Tuesday, April 04, 2006
April 1st marks the second anniversary of my friends death. Jody is missed by her friends and family. The "biting" grief is starting to subside, giving way to sweet remembrances. We always had fun, even at work in the throws of a serious case. Jody was a "crimes against children" detective. This is a specialized area for a detective that only investigates crimes with juvenile victims. In sexual abuse cases the job involves emotional interviews of traumatized children. Often times these cases lack of any physical evidence. Sometimes it is frustrating work, because you know that a crime has occurred, but there is not enough evidence to make an arrest. The way it works is that the lead detective will make the case, then three or four of us would go in for the actual arrest. Child sexual battery offenders have a lot to lose if they are caught and prosecuted. In Florida these offenses are "capital felonies", meaning they can get life in prison if convicted. I remember a particular case of a multi-victim offender that Jody finally got the goods on. Jody's husband, (who was my detective-partner), another plain clothes detective and I went along with Jody for the arrest. We parked on the next block and had a marked unit standing by to take the bad guy to jail. We were sneaking up the block approaching the offender's house, when Jody wispered, "Does anyone have handcuffs?" Everyone stopped and looked at each other, no one replied. Finally I said, "What would you people do if I wasn't such a boyscout?" I produced some handcuffs from my jacket pocket! It is difficult to carry all the cop tools when you are in plain clothes. You have to keep a gun, extra ammo, badge, handcuffs and a two way radio - all concealed! Detectives start to get complacent and keep this stuff under the seat in the car. I stopped carrying a purse and started wearing a shoulder holster many years ago. You know how you have to sometimes "dump out your purse" looking for something. Imagine trying to find your gun and handcuffs! When a bad guy threatens you, you don't have the time to say, "hang on a minute, it is right here in my purse somewhere!!!" Anyway, we got the creep arrested, and convicted. Jody never has to deal with these "scum of the earth" offenders anymore. She put many of them in jail. Job well done, Jody - Rest in peace.