Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Support Us
Our SuperFam members receive exclusive bonus content for $5/mo Support Us


What makes a good cop? A key ingredient is a good teacher.

What makes a good cop? One key ingredient is good training. Detectives Dan and Dave talk about some of the early, unforgettable experiences they had with their field training officers when they were first-year cops.

Behind the Badge is an occasional series of conversations with Small Town Dicks co-hosts Detective Dan and Detective Dave about the state of American policing.

Read Transcript

Yeardley: [00:00:08] Hey, Small Town Fam. How are you? I am very excited, as always when the band is all together, and that means I have Detective Dave.

Dave: [00:00:17] Hello.

Yeardley: [00:00:17] Hello. And I have Detective Dan.

Dan: [00:00:20] G’day.

Yeardley: [00:00:21] G’day. [giggles] This is a continuation of the series of minisodes we started on Patreon a few weeks ago that we’re calling Behind the Badge. They’re great, candid, insightful conversations about policing in the United States at this time in our history. We highly recommend you go back and listen to those if you haven’t already. Today’s installment is the fifth in the series, and it’s titled Training Days. Ha-ha, see? See, what we did there? So named because Dan, you were telling me several stories about starting out in law enforcement. But let’s start with the one when you were a first-year cop, and you were still with your field training officer, who was also named Dan, the Dans and Daves on this podcast.

Dan: [00:01:10] He’s a legend too.

Dave: [00:01:11] Not because of his name.

Yeardley: [00:01:13] [laughs] I will never tire of the sibling rivalry that we get little tidbits of on our podcast. I think you know what story I’m talking about. I’m just going to let you take it away.

Dan: [00:01:23] Yeah. And I think what prompted me, we were watching the news, and again, we talked about the current climate.

Yeardley: [00:01:30] Right, which just in case someone is listening to this, two years down the line, the current climate is it’s 2020. We’re in the middle of the COVID 19 pandemic, as well as protests around the country against police brutality. So, these are volatile times.

Dan: [00:01:52] Yeah. I was trying to explain to you the importance of younger officers having really good FTOs.

Yeardley: [00:02:01] Field Training Officers.

Dan: [00:02:02] Yeah. And that you really are able to shape a young officer in that first 16 weeks of his or her career and teach him about what’s important and how to emotionally survive this job. And I had three great FTOs. One was Dan, one was Mark, and another was Rowe.

Dave: [00:02:24] I had Rowe too.

Dan: [00:02:25] Yeah. And she’s great.

Yeardley: [00:02:27] Yeah, I’ve heard about Rowe.

Dan: [00:02:28] They’re all retired now. But my first FTO was Dan. Right out of the academy, I had Dan for five weeks. The training they put me though and the FTOs they put me through, I couldn’t have picked them better. They were perfect for me.

Yeardley: [00:02:44] And explain to our listeners a little bit what the setup is.

Dan: [00:02:47] Your first phase of field training is, you’re in the car riding with a field training officer, and you as the new officer are in the passenger seat. Basically, for the first couple of days, you’re acclimating. You’re drinking from a firehose, there’s so much and you are heavily scrutinized on everything you do. And every call, every minute of your shift is a training opportunity. And you can pass or fail on these.

Dave: [00:03:19] There’s a famous drawing of the perfect brand-new recruit, and it’s big eyes, big ears, and no mouth. [Yeardley laughs] That was drawn for me early on. Some of the cop shows that we’ve talked about, like, “Did they do it right? Did they do it wrong?” The Rookie, Southland, they show certain aspects of your first few days in uniform that are fairly accurate. One of them is always they’re driving down some obscure street in a sleepy little neighborhood and they stop in the middle of the block and they go, “Where are you?” And if you don’t know, they go, “Start running till you get to an intersection and tell me what signs are there.” That’s true. That’s been done to me. When you fail that test, you’re like, “Son of a bitch.”

Dan: [00:04:05] At the end of the day, it’s called a DOR, it’s a Daily Observation Report. And your FTO fills it out, and there are– how many? 35?

