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I think I may have upset a senior officer...just don't know how? Advice ple

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by scprotector1, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. scprotector1

    scprotector1 LoneStarGlocker

    May 20, 2008
    Brownsville, Texas
    So I'm a probationary patrolman for my dept. My probation ends in October which is a little over a month away. Ive not had any problems with senior officers since I started until yesterday. A call came in just out of my area for a threatening phone call, the wife was at a local bar when her husband calls and threatens to go over there and kill her and the security guard. Two senior officers get dispatched and i disregard the backup and start heading enroute. I just so happen to get there first and let dispatch know Im getting off, right at that moment the senior officer gets there and advises she is off. We both approach the complainant at the same time and the complainant goes right up to me and starts explaining the whole story to me. Im hearing her out and she begins telling me about previous incidents that don't have any significance as to why we are here now. I ask her "I understand ma'am but why are we here now?" At this point the senior officer shoots a glance my way which I return, we make eye contact for maybe 2 seconds and she then looks back at the complainant. this point she finishes her story and Im about to ask her if she wishes to file a report and press charges and possibly stay somewhere else for the night, when the senior officer butts in looks at me and says: "So do you have anything else to add?" I reply "What do you mean?" she replies "Well are you going to interview her? Ask questions? Do you even know what to do?" I reply "Im going to ask if she wants to press charges and have some place to stay for the night." She then looks at the complainant and says "Ok thats what i'm trying to get at, I'll be conducting the interview from here on out and you can direct all questions to me, he is just my backup." At this point I'm obviously fuming and really want to tell her off but I hold my tongue and keep my composure for the remainder of the call which she ended up taking. After the call was finished she didn't even say a word to me and went right back to her car and took off. I'm not sure if I did anything wrong here, maybe some of you senior guys can help me out? Was she upset because complainant talked to the backup rookie when she was primary? Was it because I was handling the call differently than her? She ended up going the same route I was going to take anyway so I'm stumped. Any advice guys?
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  2. ateamer

    ateamer NRA4EVR

    Sounds like she saw it as her beat, her call. If you are the cover officer and the person starts telling the story to you, you can tell him/her "well, you need to talk to that officer - she's handling this call, I'm just here to help with what she needs." Or you can ask the primary officer "mind if I take this one?"

    Try and meet with the officer and ask her what the deal was. Emphasize that you are trying to learn and want to fit in, and don't want to make the same mistake twice.

    Or it could be that she is just a pushy know-it-all. Let me guess: She has somewhere around four years on, no more than 10 years, isn't an FTO and never was one, is not anywhere at the top of her shift for self-initiated activity, doesn't have an infectious, highly positive attitude and is not regarded by her peers or the new guys as any kind of a leader.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011

  3. SpoiledBySig

    SpoiledBySig Millennium Member

    May 6, 1999
    Port St. Lucie, FL
    Her badge weighs the same as yours. A true experienced "Senior Officer" would be more than happy to let you take charge of the call and the paperwork that comes with it. :supergrin:

    I wouldn't worry about it too much. She'll come around, or you'll come around.
  4. msu_grad_121

    msu_grad_121 BOOSH

    Sep 16, 2009
    NW Burbs
    Not 100% sure without being there and seeing how the interaction went, or how she is. When I started as a reserve, I worked with a full time female officer who used to get SO peeved when someone would address me instead of her. She was decent enough to let me know, so from there on out I'd make a point to tell everyone that she was my supervisor, and let her decide if she wanted to take the statement or if she wanted me to do it.

    When I went full time, I got a rep pretty quick for being a run jumper, for good or bad. The one thing I learned to do was to gather prelim info and let the primary officer know what I had, and ask if they wanted me to continue the interview or take over. It sounds like she got upset due to you jumping her run instead of deferring to her, or it could be because the complainant talked to a man instead of her, like the full timer I used to work with, who knows.

