Note: Red is one of the most ethical individuals to have ever
worn a badge. Besides, he has some real good stories.
By Red Smith
I was working swing shift out of the Gold Hill Sub-Station and was
in the Wimer area when I heard the Rogue River Police duty officer
dispatched to a pizza parlor to deal with a white male adult who was
being disorderly and possibly intoxicated.
Thinking the officer
may need a cover unit, I responded. Upon my arrival, I saw the officer
by his car to my left near the entrance of the pizza
parlor and the police chief standing right in front of the obviously
intoxicated male, who was standing on the sidewalk right in front
of the pizza parlor entrance. I was behind the police chief but further
away than his officer.
The drunk was loudly
and profanely refusing to allow the police to
look in his truck for a gun with which he was accused of threatening
people inside the pizza parlor. He told the police chief to take
off his badge and gun and he would whip his ass, over and over
about twenty minutes, the chief told his officer to keep watch
on the guy while he contacted the pizza parlor manager inside.
The drunk, with
tunnel vision like most drunks, saw me and approached. He started
telling me all the same things he’d been telling
the chief and I stood there and didn’t say a word. After
awhile he started running out of gas and asked me if I had
anything to say.
told him I was trying to be polite and respectful and let him
have his say.
When he didn’t
say anything I asked him if he was man enough and could be respectful
like me and listen
to what I had to say. He
said, "yes I can." I told him he might be tough
enough to whip the chief, but the chief was the fleet boxing
Navy prior to becoming the chief. And, that if he whipped
the chief he would then have to whip his officer and if he
able to do that
he’d have to whip me. I told him, 'Giving you the benefit
of doubt and say you whip all three of us. Then they will
and they will send six. Again for the sake of argument you
whip those six. The next time they will send 12, then 24,
then 48, then 56. Sooner
or later in all this whipping you plan on doing you’re
going to hurt someone and then they will send more people
with guns and you will
end up in one of two places, in prison or in the ground.
not trying to threaten you. I’m trying to provide you
with helpful information so you can make an educated decision
own best interest
so think about it.'
When the chief
returned, the drunk walked up to him and told him, "Here’s
the keys to my truck. Look all you want. If you want to arrest
me, go ahead whatever you want, I’ll do." The
chief took the keys looked in the truck to find a rusted
piece of a rifle unable
to function, sent the guy to a motel for the night and asked
me if I had
threatened the drunk. I told him no, just provided some helpful
information and with that he made what I considered to be
a good decision.
ABOUT ME: My name is William Holden Smith, but most people
know me as Red Smith. I think communication is the most
important tool any
person can have and especially a police officer. I'm retired
from the Sheriff's Office after being a reserve for years
and then twenty-eight
years full-time. In retirement, I drove armored truck,
worked for three different Municipal Police Departments
and a Constable's
I'm trying the retirement thing again. Fair warning though,
like to stay busy.
Subscribe to the US~Observer News Flash Alerts!