"For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure."
"Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise."
Because of the length of time I stayed on the Sheriff's Department I trained many new Officers, Rookies. I was training a rookie one day when a detective called me and said he needed us to go with him to serve a warrant on a drug pusher. Anytime a warrant is served a Deputy who is in uniform is supposed to go along, that way there are no problems with the suspect fighting, then saying he did not know the Officers were really Police Officers.
There were four of us going to serve this warrant: two detectives, my rookie and me. The suspect lived in an apartment building. The apartments were two stories, the ground floor was the kitchen and living room, which had a sliding glass door leading out to the pool. The second floor was the bedroom.
The plan was for the two detectives and me to take the front door and my rookie to watch the back sliding glass door. When we arrived we sent my rookie around back and the three of us went to the front door. As we walked up the walk we saw the suspect look out the bedroom window at us, so we knew he was home. We knocked on the door but got no answer. We knocked some more and shouted that we knew he was inside so he'd better open up or we would bust down the door.
At this point I went to the back corner of the house. I called my rookie over, I told him that if the man did not open up, we were going to kick in the front door and go in. At that point he needed to be ready because the guy might try to get out the back. He said he was ready, but that I should be careful because there was a dog inside. I told him I had heard it barking.
I went back around front and tried to see through the window beside the door. It was hard because there was a curtain drawn but I was able to make out a little mixed breed mutt standing there barking at me. I thought to myself, 'rookies!' He doesn't even think I can handle a little mutt like that.
We knocked one more time and shouted that if the door wasn't opened we were going to kick it in. Still no response. All three of us pulled our revolvers because we didn't know if he was armed or not. I was to be the first person through the door, again because I was in uniform. I counted to three and kicked the door open and rushed in with both detectives right on my heels. As the door swung open, I saw the little mutt start running. However, at the same time I saw a large Doberman running toward me. I turned around and ran head long into both detectives. I was trying to get out the door and they were trying to get in.
I won the battle because I had panic on my side. I pulled the door shut behind me. They both looked at me and asked what I was doing. They had not seen the Doberman.
We finally opened the door just enough to tell the suspect that if he didn't come to the door we were going to come back in and we would shoot his dog right there in the living room. He came to the door and we arrested him.
I called to my rookie and told him to come on around. When he got there he said, "I told you there was a dog inside." Ah rookies, for some reason he thought things had not gone as planned. I don't know what gave him that idea. Maybe he noticed that I was still as white as a sheet.
by R.L. Dettwiler