Dave: [00:04:15] Oh, there’s tons of categories of checkboxes and scores. If you don’t meet a certain score, that FTO has to write a paragraph about how you failed that certain category. So, it’s judged 1 to 7, 7 being the most perfect, amazing officer ever. Think Jesus in a uniform. [Yeardley laughs] The standard is that you’re going to get 4s. Well, 3 is satisfactory. Four is–

Dan: [00:04:40] Above.

Dave: [00:04:41] Basically, you want to be getting 4s and above. You know you’re never going to get a 7. Yeah, I’ve never seen a 7 on DOR.

Yeardley: [00:04:47] Interesting.

Dave: [00:04:48] If you’re getting ones and twos, those are bad. You’re going to get one and two every now and then. If you’re getting regular observation reports with ones and twos on them, multiple times a week–

Dan: [00:05:00] You might be logging on to

Yeardley: [00:05:02] You might be asked to leave.

Dave: [00:05:04] You’re on the chopping block, and they call it NRT, Not Responding to Training. If I have to tell you multiple times that you keep screwing this up and you don’t make the adjustment, you are not responding to the training. The first phase is the most critical. That’s where you can get a little bit of a read on whether or not they’re progressing or if nothing’s sticking.

Dan: [00:05:28] Yeah, these are things that I never thought about until I started that first phase. The first day, my FTO, Dan, said, “You’ve got to handle the radio today.” That’s something you never think about, like when you’re on a ride-along is, “Now, I’m going to be the voice.” I mean even how to hold the microphone. I picked it up and I put my hand around this thing, he’s like, “No. If you were driving, how are you going to hold that microphone and drive at the same time?” I’m like, “Good point. I had no idea.” [Yeardley laughs] Everything, your dispositions, am I talking too much on the radio, where I’m tying up the radio where another officer, if he’s in a fight with somebody, if I’m still talking and giving a disposition, then I’m screwing up.

Yeardley: [00:06:13] You’re depriving that officer who’s in the fight, the opportunity to say, “Hey, I’m going to fight, I need some backup.”

Dan: [00:06:18] Yeah. There are so many aspects to it, and knowing where you are, and planning out traffic stops, those are things that you’re just not aware of until you’re put in that situation and say if I’m calling out a traffic stop, I’ll be at Johnson Street and West Seventh, what if the person doesn’t stop there, and they continue on? Now, you’re a little frazzled, because they didn’t stop where you wanted them to. When you get out of the car, you don’t update your location, and maybe they took a turn off the main drag and your location has changed. So, you’re asking for cover, and your cover officer doesn’t know where you are now, because you didn’t update your location. There are so many little things and you get scored on that, on your DOR. And you could do everything perfect all day. You screw up once on something, and that’s the score you get for the day on that category.

Dave: [00:07:09] Yeah, your worst score of the day on a call is what gets logged on to your daily observation report. Like you got a 99 on the test, but you got 1 on that question, so.

Yeardley: [00:07:19] You get 1.

Dan: [00:07:20] You get 1. So, yeah, it’s stressful. I remember when I was in the FTO phase, especially when I went to phase two, because my DORs were, Mark, God bless you, man, you were great, taught me a lot about tactics. But he would always call me Cannon Fodder. I’m like, “Why do you keep calling me Cannon Fodder?” And he goes, “Because you’re fucking worthless.”

Yeardley: [00:07:43] [laughs] That is so harsh.

Dan: [00:07:45] All right. “Now, go over to that community store and go buy me SoBe.”[laughs] That’s what he’d say, and I’ll be like, “All right, out of my own money?” Yeah, out of your own money, go do it.” Mark was great, because he made me think about my safety, things that I wasn’t aware of. He would draw these diagrams and say like, “You’re in a kill zone right here, and you stopped the patrol car in a kill zone and you’re not aware of that. And I’m going to give you 2 on your officer safety today.” So, it really makes you aware of things that are going on out there, and that there are threats everywhere around you and you have to really be mindful of it. It almost makes you feel like there’s no way I’m going to survive out here. There’s no way.

