In the beginning, when I started my police career as a trainee, I had the opportunity to work with a large number of colleagues. All sorts of them. One of them was particularly memorable.
On 07.07.2010. someone started a blog titled "Police stories". Unknown author published his stories under a pen name "Good blogger". In less than a year he wrote multiple stories portraying police life in his country.
Then suddenly, without explanation he disappeared. Last post he published was a short one. "Because of personal problems, this week's story has been skipped. I hope the situation will be resolved by the next week. Greetings!"
What happened to him and why did he stop writing his blog was never revealed.
This is a second story he published.
At the beginning of the war, he immediately joined the army, in Vukovar (he was from one of the surrounding villages). He survived the entire siege and was captured during the fall of the city. After several months he was exchanged, and after a brief recovery he continued to work as a cop in Zagreb. And the way he worked… No assistance was given to him, neither psychological nor material. He was left alone.
For the first time he lived in his brother's apartment.
He was sleeping on the couch in the living room. At night, trams sounds would wake him up, and he would be throwing himself under the table thinking that he is still in Vukovar and that tanks are passing by. As he couldn’t cope, he started to drink. Only time when he was sober, was in the early morning, he was always drunk by lunch.
Later he married, got a baby and moved to a suburban apartment, but he didn’t stop drinking, nor was he better. Even though he was an alcoholic, he was never aggressive, nor was he abusive towards his wife or child. He only damaged himself.
I’ve worked with him for months.
During the day he was still “good” to work, and we
spent most of the time in bars. He drank and I refused the drinks. Little work
we had, fell on me. As our bosses knew what he was like, they were not
assigning too much work to us. At night it was much worse. As the bars were
closed, we didn’t have where to spend time and as we would be walking the
streets, he would start to harass people. He didn’t do anything terrible, he
was just a boring drunk policeman in the uniform. He was that type of drunkard
you usually see on parties, and although they get on your nerves, you tolerate
them as they are fun and generally raise the atmosphere. When you meet this
type in a uniform and when he stops you, then it is not so much fun.
He was stopping and frisking people without no reason,
asking stupid questions. Everyone in the neighborhood knew him and his life
story so they tolerated him.
Things would get ugly when we encountered someone new. Then he embarrassed himself, myself, the uniform he was wearing, but also the man he stopped.
Stopping and frisking would usually led to an argument, but in that cases I would stood between him and the man he was arguing and tried to calm things down. The thing was that every time I would face him upfront, turning my back to the man he was quarreling. He was never physically aggressive, but he always looked on the edge. This was happening every now and then, and sometimes I even had to call for backup, to help calm him down. But after the storm, he would always apologize to the people he was harassing, telling them his life story, so no one ever complained. You never knew what can you expected of him. He has never hit anyone, although he always looked ready for it.
I also remember he would eat raw onions on lunch break.
While we were out patrolling through the night, if we saw people partying, he
would remove his police buckle belt and gave it to me as he woud join people
dancing. Sometimes he danced all nights. As people at parties were mostly
drunk, his behavior was well received. When we worked the night shift, he would
bring a bottle of wine or beer and left it somewhere on the street, behind a
lamp post or something like that, and whenever we would patrol back to that place,
he would take a sip from the bottle.
I would asked him what is someone pissed on the bottle while we were patroling, but he would just shrugged his shoulders and continue to drink. He must have experienced much worse.
One of his “things” was that after every intervention, he would make people salute saying “Hello Homeland!”. Everyone complied as he was a big man, always drunk and verbally aggressive. If someone refused, he would be in his face in a moment, and people mostly just did what he ordered to avoid trouble.
His attitude was perfect for emptying bars and making people disperse as no one wanted to confront him.
On our patrol area there was the facility of the Ministry of Defense, and he would often make kids sneak up to the entrance and bang on the cottage where military police officers stayed. Military cops would ran out and wanted to beat the kids, as he stood on the corner and laughed. He never let things got out of control, and he would eventually intervene and calmed the MPs.