Tuesday, March 20, 2007

All Around The North America

Left the SoCal last week and spent a few days in Nueva York and then wintry Montreal. Didn't bring the scanner, but a few bits and bobs, as they say:

So about the time I was having a drink or three in the Lower East Side at this fine establishment, a gunman was shooting a bartender in the back at a Greenwich Village Pizzeria. After fleeing the scene he ran down the street being trailed by two of the NYPD's finest "Auxiliary" cops. These are unarmed volunteer officers who walk the streets in the "Bag" (NYPD lingo for the patrol uniform). While they have rudimentary cop training they are supposed to only act in an "eyes and ears" capacity. Now, I'm all for local cop-shops liberally using reserve and civilian officers to take the burden off the duties of the sworn personnel. Both the LAPD and the LASD have great reserve and civilian programs.

But if you're going to put on an authentic cop's uniform with a badge and go on foot patrol UNARMED(!!!!!!!) it's not illogical to think that you might get shot. In fact, the batshit-crazy gunman left the restaurant and began walking down the street with the two Auxiliaries trailing him from across the street. Seeing them, he quickly turned around and ran at them, catching up and shooting both of them dead from point-blank range. Luckily, the two had radioed ahead and sworn personnel were barreling down--but not in time to save the Auxies. A short foot chase ensued and then the cops pumped at least 30 rounds into the gunman (shooting both his thumbs off in the process).

Lesson: Wear the uniform = Carry a gun.

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Headed up to Montreal for some fun on Friday, and boy they do things different up there. Mostly, it's the French that trips you up. All the Police, Fire and EMS trucks seem to be fairly normal. Even the lime-green Type III Ford ambulances don't look all that goofy. The city was getting about 20 inches of snow in the two days I was on the ground. Didn't keep the EMS, Fire and PD units from trucking around Code 3 all night long. It's been awhile since I drove and ambulance and ran around in the snow, but the memories it brought back weren't pleasant.

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Back in L.A. after a hellish Sunday travel day in the metal bosom of the best Regional Jets and 737s Continental Airlines had to offer, I was unable to break away to watch the giant A380 arrive at LAX. I had to settle for the Internet video re-runs. Don't know what the wind was like out there yesterday morning but the the French pilot didn't exactly grease the 24R landing. Looked a bit rough and sideways. Still that thing is a fucking monster. It was supposed to depart this afternoon, but it's IFR and rainy out here today. Don't know if it has left yet or that no one has had a chance to YouTube the takeoff.

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