Tuesday, March 24, 2020


By Trey Rusk

I began a career in law enforcement when I was 18. I went to work as a dispatcher/jailer in a small Texas police department in my hometown. I was taught basic radio terminology, record keeping and operating a tele-type machine. The jail part was fairly easy because I usually released the regretful prisoners in the morning. Most had headaches and just wanted to go home to family waiting in the lobby. Most public intoxication fines were $52.50 or one day of labor.

We had a Bunn-O-Matic two burner coffee machine. One fresh pot of coffee was to be on at all times. The Chief of Police taught me how to make the coffee. He came in one morning and I had made the coffee. He poured a cup then smelled it before tasting it. He said, “This won’t do.” I had followed directions on the side of the machine but those directions didn’t apply at the Cop Shop. The coffee was too weak and I hadn’t put a pinch of salt in the grounds. I was a quick study. No one ever complained about the coffee again.

I tell this story because I went to Starbucks the other day with a friend who ordered for me. It was expensive and tasted like a sweet hot syrupy mess. I couldn’t finish it and I couldn’t lie when he asked me how I liked it. It wasn’t coffee and he paid $14 total. People were standing in line to be ripped off! They were snooty and held out their pinky finger while wiping foam from their upper lip. It just wasn’t for me.

I later stopped at a convenience store and bought a hot cup of coffee for $1.23. It was strong and tasted like coffee should.

My wife doesn’t drink coffee so I make my coffee at home. I bought a one cup brewing device that allows me to fill a small basket with coffee to my taste. I must admit I sometimes using a Pecan blend.

Coffee making was just one of life’s lessons I learned at the Cop Shop. I also learned that there were good cops and better cops and some cops that simply weren’t worth a shit. I learned that most people that were brought in for drunk and disorderly weren’t bad people the next day. But the big lesson I learned was to treat people the way you would want to be treated. Later in my career that would pay dividends when I needed information to clear a case.

That’s the way I see it.

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