By Mark Riddering.
When I moved to Ventura Police -VPD from PHPD it was very difficult to leave in many ways. It also was a challenging transition. For one thing PHPD had no policy manual, VPD had mega-policy manuals. Fortunately my new FTO was a good cop and the best practical joker ever. For example, he tied a dead road kill Great Dane to the Sergeants steering wheel so it looked like the dog was driving the Sergeantâ€™s police car. Completely scared the old Sergeant. In retaliation several road kill cats were rounded up and tied to my FTO Larry’s bumper. As Larry drove the police car down the road a young girl drove up in a panic. Larry stopped the car. He saw the mangled cats. The girl was very emotional. Larry didn’t miss a beat. He opened the police cars trunk and said. “I told those cats to stay in the trunk”. Larry got in the car and drove away.
Another evening Larry and I were drinking coffee in front of a donut shop. We heard glass breaking then suddenly a burglar went ruining from a window smashed at a JC Penny ‘s across the parking lot from us. We sprang into action coffee in hand. Larry drove up to the running burglar. I being the passenger officer designated me as the running officer. Larry slowed up to let me out. I dumped my coffee and ran to catch the villain. I pounced with cat like reflexes and handcuffed the burglar. While leading the prisoner to our car Larry commented…”I thought you had experience—–no veteran copper dumps good coffee”. To be honest I’m not that fast and need all the help I can get.
In another capper Larry and I were picking up C-7, police code for dinner, at Max’s Hoagie Hut. We stood in a long line to place our order. Suddenly a car drove up and a woman exited and approached us. She pointed out a truck a half block away and told us the driver was drunk because of poor driving. By this time we both ordered and paid for the food. Huge sandwiches, fries, and lemonade…. Ahhh yes! Now VPD policy prohibits me from doing ANY police functions without Larry. However, Larry instructed me to pull over the suspected drunk driver at the curb in front of the sandwich shop. Larry would stay and get our food. I got into our high performance police vehicle. I came up behind the weaving suspected drunk driver and tried to stop the vehicle, however, the driver sped off. We got moving pretty good. Wish you could’ve seen Larry’s face standing holding our extra big cheese steak sandwiches, big bag of fries, and large lemonades –eating healthy as always —as we blew past. We continued accelerating and the truck entered the freeway and away we went. We eventually got off the freeway and finally the truck crashed into a pole. After a tussle the drunk driver was arrested. After getting the vehicle stored I headed for the jail. Larry quietly called the radio to pick him up. The sandwich shop was closed. The sun had set and Larry was sitting with dinner on a picnic table. He told me to keep this quiet. For 20 years only he and I chuckled about this. Hopefully this puts a smile on your face too. Thanks for reading.