Saturday, 9 August 2008
More and more, we are starting to worry in our team about our Sergeant.
He has always been on the eccentric side of the camp, and in fact, has happily described himself as "bloody mad" before.
At first, they were minor things. Things that made me chuckle - like when he was put in custody, a prisoner was brought before him, and the good sergeant brought out a coin of foreign denomination with a head on both sides. He then proceeded to tell the prisoner that he was going to decide bail on the flip of the coin, heads no bail, tails you get bail...
He hasn't been posted as Custody Sergeant for a long time.
This, and other striking traits has always endeared him to me. Like many long-serving sergeants, his knowledge of most law is vast and in a critical incident he kicks into action, and obviously knows the vast majority of police procedures back to front. He even nicks people occasionally.
But outside of these kind of incidents, he potters along in a bemused way making jokes that aren't funny and asking questions of officers that have little or no basis in reality.
Recently though (and I appreciate this may give a clue who I actually am), he has taken to going everywhere with a small cuddly toy in tow, the kind of thing you get free with a McDonalds happy meal.
He is inordinately proud of this toy.
He clutches it close whilst talking to senior officers, sits it on the desk whilst supervising crime reports... and chats to it all the while. Even whilst no one is about.
This is fine by me, but some of the other patrol sergeants are starting to get that weary, I've had enough face when sitting opposite a sergeant having an animated conversation with a fluffy toy: "What's that Ruffles? Under the Home Office counting rules this crime report might be better classified as a criminal damage. Hmm, you may be right."
I recently had the pleasure of driving him about on a night duty, and I can testify now that Ruffles (not his real name) was safely buckled into the back of the supervisor's van before I drove anywhere. At one point we went to a fire, and the sergeant got him out to sit on the dashboard.
Apparently Ruffles likes fire.
All this is well and good - the Police has always had a comforting way of welcoming eccentrics into the ranks.
But Ruffles must go.
Our sergeant has started deferring questions to Ruffles. Acting Sergeant Ruffles as we must now call him.
Ruffles has even started countermanding our sergeant's orders.
Last week Ruffles denied an annual leave request I made.
The bear must go.