Dave: [00:08:27] So Rules of Engagement, the movie at the end, where Guy Pearce and Tommy Lee Jones have a little discussion about Vietnam, and Tommy Lee Jones goes, “What’s the average time a first lieutenant brand new to the battlefield, what’s his average lifespan in battle in Vietnam?” And Guy Pearce is like, “I don’t know, three days or something?” He goes, “16 seconds.”

Yeardley: [00:08:51] [gasps] [chuckles]

Dave: [00:08:52] [chuckles] And it’s just one of those when it’s that all the time from FTOs where like, “You didn’t consider this,” or “You’re standing on the curb when you should have been standing up on the grass because now suspect has a height advantage and he has an avenue of escape going this way.” All these things that you’re like, “Shit, I didn’t know.” They’re like, “I’m telling you so tomorrow you don’t screw it up again.” Your FTEP, Field Training Evaluation Program, is stressful.

Dan: [00:09:21] Yeah.

Dave: [00:09:22] Really stressful.

Yeardley: [00:09:23] Bit obviously critical.

Dan: [00:09:24] It absolutely is. Having good FTOs is really important for young officers and your department. If you’ve got good FTOs, you’re going to have a good police department. I really think that your FTO program is the foundation for your police department.

Yeardley: [00:09:38] Sure, they set the tone, they set a standard.

Dan: [00:09:42] It was my third day on the job, and one of the calls, we got sent to was an unconscious, not breathing infant. So, this is a big call. We were less than a mile away, and that is a code 3, lights and sirens, we’ve got to get there now. We know that we’re going to beat the fire department. So, we’re going to encounter this child, and I’m, “Okay, here we go.” We arrive, we get there right as the fire department’s getting there. And they were just out and about, I think there are only a couple blocks away, and they actually beat us. Thank God for this because early in my career, this could have had a huge, huge effect on me.

[00:10:29] One of the medics ran into the house, grabbed the child, ran back out, put him in the ambulance, off they go. Child dies, co-sleeping, methamphetamine, this child was one day old.

Yeardley: [00:10:41] Ugh.

Dan: [00:10:42] The medic runs past me, he’s holding this child, and this child is a blue, purplish color, and it’s one of the worst things that I’ve ever seen in my life. My FTO, Dan, God bless this man, I think people have this idea that field training officers out there are like, “That’s part of it. Buck up. Suck it up, Buttercup. Let’s go to the next call.” And I had an FTO, who said, “This is a significant call that you’re going to encounter again in your career, and we need to unpack this.” So, he got on the radio, he asked our dispatch, he said, “Hey, for the next 30 to 45 minutes, expect us to be out on training. And basically, don’t send us to calls, because I’ve got a young officer here who just experienced something that’s probably pretty traumatic, I’m guessing.” And it should be, it should be traumatic for you to encounter a one-day-old child that dies.

[00:11:40] We went and parked in a secluded area, and he just asked me, “How are you feeling right now?” And I said, “I don’t even know how I’m feeling right now.” And he said, “Okay, that’s acceptable.” And we talked it out. He talked about horrible calls that he’s been on and how he deals with it, mentally. He told me, “You’ve got to find somebody that you can vent to, even if that’s another person out here on the street after a really critical, high-stress call, that you can say, ‘Hey, can I get a meet with you?'” And that’s where you see the two patrol cars that are like head to head, window to window?

Yeardley: [00:12:21] Oh, you mean, even if it’s another officer out here on the street?

Dan: [00:12:24] Absolutely. “Hey, can I get a meet with you?” And you have to forge relationships in this job where you can unpack those things. Fortunately, I had Dave. And if we weren’t working the same shift, I knew that I could go to Dave and say, “Hey, can I talk to you?” I thank my lucky stars that I had Mr. Dan, my FTO. I remember early on, I was so bored because he wanted to talk all the time. I’m like, “No, let’s go out and do stuff. I want to chase somebody.” And he’s like, “Grasshopper, slow down.” [Yeardley laughs] And it was so important for me, looking back, and it only took me six months of being out of field training to recognize how important that was to me for my development as a police officer and to shape me into what I have evolved into personally regarding this job. A lot of the lessons that my FTO Dan, and Mark, and Rowe passed on to me, my brother started two years after me. And I was able to impart some of those things. I feel like Dave got a head start.

