“So, Perk,” JR asked me one evening while we were driving around on patrol. JR called me “Perk or Perkins” after the deputy on Dukes of Hazard. I, of course, called him “Mr. Ewing” from JR on Dallas.

“What’s the dumbest thing you ever did as a cop?”

“Well. . .”

“That’s a hole in the ground with water in it.”

“Yes, it is,” I answered. “If I had to select one of the most embarrassing things?”

“That’s what I asked.”

“It was my rookie year with Alamosa PD and they’d taken of the leash and allowed me out by myself. It’s night time and I made a traffic contact. The guy pulls over, I call it in and approached the car. I told the man the reason for the contact, got his license and registration, and walked back to the car to write a ticket.”

“Ok, I can see that,” he said.

“I went to open the car door and it wouldn’t open.”


“I’d locked myself out of the car.”

“How did you do that?” he asked with a laugh.

“They were running Ford LTDs as patrol cars and the inside door lock was easy to hit with your elbow on the way out. I’d gotten into the habit of hitting it to lock the door.”

“Oh no! What did you do.”

“Oh, I’m cool. I went back up to the car, smiled and told the man it was his lucky day. I said I was out of tickets.”

“Good cover.”

“As soon as he drove away, I ran to the motel just across the street and got a wire hanger from them. I got really good at breaking into those cars.”

“I’ll bet. But, you never told me that story.”

“Now, you know why.”