July 04, 2011

NOT the last laugh

I'm sad to say that Bob died June 19, 2011. We'll miss him lots, but
we're all glad his struggle is over.


However, the legacy of laughter that he left for his family will live
on. When the Fords gather, fun is had!

-- Betsy

May 30, 2011

Thanks for a great run

Dear friends,

I am sorry to report that "Bob Ford's Call the Cops" column is being suspended due to Bob's failing health, effective immediately. I offer one of his more popular columns from the past, as a send-off. This will be the last column posted. You may be interested to know that two collections of the columns are currently available for Kindle, and will soon be available for Nook.

We greatly appreciate your loyalty, your friendship and your interest over the many years you have read "Bob Ford's Call the Cops." Thank you for a great run.  --  Betsy Ford

After that, everything's gravy

  The 67th anniversary of D-Day is upon us, and at this time I like to remember my late friend, Jack Truluck.
  Anybody who saw the movie “Saving Private Ryan” should have known Jack Truluck. On June 6, 1944, Jack piloted one of the landing craft that dropped our guys on Omaha Beach at Normandy. After he offloaded his “passengers” and before he could back away from the shoreline, a German artillery shell blew up his Higgins boat.
  Jack’s only choice was to swim ashore. Unarmed and with bullets flying everywhere, Jack crawled over dead bodies in the surf. From behind him, he heard the familiar high pitched whine of another landing craft engine.
  Turning around, he saw a friend piloting a Higgins boat, getting ready to pull away from the beach. The friend signaled Jack to swim out toward him. Jack did just that but as he boarded his friend’s landing craft, another German shell blew that boat into little pieces.
  Here’s Jack, for the second time that day, making an impromptu landing on the beach at Normandy. “Nobody should have to do this thing more than once,” Jack thought of his bizarre wartime experience. Eventually he was evacuated to a hospital ship. His wounds (a fractured arm) proved to be non-life threatening.
  Back at home, after the war, Jack pursued a career as a newspaperman. When I knew Jack he was an investigative reporter for The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C. By then his hair was white and there was less of it. But what a guy was Jack Truluck. His instinct for getting to the heart of a news story was unparalleled.
  Jack retired from The State paper in the late Eighties, then took a job as a public information officer at the State Police Academy. During his later years, before cancer got him, Jack rarely spoke of D-Day. But when he did, he’d give you a great big Truluck smile and tell you that he never worried about anything anymore.
  Hinting at that terrible day on the beach at Normandy, Jack would say: “After that everything’s gravy.”

Look for Call The Cops! e-books in Amazon’s Kindle book store, and coming soon for Barnes & Nobles' Nook.

May 22, 2011

Metal entrepreneur gets fried

  This week’s story takes place in the town Colton, in San Bernardino County, California. It’s a medium sized town with a population approaching 50,000. Incidentally, Colton is California’s favorite nudist resort — although that has absolutely nothing to do with this story.
  In the pre-dawn hours of April 29th, Colton Town Police notice that traffic lights, street lights and business store lights were all out. Then a call comes into police headquarters saying there’s a dead body behind one of Colton’s business buildings.
  Sergeant Alan Koahou decides to check out that tip, according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. What the sergeant finds behind one of Colton’s businesses is a dead man.
  The corpse is lying next to an electrical transformer. There’s no identification on the man’s still smoking body, but Colton police are pretty sure the guy was trying to steal copper from the electrical box. Apparently the guy touched the wrong component and was electrocuted.
  Copper theft has been sweeping the country for more than a year because of the high cost of copper. But what the metal thieves know is, the price of copper on the underground market has been falling.
   The reason copper prices are falling is the glut on that particular market. There are so many copper thieves working overtime that buyers of stolen metals have a super-abundance of material to dispose of.
  The thieves don’t seem to understand that the stolen metals market works the same as legitimate markets of any type — when there’s an oversupply of a product, the demand is less and the sales potential takes a nose dive!
  The guy who got fried April 29th in Colton apparently did not consider that fact, otherwise he’d still be reading the business pages of his daily newspaper.