Dave: [00:13:35] I definitely got all the answers to the test.

Yeardley: [00:13:39] [laughs]

Dave: [00:13:40] Hey, I broke into the professor’s office and I got all the answers to the test. So, I’d be like, “So, how do you handle this kind of call?” Or, “What are the types of traps that an FTO is going to set you up for that you’re going to end up with 1 on your DOR?” So, I kind of knew those tricks. I remember when I would do ride alongs with Dan, nonstop. Every corner he made, I looked up and check street signs, every single time. I’d be like, “Okay, I know where we are.” And if you’re mid-block, because sometimes he’d say, “No, I don’t want to know what intersection you’re at. I want to know what 100 block of that street you’re at.” So, then I got really good at houses and mailboxes picking up numbers. Or, you’d pass a car leaving a neighborhood where we know there’s a drug house and they’d say, “What was the plate on that car that we just passed?” I got really good at anticipating those things.

Yeardley: [00:14:34] Seriously?

Dave: [00:14:35] I was cheating. I remember having a ride along with me one time, and this car had passed us, and we’re both on a main drag. So, we’re both going 45 to 50 and so, two lanes going each way with this big center turn lane. People find it implausible that a police officer in the middle of the night can grab a plate of a car passing them at 50 miles an hour, and it is commonplace. It’s easy.

Yeardley: [00:15:04] That’s insane.

Dave: [00:15:05] You get so trained to pick it up, letters and numbers off of plates, and you see it and you’re running the plate, to see if that’s stolen or is that the person that drives that car, are they wanted? And then, you turn around on it, and they’d be like, “What are we doing?” I’m like, “That car that we just passed has stolen license plates on.” He’s like, “How’d you catch that?” Defense attorneys are surprised at that, like, “You’re trying to tell me that you can get a license plate off a car that you’re passing at 50 miles an hour?” “Yeah, I can.” “I find that hard to believe.” “Okay. Well, that’s how I got your defendant’s license plate. [chuckles] I’m not lying about that.” So, you pick up these things, you’re on the ride along, you’re like, “He’s seeing things that I’m not seeing.”

Yeardley: [00:15:49] 100%, and you are driving and still able to type on your little mini keyboard. The amount of multitasking that police officers do, it’s indescribable.

Dan: [00:16:01] There are lots of instances, though, where you’ve got officers that aren’t so good at multitasking when they’re typing into their laptop, that just run right into the back of a parked car. And that is a memo, and that’s usually discipline.

Dave: [00:16:13] That’s discipline, hitting curbs and blowing out tires, because you’re paying too much attention to the screen. So, policy wise, you are directed to only check the screen when absolutely safe to do so. Reality wise, if I’m on my way to a in-progress emergency situation, I’m not going to pull over and stop so I can check the screen and the details. I’m hitting refresh on that screen constantly, keeping my eyes on the road knowing that there’s no cars in front of me for two blocks and no oncoming traffic that I can maintain driving straight, looking over at the screen and picking up the new details that are coming in. Suspect is now outside the residence and has a lead pipe in his hand. I want to know that before I get there.

Yeardley: [00:16:59] Of course.

Dave: [00:17:00] I want to know how far down I need to park. If he’s in the front yard, I’m not parking two houses down. I’m parking five houses down. I don’t want him to see me pull up. You’re doing all these things, and that’s at the behest of watching field training officers doing it the right way. I had Rowe, I had Eric, and I had Darren. And I feel the same way as Dan, that they all complemented each other. They all had different skill sets.

[00:17:30] An officer the other day goes, “You know, I think about my evolution as a police officer like a salad bar.” Kind of look down like you looked at me, right now, “A salad bar, what are you talking about?” He goes, “Well, I’ve got this plate, and that’s me, the officer, on the plate. And I’m going to grab some lettuce here from FTO Eric, and I’m going to move down a little bit. Oh, there’s some croutons, I’m going to grab those from Rowe. [Yeardley giggles] And, ooh, I want carrots and some olives, and you throw those, and cucumbers cool. And salad dressing, I’ll take from Eric, and Rowe and Darren. And ta-da, you’ve got a salad.” I’m sure it’s the same in most jobs. I mean, Yeardley, I’m sure your skill set as an actress and a voice actress, is that you’ve picked and pulled little things from other people to complement what you already brought to the table, I imagine.

