FPK TRAINING 1980’S        

                                  Part I     


                           By Cameron Mooney


On a hot day in early 1981 I went out to FPK on a body swap for a

deputy being rolled up for being a coward.... the paperwork on him

said he couldn't cut patrol training but the real reason is that he didn't

back up his TO when they were in the Jordan Downs housing projects

together (fortunately that wus (I think his name was Ruben G------) got

arrested by ELA for 211'ing whores)

I was entering the place of legends... FPK was my first choice...

I was coming there from being a policeman on the east coast but

I was still the FNG and 22 years old. I didn't park in the parking lot

but on the street, reticent at entering the lot without permission.

I waited at the back door until a trusty came out,,, no way I was going

to try to buzz in...

          As I entered walked past the booking cage towards the W/Sgts

office I looked to my right seeing Dan Cruz the jailer. As I took my first

view of my home a man entered the front lobby, jumped over the counter

 and began fighting with Deputy Cruz.... before I could think I ran to his

aid and we all began struggling (the guy was dusted on PCP)... the 

dispatch center emptied out and we all went over the counter and out

 the front door. I had the suspect in a carotid restraint, which actually was

more like a choke hold and I remember Lt Al Chancellor, the watch

commander, putting his hand on my shoulder and telling me

“harder... softer.. that’s good...”

I hadn't been in the station 20 seconds... what a beginning to a career


                                                                   PART II

 “A girl? I was going to get a GIRL as my FTO.. at FIR ESTONE? no way”


What I got was one really good policeman... Jackie Yarborough... the locals knew her as Blondie....

When I arrived at FPK a contract had been put out on her as she was mistaken for shooting

some gang banger the week before... the walls south of Firestone were placa'd with her

name "X'd" out.... She was a smart savvy woman in mans world and she knew how to fit in and

 how to jump in.. six feet of legs and flashlight. Well the entire station took umbridge to

any gang member threatening us so I got to learn every vehicle code, county muni code, every

penal code imaginable and myself and another trainee Mike Goldfeder probably arrested

more than 100 people that first week between the two of us. Jackie made me stop to get

 her a road coke every night at G.I liquor at 94 and Central. She would drive home, gun in

 lap, not stopping for any lights in the ghetto... sounded like a smart woman to me.

Her husband, John, still worked at Lynwood and occasionally we would meet somewhere

so they could say hi... a welcome second for me to write.

Training... what a roller coaster ride... I want you old heads to know that the legend

of Firestone lived in each of our hearts.... we were taken to each place a FPK

 Deputy was killed... other FPK deps would query us on occasion to remember we didn't forget.

 I really remember that I lived at the station for about 4 months ..usually wearing

 County underwear, socks, and T-shirts.

 For about two months I never knew there was a bunkroom so I slept in the shower...

My secret sleep spot was discovered one day by Lt. Dennis Slocumb who asked me

 what the hell I was doing. Bunk rooms were for real deputies....

I remember turning a report in one day after shift to A/sgt  John DeMooy (sp?)

 waiting anxiously like a lotto winner for it to be approved so I could go to sleep

 (usually four hours after shift and NO overtime was EVER requested...

or considered.. it was reminded always it was a privilege to be at FPK).... anyway

I heard "Trainee Mooney report to the W/Sgts office ASAP with a fire

 extinguisher and a field fire report"///Upon arriving I found the remains of a burg report

burning in the waste basket.... to be extinguished and documented... Great incentive to get

 up on the learning curve quickly. It seemed like I was always being tested by A/sgts who

took great joy in making life interesting for a trainee... many asked if I wouldn’t like to just

take a swing at them... boy I’m glad I wasn't that stupid. These guys became people who

would have died for me.

                  Remember the idiot I was replacing?.. well he was assigned to station Jailer while

 he awaited his fateful transfer from FPK. One night I brought in a Duster with some Sherm.

While I was booking him a 998 went out and the station emptied (Even George Ramos

the station mechanic had a plain wrap and his 2 inch). I threw my sealed evidence and property

package onto the jailers counter, acknowledged he had it, and rolled out to the scene.

When we came back I went to this deputy, Ill just call him punk from now on, and asked for my

evidence and he just looked at me blankly.... WHAT evidence..... He told he never saw it

(which would just be what a coward would say). A station wide search found me standing

 in front of the trusty dorm. As I looked in the window there was a dusted trusty looking

out the window stoned out of his mind.... 6 dusted trusties and 8 hours later I had just about

 finished the paperwork. The jailer refused to take any responsibility for his failure and

I learned a really good lesson. Sgt Murry Carter wrote me up for it in the black book for

failing to secure evidence properly.... amazing that page disappeared.... should have been

listed as "work damage".

Ever try to be different as a deputy.... at Firestone? How about being a vegetarian and

 into health foods and tofu and stuff... with places like Spartan Burgers and Stops.... and

deps who thought veggie boys were fags.... that story and more will be for the next installment.


--- Cameron Mooney