Monday, October 10, 2011

The sorcerer's apprentice: HPD version

Somewhere deep inside the HPD fortress at 1201 Travis...

Chief: So, we're looking for someone to take the helm of the DWI task force in Houston. What makes you think you're up for the task?

Candidate: I have experience in investigating high-profile DWI incidents. We had to deal with one involving one of my officers earlier this year - and I think we did a bang up job taking care of it.

Chief: I'm intrigued. Do continue.

Candidate: As you may recall, we had a veteran officer get involved in an accident on his way to work one afternoon. The other vehicle was a school bus. My officers jumped onto it right away. They secured the scene. They preserved evidence by covering up the open alcohol containers with blankets and threatening to arrest anyone who took pictures of the bottles.

Chief: (moving to the edge of his seat) Go on.

Candidate: We cited the bus driver for causing the accident - and then we took our officer back to the station to sober up, I mean, to continue our investigation away from the crowds and cameras and the like.

Chief: Tell me about the investigation.

Candidate: The officer admitted to drinking. It's not like he had a choice, because he did have an odor of alcohol on his breath. But, as you know, Chief, it's not against the law in Texas to have a little drink and then drive.

Chief: What else did y'all do?

Candidate: Reluctantly we drew blood. The test result came back showing an alcohol concentration of over .20. I'm pretty sure there were some issues with that blood draw. Maybe the blood wasn't stored properly. Maybe he was still in the absorption phase at the time of the accident. Maybe there was a problem with the testing equipment. I don't know - but I do know we handled that investigation in the most professional manner possible.

Chief: And you realize that I only reprimanded y'all because the public demanded it. If it was up to me, I'd have handed out commendations for the way your officers handled that case. And, hey, it gave some of the guys a day off to take care of errands or to work extra jobs.

Candidate: Yes, sir.

Chief: You've convinced me that you're the right person for the job. I'm putting you in charge of the DWI task force. If you can handle a case like that one as cleanly and professionally as you did, I think you're more than capable of clearing the road of those drunken civilians.

Of course, nothing like that could ever happen, could it?

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