Yeardley: [00:18:23] Sure. But my life was never in danger if I missed something.

Dave: [00:18:28] But you evolve based on what you’ve absorbed from other people. To me, that’s just natural. Some people have a harder time going through the salad bar line and landing those things on their plate. They end up spilling them.


Dan: [00:18:55] I’ve talked about this on the podcast a million times. Time, place, and circumstance. Who did I pick that up from? My first FTO. And it stuck with me, I mean I’m still talking about it now. Every decision I made out there was time, place, and circumstance.

Yeardley: [00:19:10] Refresh our memories about the definition of that, what you took away from that.

Dan: [00:19:14] It’s a good filter for your discretion, that the time, the place where we’re at, and the circumstances can dictate how you make a decision in whatever situation you’re presented with out on the street.

Dave: [00:19:28] One of the greatest situations is, I would ask people, I’d say, “All right, you are going to do a traffic stop on a vehicle, and they take off on you.”

Yeardley: [00:19:39] You mean you’re posing this question to officers in training?

Dave: [00:19:42] Yeah.

Yeardley: [00:19:43] Right.

Dave: [00:19:44] “What is your decision-making process on whether or not you’re going to continue to pursue or whether you’re going to terminate?” Time.

Yeardley: [00:19:51] As in time of day?

Dave: [00:19:52] Time of day. “Are you heading towards a school zone at 3:00 in the afternoon on a Monday in the middle of the school year? Or, is it 3:00 AM, same school zone on a Monday morning, and you know there’s not any children present, there’s no traffic?” So, time is a huge factor. Place, the school zone. “Am I heading into downtown where I know there’s a lot of traffic lights and a lot of blind corners? Or, am I out in a rural setting where I can see for two miles down the straightaway and I know that there’s no cross streets ahead?” So, place. Circumstance. “Am I chasing someone that stole a roast beef sandwich and jumped in a car and took off going 130 miles an hour down the main street? Or, am I chasing somebody who just killed their parents?” Circumstance, severity of the crime. So, all those things are constantly being evaluated on whether or not you’re taking enforcement action, whether or not you’re doing this. It’s all about your discretion, and your decision-making, it is all dependent on the time, place, and circumstance. That was hammered home to me. I probably dropped that phrase 50 times in my interview to get hired as a police officer.

[00:21:08] I was like, “And you must consider time, place, and circumstance.” I was like, “God, I sound like a consultant.” [Yeardley laughing] “Seamless integration of people process and technology to affect change at the enterprise level.” People be like, “What the fuck did you just say?” I’m like, “I said nothing.”

Yeardley: [00:21:23] [chuckles] You were a consultant before you were a police officer. So, that’s funny.

Dave: [00:21:28] Right. So, Dan, definitely handed off the cheat codes to me, and I benefited greatly from that.

Yeardley: [00:21:34] Indeed, it makes complete sense. In one of our other Behind the Badge episodes, you both talked about this phrase that you often use in police work, which is “tuning somebody up” or “fuzzing someone up.” To paraphrase for our listeners, it means that either the officer or the suspect is doing whatever they can to get on their opponent’s nerves. Of course, it’s one thing if it’s the suspect trying to piss off the police officer, but it’s completely unproductive when a police officer tries to rile up the suspect. Right?

Dave: [00:22:14] Right. But there’s some people that rub you the wrong way. I mean, I have fuzzed somebody up before, where they’re chirping at me the whole time in my ear screaming while I’m driving them to the jail. I make a little comment back at him that’s like a clever, witty whatever. That’s a version of tuning somebody up, that you’re talking shit to him. When I say really “tuning somebody up,” it’s where you’ve got a cop who’s making an ass of himself.

Dan: [00:22:45] Being just flat out disrespectful. That’s usually the quickest way to tune somebody up out on the street is disrespect them, because that’s all some of these people have, is-

Dave: [00:22:56] Dignity.

