Nobody likes the Rat Squad


NYPD Standard Operational Procedure when anyone is transferred: The next day they must report in civilian attire to Health Services Division to take a Drug Screening Test.  I was fuming about this involuntary transfer to Internal Affairs in the elevator when it reached the eight floor. Not familiar with Health Services Division, preoccupied by still really being pissed off, I followed a small group into a meeting room with about twenty seats. As I sat down I suddenly noticed these guys didn’t really look like cops.When one of these weird individuals said to me “I ain’t crazy, no matter what they say, I wanna be a cop and I wanna a gun.” I was momentarily confused.

Before I could respond, I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was Sergeant Wilfredo Santiago aka “Paco.” We were both 13th precinct cops back in the day.  “Hey Frankie, I was expecting you, what are you doing in here?” He said..”these guys are police officer candidate rejects here for psych evaluation reviews, follow me.”

Paco had seen my name in the Supervisor Transfer orders. His new job was watching the daily run of cops who had to take the Drug Screening Test. He had to make sure you really pissed in the cup. Kind of like when a restaurant forbids bringing in anything from the outside. It had to be your urine, straight from your body, at that moment.  What a job!  Then again as Paco said: “It beats steady midnights in the four one precinct.”

Anyway, after my deposit, I headed down to 315 Hudson Street in Manhattan, the HQ of the new and improved Internal Affairs Bureau, known by the cops as Cheese Central.

I arrived in trendy downtown Manhattan where you had to swipe your ID card to electronically enter IAB Hudson Street. So corporate, so professional but still, so unsettling. The Rat Squad...Me, in the Rat Squad? What will my friends say, or not say in front of me, but behind my back?  When you get shanghaied here why do you think they call it “going over to the dark side”?  This assignment was going to be the Filet Mignon of Dick Meat.

I was still steaming while trying to find my way to the Administrative Lieutenant’s office. Suddenly, a tall, older and perfectly coiffed grey haired man in a expensively crisp and starched white shirt with French cufflinks along with a natty conservative tie holding a cup of coffee stopped me, smiled and said: “you look like you’re having a bad day.”





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