Working at the Northlake Police Department during the years 1990-2003, Â I worked with some real goofballs and some fine officers. One such fine officer, not only in my opnion but in the majority of officers–both current and former– as well as citizens of the public, is a guy named Lee.
I think the first time IÂ came into contact with Lee when i was 16. My friends and I were driving my 1968 Buick Electra 225 convertible–with the top down of course–through Fairview Memorial Cemetery at night. I remember it clearly as my buddy said that a car with it’s lights off was coming towards us. I tried to gun it but the car caught us real quick before we could makke our getaway–yeah right… Well, one of the officers–the one that I remember–was a big guy who I would work with years later named Lee. He checked our IDs, ran our names, searched my car, etc….. and then let us go. I remeber thinking that this was a big guy who had a loud voice–LOL! Well, years later I would come to find that big guy with the loud voice to be quite comforting in a sticky situation…..
I remember when I first started at northlake in 1990 and immediately recognized big Lee. He remembered me from the neighborhood and said “Hey kid” when we first met. I remember some of the fine officers who I came to trust–and that trust was well deserved and lasted the duration of my time there– told me that Lee was a good guy that I could trust and count on.
I remember observing Lee in the first potentially dangerous situations early on in my career pretty much handling the situations by himself as the persons involved immediately came into line when Lee raised his Hefty voice in what they thought was a threatening manner. I remember becoming a bit alarmed thinking “What is he going to do to this guy?!” I came to know that all he had to do was scare the sh*t out of the idiots and they would cooperate. Us younger guys would then proceed to complete an arrest, do the paperwork or whatever else needed to be done.
The bottom line is that when Lee arrived on the scene we knew that the situation was in hand and that we didn’t have to worry about things going South.
Now, Lee was not only good at bellowing his voice and scaring people but he had the funniest knack of confusing the heck out of them to get them to cooperate! I never saw anyone else be able to do this and when I would attempt to do so I would stumble and get tongue tied… What he would do is start talking extremely fast like those radio commercial people do at the end of a commercial in order to sound like he was logical but confusing the person(s) we were dealing with. It was especially useful to the drunk persons. Lee would ramble on and on about the person’s situation and the weather, baseball, or whatever came machine-gunning out of his mouth at a rapid pace and would conclude the whole thing logically and would say, “Now, do you understand me?” or something like that and nine times out of ten the person would say yes! LOL. I remember many times myself and other officers would have to turn away while he was going on because we would end up laughing. Ah, the good old days when police work at the Northlake Police department was fun…..
One thing about Lee that some administrators(1 in particular) didn’t care for was that he was not so much a yes man to them but would side with the officers and would give us good advice, no0t the kind of advice that a goofy police chief wants a veteran officer to do. Lee wasn’t the book-smart type of officer that you have nowadays, he was the prototype throwback street cop that knew the citizenry that he dealt with and could relate to them on their terms, not in terms that the “professional” and “educated” administrators(or their huge ass-kissers)Â felt was more appropriate.
Lee was–no, still is– a person who has integrity and decency that every person who knows him or has known him in the past respects. He was a guiding force for me in my career, someone I trusted and respected. I know that the officers from neighboring departments felt the same way too.
I am proud to say that I am his friend–or ‘Ol Buddy. The Northlake Police Department was lucky to have him serve those many years.