Over the weekend, I went on a "ride-a-long" with the Binghamton Police Department. I have done this in probably a half-dozen different places in my life, starting in high school in PV and most recently on Skid Row in downtown LA. I have never once been given any grief about going on a ride-a-long, but apparently the Binghamton P.D. is too "big time" for me: I practically had to sell my first-born in order to tag along. After a week of unreturned phone calls, I finally dropped by in person and found the Deputy Chief of Police, who grilled me for 15 minutes about why I wanted to do a ride-a-long. After convincing him that I wasn't some "Badge Bunny" or gun freak or wannabe cop or anything, he finally relented.
The ride-a-long itself took place on Friday night, when I had hoped we'd see more action. Luckily, I was on patrol in the area around my house, so I got to see my neighborhood up-close-and-personal. Wow. I never knew where "Jerry Springer" got its low-IQ, trash-talking, baby-daddy, toothless guests, but now I do. The majority of calls we responded to were domestic disturbances, with ex-boyfriends returning home from prison and causing trouble and drunk married couples screaming at each other. The drink of choice was definitely a 12-pack of "Milwaukee's Best," most commonly brought home (after purchase on Main Street) in one of those metal cage drag-bag shopping carts.