We had a major incident that occurred almost two decades ago in which our town was linked to the crime but we were never able to discover where the crime had actually took place. A number of the affected departments set up an informal task force in order to solve the crime, but the leads were just not there and it went cold.
Recently the lead department received new evidence that pointed to a hitherto unknown suspect. They came to our department and coordinated with our investigation division to pickup and go speak with this new suspect.
So three-fourths of patrol is in the break room eating lunch, watching NASCAR on the flat screen television, when a senior member of our command staff walks by the room pushing a double-decker food cart. We let that go. A short time later he returns with a bunch of pizza boxes on the cart. The smart-mouth of our group, says, “Hey boss, that for us?”. He chuckles and says no. Then he and the cart disappear into the elevator and he goes up a couple of floors to the dick's offices. He and the cart return empty handed, followed by a return trip that contained drinks and finally a dessert run.
Right after the dessert run, the on-duty shift Sargent pops up and we ask him if any of the pizza that is going to our investigators and the outside department personnel is going to find its way to us. He tells us that he had not heard of the pizza and then walks out of the room. A short time later, he returned and said, yes there is pizza (like we would not recognize pizza as it went past us) but no, it was not for us. I then point out that it would take maybe 2 or at the most 3 pizzas to feed patrol and after they had bought all the other ones, how much more would it really cost to do that. A conversation soon breaks out between the three of us in patrol and the Sargent, in which we eventually concluded that in the command staffs' mind we are not worth the cost of three pizzas. I concluded the conversation by stating, “Well I for one am glad to know my actual dollar amount worth to the department. Now I can go get replacement insurance and know I am not going to overpay.” We all laugh and hit the street.
Fast forward to the next day and I am speaking now to the shift lieutenant about a different matter, when the same Sargent from the day before walks up. The lieutenant then says, “Oh that reminds me I found out about that pizza thing from yesterday.”
I think, crap, I shot my mouth off and irritated someone enough that the Lt is involved. The lieutenant then says, “If it makes you feel any better, our detectives didn't get any pizza either, they had to buy their own lunch. That was just for the officers that came in from the outside for this case.”
The Sargent and I just stare at our Lieutenant waiting for his mental bulb to light up. A few beats later it does. He sighs and states, “Wait, I think that worse. It means we care much more about a bunch of strangers we will never see again, then the actual people that work here. It makes you feel all warm and gooey inside.” And with that final statement the pizza topic was permanently shelved as an approved conversational topic.
I guess going down on the sinking boat is a little more comforting when you have company on that cruise, but then again I think we all would rather not be sinking in the first place.