“All cops have to make judgment calls they hope they won’t regret. No cop ever bats 1,000.”
Discretion: a one of a kind, useful implement that’s tucked away inside every cop’s virtual toolbox. It’s a valuable part of police work that every officer uses many times during their career. It can be a deal maker, a deal breaker, the beginning of a never-ending source of valuable information, and a life saver. Discretion, however, was the basis for more head-butting between Lydia and her new partner.
A rental chainsaw coated in blood and tissue caused Lydia’s sixth sense to kick into overdrive. Her thinking was that a dead body couldn’t be too far away from the weekend lumberjack who’d rented it. So, an argument ensues about collecting samples for DNA testing, or not. Lydia says yes, Josie says no, but then gives one of her eye rolls and sarcastically says, “Go ahead. DNA your ass off.”
Detectives normally have free reign to use their discretion to investigate suspicious circumstances. However, Lydia’s new partner, Josie, felt that looking into the source of the blood-like material on the saw was a pure waste of time, and she had no problem letting her feelings be known. And, as usual, her manner of delivering that message was obnoxious, condescending, and irritating…for the duration of the entire show. And to make matters worse she insisted on snooping into Lydia’s private affairs.
I still can’t warm up to this Josie character. I believe the writers are attempting to portray the possible consequences of having two detectives of equal rank working as partners. But that’s a situation that occurs every day in the real world and, sure there’s an occasional clash of ideas and personalities, but not usually to this extent. Surely, not to the point where one begins to cower as Lydia has at times. In fact, Josie has weakened Lydia to the point where she almost seems softer and wimpier, maybe even a bit ineffective as a detective. It’s not very flattering. Still, the detail in this show, including the tensions caused by working with someone you don’t particularly see eye-to-eye with is incredible.
– John and Ben answer a call and Ben immediately, after hopping out of the patrol car, starts talking to his mom on his cell phone. John (remember, he’s still Ben’s field training officer – FTO) gets in Ben’s face about the call. He says, “Unless she’s had a stroke or her uterus is falling out, you’re on my hip.” Good point. A cop must cover his partner at all times. And a rookie-in-training must not waiver from a single rule, including paying full attention to every single thing that’s happening at the time. No distractions.
– John and Ben encounter a man who’s in possession of a crack pipe. Of course, he was on his way to score when Cooper confiscated the pipe, destroyed it (had the user step on it), and then gave the guy a scare-tactic lecture of the gloom and doom that would rain down on his head if John caught him there again. Not arresting the guy was John’s discretion as a police officer. Now he has a possible informant, a guy who’s extremely grateful that he’s not going to jail. And he has Officer Cooper to thank for it. Letting the guy go was really no big deal, especially in places where paraphernalia possession is not illegal.
Sure, there was cocaine residue inside the pipe, and he could’ve been charged with possession of that small amount of the drug, but, as John said, “You want to spend 4 hours booking that guy? It’s called discretion. You gotta know when to use it.” It’s sometimes a better deal to grab an informant. Besides, maybe the speech worked and the guy’ll stop using drugs…yeah, right. But, he may, at least, stay out of Cooper’s way. Good use of discretion. And obviously a point made as a buildup for a later scene.
– Ben spots a parolee who served time for assaulting his (Ben’s) mother. He pretends the man is up to no good and tells a couple of lies to lure John into helping him make a traffic stop on the guy. As soon as the officers step out of the car, Ben crosses in front of John, his FTO, and says, “I’m contact, you’re cover,” meaning that he’d be the one to speak with the driver. Of course, Ben’s real goal was to confront the man and tell him to stay away from his mother, which, of course, is a very unprofessional act. However, it happens. Ben was later raked over the coals by his sergeant for using (abusing) his authority for personal gain (revenge). John also dinged him for lying to him about the incident, which, by the way, placed John in harm’s way.
– The next time John and Ben answer a call (a robbery-in-progress at a restaurant) John takes a quick peek over his shoulder to make sure his trainee is “on his hip.” Good detail. FTO’s constantly watch out for the rookies assigned to them. An FTO’s job is a tough one because they have to protect another officer while handling the actual call.
– Ben finds an illegal firearm in the restaurant. It belongs to the owner who states he needs it for protection. Ben, opting for a little officer’s discretion, allows the man to keep the revolver even though the serial number had been ground away. He thinks he’s doing the right thing by telling the man to buy a legal gun and then turn in the stolen gun once that purchase is made. After all, everyone needs a means to protect themselves, right? Bad move.
– Sammy’s situation with his wife has totally consumed his mind and he’s letting it interfere with his work. It happens. I’ve seen it many times. Unfortunately, a cop’s job often leads to a lot of time spent away from home. As a result, some spouses resort to cheating, as did Sammy’s wife, Tammy. Well, Sammy decides to break into his own home (Tammy changed the locks after he moved out) and a couple of deputies, who somehow magically appeared on the scene, checked him out at gunpoint. I’m not sure, but I doubt that Tammy had gotten any sort of legal papers that would have prevented Sammy from entering the house. If not, there’s no law that says you can’t break into your own home. But, I may have missed that fact.
Sammy’s scenes remind me of a cop I once knew who went through a similar situation. I don’t know where the writers of this show find their ideas, but I know one thing, they’re talking to real cops. And that’s a good thing.
– Ben, while answering a domestic call at a motel, beats the dickens out of a suspect and has to be pulled off the guy by John and two other officers (after a nice Tasering of the suspect by John). Ben beat the guy as a means to vent his frustrations about the parolee situation. Ben’s abuse of power and poor judgment are getting out of hand. Another set of rookie mistakes. And, again, it happens.
And now we’re at the end, where a shots-fired called comes in. And guess where it is…Yep, it’s the same restaurant where Ben allowed the owner to keep the stolen weapon. Guess who fired the shots that struck an innocent person. And guess what he used to shoot the guy.
And guess what...Discretion, when used improperly, can turn around and bite a cop right below where his handcuff case should be resting.
Another great show!