A Cop’s Perspective of Christmas II: The Unexpected Past

Last night I worked the dispatch channel for the West End, which is the downtown business and entertainment core and one of the busiest districts for police dispatchers to handle.  Many dispatchers avoid working this district as it can be absolute madness, but I’m quite comfortable handling this channel, as I walked the beat in this district for eight years when I was a cop.  I still know it like the back of my hand. It was Thursday, but due to the “festive season” it was as busy as a Friday usually is.  About three in the morning, one of the young call takers called out to me saying that they were taking a 911 call from a man who thought that people were stalking him.  We get several calls like this a night from people who have fried their brains on cocaine or crystal meth and have become paranoid. They call to report that everyone in every plane, train, and automobile that happens by is watching them and/or trying to kill them.  This person was hyperventilating, absolutely terrified, pleading with the call taker to send one particular cop to help him.  He said that this cop’s name was “Chip”, or maybe “Chuck” and that he had a partner named Don at one time.  No one else would do.  Chip had to come save him. The following conversation took place between me and the call taker:

“You used to be a cop.  Do you know any cops by those names?”

“The caller… What’s his name?”

She told me.  She saw my eyes go wide.

“Do you know him?”

“I do.”

“Do you know who the cop is then?”

I did.  It was me.  Me thirty years ago.  The man that she’d named had been a denizen of that beat back then.  I knew his name and remembered his street name.  My regular partner on the beat back then was a man named Dale, so it was not surprising that within a week of us starting that beat in 1980 the street people started referring to us as “Chip and Dale”.  Don was a recruit that I trained for a few weeks back then. Chuck is a variation of my name that some people used for me back then. Despite killing most of his brain cells with drugs he’d somehow survived for three decades and when he got into distress his remaining brain cells remembered the beat cop that had repeatedly dragged him out of the gutter and taken care of him. He was still down there on that beat. And when he called for help that beat cop was the dispatcher working the district where he was calling for help.

C.A. Ennis


About cuhulain

Kerr Cuhulain has been a Wiccan for 49 years and has been involved in anti-defamation activism and hate crimes investigation for the Pagan community from 1986 to 2005. Kerr was awarded the Shield of Valor by the Witches League for Public Awareness. Kerr is the author of the Law Enforcement Guide to Wicca, Witch Hunts, Wiccan Warrior, Full Contact Magick and Magickal Self Defense. Kerr has a column with 182 articles on anti-defamation issues and hate crimes on The Witches’ Voice web site called Witch Hunts. Kerr is the former Preceptor General of Officers of Avalon, an organization representing Neo-Pagan professionals in the emergency services (police, firefighters, emergency medical technicians). Kerr retired from the Vancouver Police Department in November 2005 after serving 29 years with them. He was awarded the Governor General’s Exemplary Service Medal. Kerr's past job assignments within the VPD include the Emergency Response Team, Hostage Negotiator, Child Abuse Investigator, Gang Crime Unit, and the Mental Health Emergency Services Unit. Kerr went on to be a police dispatcher and trainer for ECOMM for Southwestern BC. Kerr retired from law enforcement work in April 2013. Kerr is the founder of a Wiccan order of Knighthood called the Order of Paladins in November 2007. The Order embraces the Warrior philosophies, precepts and code of chivalry outlined in Kerr’s books. The Order of Paladins is a study group for people interested in Wiccan magick, energy work and rituals related to the Warrior path, focusing on empowerment, personal development and creative expression. The training focuses on the effective use of magickal energy and developing psychic skills. Courses are taught on line through the Ardantane School of Magick, where Kerr is on faculty. The Order of Paladins is constantly developing new rituals, and magick and studying our Warrior philosophy. Our members are spread across the globe and connect through local preceptories and on line. All members are expected to participate and contribute. Kerr is now the National Secretary of the Royal Astrononomical Society of Canada.
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