Producer’s note: Because of much of what these officers were involved in was so serious, several declined to have their experiences highlighted any more than already had been. All responses were found here.
I spent around 2 years as a Special Constable for the Met Police. The unit I joined would mostly work nighttime violence e.g. when pubs and clubs close, at any borough that requested our assistance, and so we could be in any borough that night.
One night shift we are in my home borough. I’m in the van and we’re circling round near where I live which was a bit of a novelty: normally being anywhere in London means I have no clue where I am. A call comes down to reports of a burglary and I freeze as its my neighbour’s address.
We arrive and speak to the family, a young muslim couple who have just gotten married a few days ago and they looked more surprised to see me than I them. They heard noises and came downstairs to find someone in a mask rooting through drawers, who scarpered out the back door when spotted. At around this time the door knocked, and it’s my girlfriend (again surprised to see me) who says there’s someone in our garden. Here we go, this could be a good job.
My garden at the time was pretty secure: unless you can scale walls you aren’t getting out. My colleague goes in through the front door whilst I jump over the wall from the neighbours and immediately get jumped by someone. They were pretty weak and I easily overpower them as my colleage arrives baton drawn. After arresting and cuffing we get the lights on and I find its someone i’ve been friends with since school who we had just had round with his wife for dinner a few nights ago. Turns out he knew that our neighbours had gotten married and had planned to burgle them for their jewellery and wedding gifts.
Suffice to say I am no longer in contact. He got sent down for 2 years and only got released a few months ago.
I arrested my sister 2 years ago…we are fine now.
Story: Two years ago I stopped by my parent’s house while on duty to have a cup of coffee with my father. When I got there I heard screaming from the back yard and went out to see what was going on.
I saw that my sister had my mother pinned to the ground and was kicking her violently, multiple times, while screaming and swearing at the top of her lungs. I tackled her to stop the attack and she began to punch and kick me too.
The neighbors had come outside to see what was going on and my sister would not calm down. My mother was badly injured and it took my father and me both to get my sister under control. She was fighting like I’ve never seen someone fight before. She was biting, clawing, kicking, and tried to gouge out my eyes. I had no choice but to disengage and use pepper spray in an attempt to subdue her. It worked and we finally got her under control.
I called for an ambulance to evaluate my mother and my sister was transported to the station by another officer. The story, I found out later, was that my mother had found methamphetamine in my sister’s car and when she confronted my sister about it my sister lost it and attacked her.
My sister was committed to a drug rehab facility and has been clean, as far as I know, ever since. We have a good relationship now, although we’ll never be best friends or anything.
As a Military Police officer in Hawaii, I became really good friends with a guy in my unit… Babysat his 4 year old, was invited over for family dinners, & everything.
Go into shift with him one day when I am told to relieve him of his weapon & cuff him. Ended up having to wake his wife up (who thought I just stopped by for breakfast lol) to investigate a domestic violence report that his mother in law called in from NC.. Ended up that she wanted to go home, he didn’t want his kid to leave, they got in an argument, & she called home to tell her mom about the argument they had.
The military makes the service members leave their homes in these situations, but of course the barracks were full… So less than 12 hours after I handcuffed him, guess who’s sleeping on the floor of my room? I think he stayed for a few weeks before we got on each other’s nerves lol.
He wasn’t mad at me about it, I was doing as I was ordered. But it was extremely difficult (though I think I stayed professional throughout) interviewing his wife/my friend to get evidence to convict him of a crime. It was also awkward with my buddy, because I obviously couldn’t discuss the case with him… He understood & didn’t ask me much about it.
I think the worst was, during & after the investigation, that I felt some guilt for not knowing what was going on & trying to help in some way. I also felt like I was tearing apart a 4 year old’s family, though it was obviously on the way out already.
Typing this one for my dad:
Back in 2006, it was nearing the end of second shift and I was ready to get off. The call came in of a shooting, I was about a mile away tops so I was first on the scene by a lot. I head inside, check the bedrooms and find two men dead from shot gun wounds.
I knew them. Family friends from growing up. Good people, but shit heads. You know what I mean? Always getting into trouble, never big things. Just drugs here, public intoxication there. Nothing huge. Well, they ate it that day. What got me, though, was I had seen their older sister earlier when I pulled over her friend. It’s just weird how you can see someone and talk about the family quick and a few hours later know that she’s about to find out how much she’s just lost.
They were still warm. So, I continued my search, fast, as I called in the ambulance. I check, find the back door ajar and head out. I get a call saying that the shooter was still in the neighborhood as someone just reported him. Not a block away within the last 2-3 minutes. Going through the backyards and across alleys, other officers are now in the area and we’re hunting him.