Dan: [00:22:57] -dignity, their self-esteem. And if you try to take that away from them, they don’t respond kindly to you.

Dave: [00:23:02] Right. I think I’ve told you the story of a guy that was in jail on New Year’s.

Yeardley: [00:23:07] Yes. And I love this story.

Dave: [00:23:10] This is how I tune people up. He was in our little holding cell, and he’s belligerent, and there’s an officer with his wife.

Yeardley: [00:23:17] The officer’s wife?

Dave: [00:23:19] Yeah. Significant others tend to ride on like the Fourth of July, Christmas, New Year’s. Big dates, they want to be with their partner. So, they go out on a ride along with them. I remember this one night, it’s at our old police station, so I’m new to the job. We’ve got a guy in a holding cell. He had gotten in a fight at a bar and was spitting on people and throwing punches and just being an ass, drunk. This officer is standing there, doing booking paperwork, while this suspect is in a holding cell. The officer has his wife right there, and the guy starts in on the officer’s wife. And he’s been really crude about sexual-type stuff, and what he wants to do to her. The suspect is trying to tune up the officer and the wife. And I walked in there just go in, “What’s the racket?” And the guy turns to me, now I’ve got his attention, and he starts saying, “I’m from the streets. I’m from the streets, you bitch. I’m from the streets,” he’s screaming. I’m like, “Calm down, man. What’s up?” “I told you, I’m from the fucking streets.” And I look at his shirt, and it’s got Big Bird on it.

Yeardley: [00:24:30] [chuckles]

Dave: [00:24:30] And I remember saying, “You from the streets?” “Damn right, bitch.” “Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?” And he went sideways. I was tuning him up. Not professional, but I was kind of like, “Here’s an opportunity to insert this little jingle into your life.” I tuned him up. Should not have.

Yeardley: [00:24:54] But in fairness, he started it in a big, big way. My impression of, when you say a cop is tuning somebody up on a traffic stop or whatever the situation is, they’re the ones who started. They’re not responding to something, that person hasn’t been yet belligerent or tried to spit at them in any way or anything like that. It’s the cop.

Dan: [00:25:18] And I’ve seen it. We’ve both seen it. I’ve told other people, I’ve told the cop that I’m with, “Cut it out. That’s not how I do business.”

Dave: [00:25:26] “Step away. Go back over there.”

Dan: [00:25:28] Yeah. “You’re not helping me right now. Get out of here.”

Yeardley: [00:25:31] That’s what I mean. I am a good, careful driver. But I do remember the last time I was stopped, it was several years ago, and I had made a right turn, the light was green. It was a four-lane road. Each had a turning lane. So, a distance. And two people had just stepped off the curb as I turned right. There’s no world I would have had driven over to them to hit them. There was a lot of room. Anyway, I get stopped by a motorcycle cop. I don’t actually even know what I done until he said, “You were endangering a pedestrian.” [laughs] I’m like, “Okay.” But when he gets to my window, he says, “Do you do that a lot?” I said, “I’m sorry. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” And he goes, “You endanger the pedestrian, they stepped off the curb.” And I said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize it.” And he goes, “Is that how you always drive?” I mean, again, like, “Dude.”

Dan: [00:26:27] It’s condescending.

Yeardley: [00:26:28] Just fucking write me the ticket then. “I’m sorry, I didn’t–” I mean–

Dave: [00:26:33] That’s the stuff that I as a watch commander, get a call from a citizen who says, “Your officer didn’t abuse me, didn’t do this. But I was really put off by their lack of professional conduct.” That type of situation where the officer walks up and goes, “What’s your problem?” Not, “Hi, I’m Officer Dave, with blah, blah, blah police department. The reason I pulled you over is because of blah, blah, blah. Can I get your license, registration, and proof of insurance?” That is a professional interaction.

Yeardley: [00:27:05] Exactly.

Dave: [00:27:05] Attitude from the start, I don’t understand that. If you’re a cop, grow up, stop it. That’s what I’m talking about. He didn’t break any laws, the officer. He didn’t break any policies. I mean maybe it’s a professionalism issue, but that would be the complaint is that he wasn’t acting in a professional manner. But that’s the type of stuff that we’re talking about. If that’s how you interact with the public, you’re in the wrong job. It drives me nuts.