    Did you ever consider just asking her outright? She might respect you for being upfront, and it would remove all doubt one way or the other. Just be prepared for whatever she says.
  5. Sharky7

    Sharky7 Boomshakalaka

    Feb 21, 2009
    Sounds like she was just mad because she felt like you were stepping on her call. If you haven't experienced it yet, you soon will. You will go on a call where you are the "primary" and someone takes over and does all kinds of crap you wouldn't have done or don't agree with.....they then hand you some notes on a sheet of paper as they are walking back to their squad car calling 10-8, expecting you to take the paper even though they did all the work/pissed on your call/mucked it up/wanted to "play" at your call, but not willing to do any work.

    If you catch it, you clean it.

    If she was standing right next to you while the victim/caller was talking to you, she was probably just cranked up you were asking the questions. If it is a non emergency/non exigent situation point the victim to the primary and say "fill this officer in on what happened." If you got a fresh offender fleeing though, do your thing, grab as much info as quickly as possible and get it out on the radio.
  6. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Mar 14, 2005
    I wouldn't worry about it.

    I've only met one female officer in my whole career that I actually liked.

    flame on...but its the truth.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  7. merlynusn


    Nov 16, 2007
    Just ask her. I typically don't mind it if someone jumps my call. But if they jump it, they better take the paper that goes with it. If they start being all stupid and doing things that don't make sense, then I usually jump back in and take it over again. I know I usually end up jumping calls. Not because I'm better than anyone else, but I usually get there first and start talking to them. Or I make first contact instead of standing there like an idiot waiting for them to talk first.
  8. You've gotten some good, solid, practical advise so far.

    Talk to the female officer. Sometimes guy LEOs are a little overprotective of female LEOs and end up trying to help too much. Not fair to the female LEO. So in the future, nothing wrong with telling the witness/complainant "she's handling this."
  9. danielspdx


    May 6, 2010
    Oregon City, OR
    Some people are very protective of their calls while some will do anything to pawn their call off on someone else. I don't like eating someone's calls, and I want to take mine no matter how messy they look.

    Being a tall, older looking white male (I've had gray hair for at least 10 years now, I'm 41, 6'4/270), many people automatically start talking to me instead of another officer on a call, especially if the other officer is female or young looking.

    If I'm the cover, the primary is on scene and the situation is calmed down enough, I always politely stop the person from talking to me and explain I'm assisting the other officer, then ask the primary what they want me to do.

    It really depends on your department culture and how things are done, but I don't advise assuming control of another officer's call unless you are asked to do so, or you're the first one on scene and too far into it to let it go.

    This has been a good experience for you, as you've seen how protective people can be of their calls, and how they may react. Learn from it and move on. We've all done stupid things while on a call, and we all can continue to learn no matter how much time we have one. Don't sweat it.
  10. BL33D 4 M3

    BL33D 4 M3 SDMF

    Nov 19, 2005
    Chicago/North Burbs
    Good advice so far. I would just add...You can't change what has been done but from here on out, don't handle HER work. Most seasoned cops would have bought you lunch for taking their call. Keep up the hustle rookie, you'll do fine.
  11. Pepper45


    Jun 15, 2006
    It's kind of surprising, reading all the answers here. I guess we have a much more laid back style here. If someone asks a few questions on a call that isn't theirs, it's no big deal. If someone thinks that junior is stepping on their toes, we deal with it after everything is said and done. Or, if junior is really running an issue, we stick him with the paper, and explain later that it isn't cool to jump someone else's call without taking the paper too.

    If I were in your shoes, I would watch myself around that particular officer. Apologize now for jumping her call, but ask her to let you know about any mistakes you make, outside of the public eye, and to take you aside. Tell her you know you're the new guy, and going to make mistakes, but you'd prefer if she could tell you about them in private. Then just go out and do your job.
  12. OFCJIM40

    OFCJIM40 Happy Jaeger

    Jan 22, 2001
    Chicago-area, IL.
    I'm of the mindset that I don't care for call jumpers unless it's one of my buddies. I work on a larger PD and I know a PD's can be different. You just have to know where you fit in with each Officer. Some of my team mates have become my best friends and our working relationship reflects that where really no wrong can be done between the two of us. But the situation of senior and new and not buddies is a situation I am very familiar with, with me being the senior.