I see movement. It’s him. It’s the guy. The shooter. No weapon to be seen, thankfully. I got him in my sights, yell to him to stop where he is. Thank fucking God he does. Pistol still drawn on him, I get him on the ground, cuff him, and think for a moment, “Shoot him, he fucking deserves it.”
Another officer is now on the scene with me, gets me off the shooter’s back and pushes me aside. I sit down next to his cruiser and cry. After, I end up smoking about a pack of cigarettes before I get home–I had quit in 1994 and this was the first and only time I broke down and smoked.
I put in my retirement papers two weeks later.
EDIT: TL;DR My dad was the 1st responder to a double homicide, knew both victims personally, and said fuck this shit.
Note: My dad had been on the force for 26 years and now has severe PTSD from years of shit like this.
Police officer here.
Got called to a verbal domestic and quickly learned after speaking with the female that a an old friend’s dad was cheating on his wife with her. I had my partner take over the investigation as I didn’t want to be biased. Anyway, guy shows up, we have an awkward chat, and everyone is cautioned not to contact or communicate with each other anymore and both parties are in full agreement. Female doesn’t want to ruin his life and he says he is done with his cheating ways.
Two hours later the female calls and tells us that he drove by her house a few times after we left. I call him and give him a second and very stern caution to give her some breathing room or he will be charged with domestic criminal harassment. I try to make him see reason and it seems to work. No more calls for the rest of our shift.
The next morning I am brushing my teeth before heading into work and I get a phone call from him saying that he screwed up and left a note on her car last night. She called a different cop who issued a warrant for his arrest after reading our reports that he had already been cautioned twice. He asked what to do…
I told him to report to the front desk as soon as I got to work and he complied. Then my partner from the previous day and I arrested and booked him for criminal harassment.
Some people just don’t get the hint…
Last week I arrested a guy I went to high school with for misdemeanor Destruction of Property that myself and several other officers witnessed. I didn’t know it was him until after we got to the station and I began getting his information. His driver’s license had his old address on it and the city was where I went to high school. I immediately recognized him. He was two grades above me but had a sister who was my age.
He was very intoxicated and upset about the whole situation so in order to bridge the gap and get him to calm down I told him we went to the same high school and that I knew his sister. I thought he might get upset but it was a risk I needed to take. I started asking him how he’d been and we talked about the various mutual friends we had. He started to calm down which was nice and earlier he had been very tense, upset, and erratic. When we realized how many mutual friends we had, he asked me not to tell anyone out of embarrassment. Though what he did was a matter of public record, I promised that I wouldn’t since part of good policing is the ability to have good discretion. I explained to him the arrest process as best I could and told him that he would be out in about 3 hours.
Once I was able to turn him over to the cell block technicians, I immediately looked him up on Facebook and blocked him. Prior to blocking him, I noticed his profile picture was that of him and his new bride. I offered him a phone call to get in touch with her, but he declined. As promised, I completed the paperwork as fast as I could and he was released on his own recognizance to return to court in a few weeks.
When I spoke with the Prosecutor’s office, I had to disclose this relationship. The attorney said he was worried that the Defense might try to make the case that I arrested him because I might have had a grudge against him. I disagreed, I argued that it showed good judgement on my part and that I was able to do exactly as I had sworn to do, which was uphold the law equally. The case won’t be resolved for a few more months, but I suspect he’ll pay for the damages in exchange for having the charges dropped.
Interesting thing though that I remembered from high school. Though we attended the same high school, he didn’t graduate from our high school. A semester before he was due to graduate, he was arrested in a prank gone bad, for destruction of property, and was kicked out. He had to graduate from a nearby high school.
I’d also like to say, that I have run into other people in the past that I’ve known through the course of my job. In times where I feel I’d be too biased one way or another, I’ve requested that other police officers handle the scene/call, and it’s worked out quite well.
I arrested my 15yo nephew when he threatened to beat the shit out of my sister. It was the latest thing in a string of incidents that included him running away, stealing their van, skipping school, etc. The next time I saw him, we made a joke about it.
My cousin has so many DUI’s that it’s a felony for him to drive at all. He got pulled over doing 70 in a 35 because he passed a fully marked police car specially tasked to catch drunk drivers. Of course, he was drunk and a little high on cocaine. He asked me to talk with the officer, so I told the cop, “I’m officer so-and-so, that’s my cousin you have there. I’m not asking for anything, you do what you have to do.” My cousin got three years, and is still locked up.
Friend; he was drunk and driving.
Wasn’t a friend afterward, but he was alive and didn’t kill anyone that night, so, fair trade.