Look for Call The Cops! e-books in Amazon’s Kindle book store

May 15, 2011

Be kind to small critters

  The Associated Press reports that Chad Alvarez, 23, a University of Wisconsin student, plead guilty in an unusual criminal case. The crime was committed when the young man reportedly stole his roommate’s pet Parrot named Lago.
  According to the fraternity’s code of honor, that’s not the sort of thing one does to a collegiate brother. But wait, it gets worse. While the colorful South American bird was in Chad’s custody the bird passed away. You knew the plot would thicken, didn’t you? This is a lesson in life. When we do bad things it always gets worse. Now Chad has a corpse to deal with.
  In court, Circuit Judge William Foust said actions of this kind demand a response. True, Chad admitted his crime and appeared to be truly repentant. He said there wasn’t a day went by that he didn’t regret his actions. He apologized for the anguish his misdeed caused both his roommate and his parents. But Chad never did explain why he did it.
  On the day of the trial Chad entered a plea of “no contest” to charges of felony theft and mistreatment of an animal resulting in death to the animal.
  Judge Faust shook his head in disbelief as he sentenced Chad to 250 hours of community service and levied a $1,000 fine to be assigned to the Dane County Humane Society. Chad was also ordered to continue with psychological counseling sessions.
  The court still doesn’t know if Chad really understood that placing a live parrot in a microwave oven—four minutes on high power—would be harmful to the bird’s health.
  We hear that Chad is looking for another roommate, hopefully one that doesn’t have pets.

Look for Call The Cops! e-books in Amazon’s Kindle book  store

May 08, 2011

Cops, coffee and doughnuts

  Is it true what they say about cops eating doughnuts? Or did some cartoonist just make that up? We’ll have to dig into the history of police work to find out why, but cops and doughnuts are a definite item.
  When I say “doughnuts” I’m talking about Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme, Mister Doughnut, and all the independents. You can accept as fact that cops love doughnuts — but then so does everybody else.
  The reason for cartoons showing two cops sitting car-to-car in front of a doughnut shop is that’s about the only place cops had to eat while on duty back in the forties and fifties. That’s how the legend of cops-and-doughnuts got started. Most cops walked foot-beats until the late fifties when patrol cars became more numerous in police inventories.
  Doughnut shops were about the only place street cops could afford to eat. Many restaurants were too expensive for everyday meals. Fast-food stores didn’t come on the scene until the early sixties when McDonald’s and Hardee’s began showing up.
  When fast-food stores started dishing out food, cops flocked to them. As good as doughnuts are, cops knew a more balanced meal is better — if you call a burger with fries balanced.
  When gasoline service stations converted to convenience stores, cops started showing up there for mid-shift snacks. Convenience store operators started giving cops free coffee with the hope of encouraging them to come around more often. A police car in front of a business is a pretty good deterrent to crime.
  Nowadays, free coffee is considered a no-no because of mandated police ethics regulations. In some jurisdictions, accepting even a small free goody can get a cop suspended. Some will get fired for accepting handouts. Much of this policy resulted from the public perception that free anything will unfairly encourage favors from law enforcement.
  So, were food and beverage freebies good or bad? It no longer matters. Today they’re illegal in many jurisdictions.
Replacing the free meal today is the “police discount” which brings patrol cars to the parking lots of restaurants.
Mostly that’s a good thing.

Look for Call The Cops! e-books in Amazon’s Kindle book store

May 01, 2011

Tattoo tells it all

  Tony is a member of the Rivera-13 gang. He’s serving time in a California prison, according to CBS News and the Associated Press.
  Now he has a cellmate, but not just some ordinary con. This cellmate (Kevin) is actually a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s homicide investigator working undercover.
  What’s a cop doing in Tony’s cell? He’s in hopes of getting a confession to a major crime Tony is suspected of — the 2004 murder of a 23-year-old man in a liquor store. A major link between Tony and the murder is a photograph of a huge tattoo police have in their files.
  The tattoo depicts the murder scene including many details, like Christmas lights in the liquor store, a street sign outside, even how the body of the murdered man fell to the floor. At the top of the tattoo are the words, “Rivera kills,” which is the name of Tony’s gang. There’s also a sketch of a helicopter hovering above with bullets shooting down. “Chopper” is Tony’s gang name.
  Cops first examined the tattoo in 2008, but were unable to develop any substantial evidence connecting the tattoo with the suspected murderer. Now, with the aid of an undercover cellmate, it’s hoped the detective will be able to extract a needed full confession of the eleven-year-old crime.
  With the patience of the undercover cop, the plan works! Detective Kevin gets a full confession and Tony, alias “Chopper,” is convicted. He now awaits sentencing which should keep him in prison for an additional 65 years to life.
  All of this was made possible because of the killer’s arrogance in having the murder scene tattooed on his own chest for all to see. How brilliant!
Look for Call The Cops! e-books in Amazon’s Kindle book store