever had to turn in your gun and badge?
No. If you ever have to give your badge and gun up, you're up sh*t's creek without a paddle, as you're either being suspended or terminated. Besides, that's a sign of resignation that, in today's world, you don't get back.
If you HAD to choose a partner… Eddie Murphy from Beverly Hills Cop, Eddie Murphy from 48 Hrs., or Eddie Murphy from The Golden Child?
I would have to go with Beverly Hills Cop. He is funny, resourceful and most importantly, experienced. He comes from Detroit which is, as we all know, a dump. The crime rate and amount of violence he would have experienced at that time in that city is beyond comprehension. When he arrives in Beverly Hills, he is surrounded by arrogance and wealth but is still cool about it, which shows he can be a decent person. And then when he is partnered with Rosewood and Taggart, he isn't a dick to the inexperienced but teaches them things and is instantly liked. He knows how to be a good person while, through his training and experience, to be a damn good detective. Don't get me wrong, this isn't to say his other characters would be bad partners. It is my fear that if I got partnered with Golden Child Eddie Murphy I would end up fighting demons and stuff.
Have you ever shot a gun while flying through the air?
Okay, but have you ever shot two guns at once?
Yes. But it was not on duty and it was as awesome as it sounds. But there is no accuracy to it and I was only doing it so that if ever asked, I would be able to say yes.
What’s in the box?
Have you ever forgotten the Miranda Rights halfway through?
I think I might be able to recite the whole thing, but I carry a card that I read as I advise them of their rights. More often though I don't read/advise them of their rights because you don't have to just because they're under arrest. Without going into too much detail, essentially, they only need to be "mirandized" when you are conducting a custodial interview about the crime and you are planning on arresting them. So, if you arrest someone and don't talk to them about the crime, you're good.
Would you rather take on a dog as a partner or a dinosaur?
Dog. They are loyal and will defend you with their lives. They can find drugs, bombs, and guns. I relate dinosaurs to alligators or crocodiles. I have never heard of either being good pets. I also picture that scene from Jurassic Park when Dennis Nedry gets into his Jeep and that giant lizard with the fan for a neck gets all up in his face. Imagine having a dinosaur that you can train but one day you piss him off and to get you back, that same thing happens.
Are you more of a Starsky or a Hutch?
If we're going off the movie, I'd go with Starsky. He's by the book but drives a badass car and has moves you don't expect, as exhibited when they meet the cheerleaders for the first time. Hutchinson deals with too many shady characters, drives a jalopy of a truck, and his closest friend is a neighborhood kid.
What’s the most MacGyver situation you’ve been in?
I hesitate to answer but the closest is maybe using folded up paper to keep your headlights from falling, or tying rope to your water bottle in case it flies off the seat and instead of you bending over or stopping and getting out of the car, etc., you can just pull the rope up and get your water. I have never needed to use a stick of gum, a crayon, hair tie, or bleach to disarm a bomb... unfortunately.