Dan: [00:27:33] And sometimes just by not reacting will tune people up.

Dave: [00:27:39] That’s true as well.

Dan: [00:27:40] It’s very true.

Dave: [00:27:41] There’s a video from a city north of here. It’s an officer who is in his protective equipment at what’s clearly a politically charged rally. And he’s standing there, he’s not being aggressive. He’s just standing there, and the camera’s right in his face, and it’s this woman who is screaming all types of invectives, venom, and vitriol at this guy. He’s just standing there and scanning the area, and this woman is right in his face. And then, she starts smoking from her cigarette, and she’s blowing it directly in his face. She’s within inches of his face. Now, seems to me for the last several months, we’ve had some sort of medical issue, pandemic, this officer is taking that. I mean, I’ve had someone blow smoke directly in my face during a call and it was to be demeaning to me. Now I’m breathing in your air, I can articulate that is offensive contact. The air from your lungs just went right in my face along with cigarette smoke. I could articulate that could be a crime. You’re exposing me to offensive contact.

Yeardley: [00:28:50] Because of COVID-19.

Dave: [00:28:51] Well, that and cigarette smoke. I don’t know if you have tuberculosis. I don’t know what you have. That’s just disrespectful. To me, that’s almost as bad as spitting somebody’s face. She does it two or three times. Big, long inhales of smoke and right in his face, and he didn’t react at all. And she got louder and louder, because it wasn’t doing anything to him. He just stood there like a professional and took her shit. That’s the type of stuff where I’m like, “That officer, he gets it.” He knows. Cameras are on him, he’s got to be perfect. But that’s what some of these officers are getting exposed to, and it’s happened to me it’s happened to any officer with any sort of experience where you just have someone who is baiting you into a reaction. You imagine if he’d have push her away, “Look at this officer, these peaceful protesters.” I watched that and God, the amount of pride and humility. He’s got to swallow his pride and just eat that. You’re asking a lot of people, if you as a citizen were put in the same situation. I’m guessing there would have been a reaction. He just took it. His Lack of reaction threw her into a fit. Just being a professional.

Dan: [00:30:05] Yeah.

Yeardley: [00:30:06] I don’t know how you do what you do.

Dan: [00:30:09] Time, place, and circumstance.


Yeardley: [00:30:12] Well, there you have it, Small Town Fam. A super deep dive into what law enforcement does day to day, the sort of things that you’ll never hear on the news. I don’t know, it feels like rare air to me. It’s pretty inside baseball, and I for one, am a big fan. Thank you all for being here. Once again, if you crave more of this kind of super snackable content, subscribe to our Patreon for $5 a month at Either way, you guys are the best, and we so appreciate your support. We’ll see you next time. \

[Small Town Dicks theme]

Yeardley: [00:30:53] Small Town Dicks is produced by Gary Scott and Yeardley Smith, and coproduced by detectives Dan and Dave. This episode was edited by Soren Begin, Gary Scott and me, Yeardley Smith. Our associate producers are Erin Gaynor and the Real Nick Smitty. Our music is composed by John Forest. Our editors extraordinaire are Logan Heftel and Soren Begin. And our books are cooked and catch wrangled by Ben Cornwell.

Dan: [00:31:22] If you like what you hear and want to stay up to date with the show, visit us on our website at, and join the Small Town Fam by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @smalltowndicks. We love hearing from you.

Dave: [00:31:37] And if you support us on Patreon, your subscription will give you access to exclusive content and merchandise that isn’t available anywhere else. Go to

Yeardley: [00:31:49] That’s right. Your subscription also makes it possible for us to keep going to small towns across the country.

Dan: [00:31:55] In search of the finest-

Dave: [00:31:57]-rare-

Dan: [00:31:57] -true crime cases told as always by the detectives who investigated them.

Dave: [00:32:02] So, thanks for listening, Small Town Fam.

Yeardley: [00:32:04] Nobody’s better than you.