THE DISTRICT COMMANDER

By Len A.Hynds

I had been sent to District Headquarters to receive a commendation. I had arrested two burglars whilst on my way home and off duty. One of them had a powerful German army rifle, and as I chased them he stopped and fired two shots at me. I managed to clobber them both with my truncheon before he could manage a third.

A resident had heard the shots and phoned for help, and I was rather pleased when the cavalry arrived with bells ringing. When I arrived at the District HQ I was shown into a waiting room, where there were another five PCs, all from different stations or divisions, but they were all on disciplinary charges. They were relating to the group, each in their turn, what misdemeanour they had committed, and how many days pay they expected to be fined.

It was all really petty stuff, but this commander was a strict disciplinarian. The only exception was a PC from P Division who sat next to me. He had been on night duty, when he had gone absent from his beat, in order to have a few passionate hours with a lady whose husband was also a night worker. He had to scramble over the back garden wall, trying to get dressed when the husband returned home suddenly. Unfortunately (for him) he had left his bicycle in the bushes in the front garden, so he was traced, and put on a disciplinary charge.

He went in, in front of me, and when he came out he looked absolutely bewildered. He whispered, "He complimented me in upholding the best traditions of the force, and being on top of the job."

Man climbing out of window It was my turn next, and I stood to attention on the spot previously told, and stared fixedly at a picture of the Queen on the wall. The Sergeant put my file on the desk and left the room. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see the commander standing near the window, scowling at me. He started walking up and down in front of me, and as he passed he peered into my face. I was reminded of Captain Queeg in the Caine Mutiny and his odd behaviour, because I must have half smiled, because he suddenly snarled at me, "What is so funny"? I replied that this was my normal expression. He stood by the window again, and I heard him mutter, "Another manís wife." He walked to the desk and read through the file, spluttering with suppressed anger. He walked towards me and glanced at my divisional letter and number, (509 L), He returned to the desk and looked at the file again. "Oh" he said lamely, "Your here for a commendation."

It was quite obvious the poor sergeant had taken the wrong files in, and I had nearly got the sack, whilst the amorous young man had been commended in my place. No wonder he was astounded. I wouldnít have been in that sergeantís shoes for all the tea in China.