Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Sergeant Bacon Intelligence Test #294823

I admire the job that our loyal police officers do in our society. Really, I do. I think they're underpaid, under-resourced, under-valued, and earlier today, they were under here.

Listen up, boys and girls. There is no more important job you can do for your country than to join the local police force. Sure, you will need to learn some important life skills at school before you sign up: you will have to know how to wrestle a very drunk dwarf, have a good telephone manner, be respectable towards chicks--even ugly ones--and be able to recite the third article of Te Tiriti O Waitangi backwards, in Mandarin.

There are many different areas you could specialise in as a police officer. You could become a speed camera technician. You could join the drug squad, and then sue the government because unlike Bill Clinton, you've actually inhaled. If you're a particularly sharp cookie, you could join the criminal investigations bureau. Then again, if you just like beating the bejeezus out of street kids, there are abundant possibilities to work as a community constable in a remote rural area. And if both your eyes happen to point in the same direction when you look at an object, you may well be recruited to work on a promotional campaign displaying the hazards of loutish white trash who have nothing better to do on a Friday night than harass ordinary citizens who are going about their public duty of urinating in the street while pissed. Except, provided you're white, and loutish, you will be in uniform.

But prepare yourself for the isolation of being an upholder of the law. Detractors may claim that the reason you're out on a Friday night enforcing stupid council bylaws, such as "public order", and non-drinking regulations, is that you are too stupid to make real friends, and that you couldn't find your tiny penis in order to engage in urination of your own. But do not listen to such nay-sayers. Beat them up, and lock them up, and then go and squat while you take a pee. Or use a funnel. Because being the good cop is an honourable task that can only be carried out by the cream of civilisation.

And do not listen to those who point out that with height and intelligence restrictions removed, that any stupid fucker who didn't have the balls to start his own security company could become a policeman. You're starting your security company the correct way: by spending fifteen years on the force, you can fake an injury, and get paid by the taxpayer to start your own private thuggery business. That is the right road to roam.

But before you progress with your application to join the constabulary, I would like you to write an essay on how you would have handled the following scenario. I cannot guarantee that any intelligent responses will necessarily lead to rapid promotion on your part, because being a good and diligent police officer is about much more than simply possessing intellect, reason, or talent. But it will be a useful, real-life test for you all the same:

This morning a client was due to visit me in my office at 11am this morning. He was some ten minutes late, and I was beginning to write him off as a waste of space--since it's my duty to keep him waiting, and not the other way around. As I was gazing out my office window, I noticed that the street was very quiet. People were wandering about--a few less than normal, but still a reasonably steady flow. I watched a little longer, and after a while, realised what was missing: cars.

Yes, that's right. Queen Street was empty of vehicles. I looked around a little further, and realised the street had been cordoned off.

So I went downstairs, and saw a couple of police officers milling about. So in my normal, polite manner, I said (and here I am paraphrasing): "Excuse me, officer. What seems to be the problem here?"

The constable answered, in equally hospitable tones (I note, much more hospitably than the tone I normally receive when I am sobriety-deficient, and am in possession of a traffic cone or a street sign which I have not legally purchased): “We have a bomb scare across the road. Somebody left a suspicious package outside the bank.”

So I look across to the bank, and realise that this is indeed a truthful police officer who has not taken lightly his duty to be honest and helpful with concerned citizens. Because, boys and girls, I can see for my very eyes that there is a suspicious package outside the bank, just fifteen metres away from me. “Ummm. Why is this package suspicious?” I ask.

“Because we don’t know what it is,” the constable answers. “It could be a bomb.”

I look again at the suspicious package. I concede that he is correct on that point, also. It COULD be a bomb. “Do you really think it IS a bomb?” I probe further.

“Nah. Probably some bum just left his pile of junk,” this esteemed member of the Fuzzery ripostes.

“Okay, well, I’ll leave you to it, then,” I say, as I turn back into my building and take the lift back up to my floor. I relate this story back to my colleagues, who are mildly entertained for a few moments, and then return to their work.

At approximately twelve hundred hours—an hour or so later—an unidentified suspect, who otherwise looked not-so-suspiciously like my building manager, came into my office and reported that my building was being evacuated. “I see,” I answer. “Why would that be, then?”

“Because they evacuated all the other buildings nearby twenty minutes ago, because of a bomb scare, and the police didn’t realise that this building was next to the bomb.”

“I see,” I ponder, ponderously. “Did they somehow not see this fifteen-story building?”

I did not get a satisfactory answer to that question from the building manager. I am seriously considering lodging a complaint to the body corporate on that issue. But I digress. So I gathered some documents that I thought I might need over the next fifteen minutes or so, and took a few more minutes to print out some further papers that I might possibly find useful. I was very leisurely. So, it seemed, was everybody else, because I was not the last to leave my office. My lift stopped on every floor on the way down, as other people had taken longer than I had to get my stuff together, decided it was a spectacularly good idea to take the lift. I sneered at the lazy bastards on the third and fourth floors who hadn’t taken the stairs. “It’s a fucking bomb scare. You’re not supposed to use the lifts,” I informed them without the slightest hint of hypocrisy to my manner.

And then we milled around the building for five minutes, before another constable asked us to move back. I stopped him and we talked for a few minutes about bomb-making techniques. He told me how bombs could be made from ordinary household items—nail polish remover and hair bleach. I asked him what the fuck kind of psycho cross-dressing pig he was to be in possession of nail polish remover and hair bleach. And then I stepped back and my team and I went off to the pub for a long, liquid lunch.

Two hours later, the cordon was removed, and we were all allowed back in our building.

Now, here’s the test, which will determine whether you will be a successful police strategist, or whether you lack the intellect to perform as a police officer, and should be advised to join a force in an overseas jurisdiction. In light of current events overseas regarding terrorist attacks involving bombs, which of the following would you do, if you were a policeman:

1. Do precisely as our loyal long arms of the law did this morning, and take an hour and a half to clear the area once notified of a suspicious package?

2. Stop and calmly talk to all passers-by about bomb-making techniques, while in the direct, immediate potential blast-zone of the potential bomb?

3. Allow passers-by to walk directly into the alleged bomb zone, and straight past the suspicious package, before deciding that the package was sufficiently suspicious to effectively shut down half of the financial district for two hours before not actually detonating the package and declaring it as non-suspicious?

4. Or would you hope, as an officer of the state, that the police would have a clear plan and strategy to deal with suspicious packages, and have emergency procedures in place to clear the area immediately and deal with the package as soon as possible?

Like all intelligence tests, there is, of course, no absolutely right or wrong answer. Of course, you could well argue that the Police could have used this opportunity to show the community that they know how to handle acts of potential terrorism. But that argument is no more valid, when you think about it, than sending a policeman to attend a 111 callout. And we know that there are many good arguments against that.

1 comment:

mara said...

Mr Prick,I think you will find that it takes an actual fatal explosion to put a rocket up the arses of any public servant in this country.If I know anything about Cops,it's that they love action.If I thought there was the slightest point to it,I'd suggest a wee note to the brown-nosing cretins Robinson and what's his name The Minister of Police.If it's any comfort to you,there will be a fatal bombing or 3 in the future,and you will see quite a different response.