    My feeling is don't muck up my call. If you are backup and you take the roll as primary then get ready to buy the call. If it's a crappy call like above, most Senior would be happy to dump it. So if you're already acting as primary and you want to take the call, then all you got to say is, "would you like me to take this for you, it's kind of a mess and it's been a long night" or something to that effect. I've worked with a few call jumpers and it annoys me when they get all the preliminary info, don't take the call, then they want to give me the 10 minute rundown. But now I still have to talk to the parties on scene to make sure you were accurate. Just slows down the process. Also make sure you are aware of the friendships between two Officers. Were they maybe friends. I don't mind going to crappy calls with guys I like and trust. Now if a newbie disregards my friend enroute to a crappy call, you get on scene and want to act like primary but aren't going to take the paper, then yes there could be issues.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  13. Sounds like she was miffed for no reason.

    If she had any real experience she would realize theat some female victims feel more comfortable talking to a male officer. Some female victims feel more comfortable talking to a female officer. It all depends on the victim.

    It sounds like she needs to get over herself.
  14. CW Mock

    CW Mock

    Feb 4, 2006
    Real cops don't do this kind of crap in front of the public. If she's bent, then she can save it for the locker room or parking lot, but NEVER on the call in front of suspects or victims. Jebus.
  15. ray9898


    May 29, 2001
    Just ask her. "Hey...whats up with that call the other day. I could tell you got pissed at me. What did I do?"

    All these people talking about an officer getting mad at another for taking the paper. I have never seen that, dodging the paper is what gets you around here.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  16. snoris


    Jul 30, 2003
    I worked for 23 years for a large municipal department as a reserve officer before I went full-time early this year for another agency. I was fortunate that because I was out on the street nearly every Saturday night for all those years, I earned a fair amount of respect from the full-time officers. I worked alone for most of my career there, and was expected to handle my own calls just like the full-time officers.

    That being said, I was always very careful about jumping calls. When I did answer a call as the cover officer when I'd "called off" one of the assigned elements, I tried to get there just as the other officer pulled up and let that officer take the lead. If the complainant tried to talk to me instead of the full-time officer (which sometimes happened because of my rank within our unit), I'd immediately say, "I just showed up to be an extra pair of hands if I'm needed. This officer will take care of you."
  17. Dragoon44

    Dragoon44 Unfair Facist Lifetime Member

    Apr 30, 2005
    +1 though I think she had a reason, but it was a bad one. From the way the situation was described she got upset that the woman chose to talk to him rather than her. There are plenty of female cops with "something to prove" attitudes like that and they really resent it when a complainant chooses to talk to a male officer rather than them.
  18. This was my thought right here. I'm not a cop, but I do work customer service. Different customers, different issues, but whatever the work, dealing with customers have some of the same rules regardless. Number one of those is you don't air internal issues - such as not liking the way a co-worker handled something - in front of the customers, EVER. And you CERTAINLY don't pull the whole "Well, I'll help you. That guy's new and doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground" kinda crap. Frankly, if I'm on the job for a week or a decade, the customer should NEVER know the difference, and my peers shouldn't take it on themselves to point it out.

    You may have been in the wrong. I don't know and, it seems, neither do you. So that's priority 1, find out that the deal was. But a very close #2 is "can we keep it professional and out of the public eye next time."

    Just imagine you get a call two, three years from now for the same person. You will have seen 400,000 people in the meantime, so you won't remember her, but she WILL remember you, and will be in the mindset of "That's the guy that doesn't know sh**, I need someone else."
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  19. scprotector1

    scprotector1 LoneStarGlocker

    May 20, 2008
    Brownsville, Texas
    Thanks for all the advice guys, if there is another incident ill definitely inform the complainant that she is primary and that if SHE doesn't mind Ill take the call.
  20. mntrpr


    Mar 22, 2003
    Huge +1
    Same goes for real supervisors.......oh wait, I'm dreaming......