s skippy the bush kangaroo: The thin blue watercolor line

skippy the bush kangaroo

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The thin blue watercolor line

Sometimes the best stories in newspapers is when a colorful character is given a lot of space just to tell their own story.

From the Charleston Gazette, a long interview with a former Charleston Police detective:

He's an ex-cop, a longtime chief of detectives for the Charleston Police Department. But Pat Legg wasn't one of those hard-boiled, tough-guy detectives like you read about in crime novels.

He's so soft-hearted, he had a hard time giving speeding tickets. He hated the gun he had to carry. Fortunately, he never had to use it. He didn't break cases by intimidating people. He did it by being nice to sources, especially prostitutes and other insiders in the heyday of honky-tonk Summers Street.

Behind that soft heart beats the soul of a painter, a devoted watercolorist. When the winter painting season ends, he switches to another hobby - horses.

Here's some more:

"During the problem with Mayor Mike Roark, I was out of grace, so I asked to be moved back to patrol. I was a sergeant.

"I could never write traffic tickets. Everybody I stopped had two or three kids, and I'd think, if I write this guy a ticket, who is it going to hurt? These little, old, poor kids would be eating ice cream cones. This guy was going 85 on the expressway. I looked at the kids looking up at me, and I gave him a warning.

"I was banished once to Magic Island. They canceled all leaves during Regatta. This one officer had already paid his deposit at the beach. I said I'd go to the chief's office. They had let other people off, but they said no. So I wrote a memo criticizing them. And I was transferred to Magic Island.

"I got me a chair and an umbrella. I had neighbor people bringing me food. One night a businessman called and told me to look in the sky. Here came an airplane pulling a banner: `No Cop Is an Island. Free Pat Legg.'

"I've seen prejudice in our department. I was raised a redneck from Sissonville, but I went to West Virginia State College, and that made me realize how ignorant prejudice is. If you start to analyze that, it doesn't make any sense. I belong to a black church, some of the most loving Christian people I ever met.

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posted by Carnacki at 5:55 PM |


Yeah, hard as some people find it to believe, a lot of police got into it from wanting to help people. When I worked for the police, I donated to more office collections than I have in all other workplaces combined.

We collected overcoats, toys for kids, food for shelters for holiday dinners. The computer department alone collected for the Thanksgiving pies for one shelter, and other department areas did other parts of the dinner.
commented by Blogger Scorpio, 7:51 PM PDT  

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