Getting Down to Business

THURS 6 MAY 2024, 08:20
TRACEN Cape May, NJ – CGPD Station, Conference Room

Kevin entered the small conference room in the Coast Guard Police Department station at TRACEN Cape May and walked to the head of the table. He placed a large pelican case he was carrying down on the table and then he took his book bag off his shoulder and pulled his laptop out and put the bag on the floor beside him. He put the laptop down and logged in after connecting the USB CAC reader to it.

“Good morning everyone,” he said, as he mostly ignored the fact that they were actually present in the room. He tapped some keys on his laptop as it ran through his start-up routine launching his email, Coast Guard Messaging System (CGMS), and some other things.

He took his seat and with a heavy sigh he began, “I was contacted by Commander Thorpe last night and she requested that I return some of the team for assignment back at the regional HQ. I’ve sent Grey and Kai back in the same vehicle which is why they are no longer present… I did get the word we have a trainee that will be arriving later today though.”

Buzz raised an eyebrow, but didn’t question the reassignment. He hadn’t known either Grey or Kai so the minor mystery of why and when didn’t warrant an interruption. He simply looked from Roe to Passolini and then leaned back in his chair with a lazy sense of confident comfort. 

Kevin rose and went to the whiteboard that was on a stand along the longest wall against the door, which meant people on that side of the table had to turn around, he grabbed a blue marker and wrote out a phone number.

“Alright, so, last night I had a dinner meeting with the Chief of Police and worked out our operating procedures from our time here,” Kevin explained. “That phone number is the direct number to the police dispatcher. Any requests will go through them including fire and EMS response if necessary…. for those of you unfamiliar TRACEN has its own Fire Department and Ambulance service on base as well as PD.”

Hannah made sure that she had the number in her cell phone and written on a pad of sticky notes that she would end up putting on the computer console at her desk.  

“The backlog of cases seems to be pretty well exaggerated and the ones that we have are really a bit on the side of ridiculous or just things that really shouldn’t have been tossed our way at all,” Kevin said, honestly. “I will say this and I mean this sincerely, we will treat all of these cases as they are legitimate and worthy of our time. This is our team’s first go-around exercise in getting to know each other and developing rapport with a major command under our jurisdiction. Understood?” he asked, looking around wanting acknowledgment from all.

Angelica nodded, her first week out of the Academy as a cop she had to respond to a known lonely old lady who reported various ‘prowlers’ who were rummaging in her garbage cans, after the third time they had to respond her FTO had told her directly, “Every call is serious, plus we can also help her.” That stuck with her.

“Received and understood, boss,” noted Buzz with a serious nod in response to Roe’s need for confirmed understanding. “Nothing and no one’s beneath us. Happy to lead by example.” Previous jobs had taught him when to listen and accept and when to ask questions. Right now, everything sounded just peachy, who knew, could even be a couple of easy cases to start a new partner relationship with. 

Hannah nodded “Understood.” She said. She had never understood why some felt certain things were beneath them, they had a duty to protect and serve.  

“Now, that being said… I have an amendment to the normal operating procedure. In the past they have had their local CGIS agent in their dispatch system and issued them a portable radio. The Chief has asked us to do the same and so we have had all of our team members and vehicles input into their Computer Aided Dispatch system here at the center. Our callsigns will be a number, I selected three-hundred numbers… and the dispatcher’s callsign here in Cape May is Central. You still must sign into ASR but under status, you now have the option to select that you’re being dispatched by a PD dispatcher. You must call the police dispatcher each time you go in and out of service or change vehicles… I’ll email a list of vehicle callsigns at the end of the meeting.” He opened the pelican case and revealed a portable radio and charger for each of them. “Take one of these on your way out the door and record on the list which one you took,” he said, tipping the case so they could all see and then moving it to a table behind his chair. “On a last note the radios should work anyplace on the Island if you’re leaving the Cape May Island you need to inform the dispatchers and update ASR as appropriate.”

Hannah looked up “Make sure that I have your call signs so I can keep track of who is where and when.” She said since that was part of her job to be an aid to their casework if needed.  

Buzz gave a quick look at the radios in the case and returned a silent thumbs up to Kevin’s request. Then he made sure to make eye contact with Hannah and second that universal okay signal. Routine and safety – all good. 

“I had planned on giving everyone the list…” Kevin said, not sure why it would have been assumed otherwise. “The Yeoman does not need to be updated on every move she is not responsible for tracking our movements… That falls to us through ASR or the dispatcher at Cape May… if we like how that works out we can try and arrange that here as well.”

Kevin said, he sat down in his chair and clicked on some screens on his laptop and made some notes, then everyone got an email with the vehicle call sign assignments. “The call signs will be based on vehicle for now,” he added, he clicked into another screen before looking for more questions.

“Unfortunately we have no real working space there is an office with two desks that are normally assigned to CGIS here in the station. Obviously, that won’t work for our purposes so the office will be utilized by the yeoman and myself everyone else will be working out of their quarters… this will be our conference room for the duration as available and I have booked it every day at eight-fifteen for our daily meetings… work hours will be eight to four Monday through Friday for now… with potential for on-call assignments but I’ll get back to you on all that. Work beyond sixteen hundred is on you guys to coordinate with your partners. Questions?”

Buzz piped up with a simple ask. “Can we use the conference room too if we need the space, or is it usually booked out to others during the day?

“It’s available for meetings when we need it but we will be working in partners so I don’t think that we’ll likely need it other than daily briefings… and we’ll see if those are still necessary. Anything else?”

“I’m good for the moment, sir,” Buzz shook his head lightly. 

“Well as you are my only two agents so you’ll be partnering up. Sent you the case file so far,” Kevin said, “this was made a priority by the base CO and CGPD requested that we handle this because of a lack of resources. Honestly, I don’t think they know what to do with it and frankly, I don’t think there’s a whole lot for us to do but we’ll give it the once over anyway.”

“Seems as if there was an assault in the parking lot of the exchange,” Kevin explained, after a pause as he browsed the email he’d written last night. It is alleged that a Seaman Eric Thomas assaulted a Chief Yolanda Hernandez… apparently, she sought some medical attention. When PD attempted to question her about the incident she refused to talk… they left it at that. She also never reported the case the Base CO requested PD look into it after hearing a rumor. Try and chat with her and see if we can’t get her to come forward.”

“Do we have access to the medical report filed when she sought attention?” Bradley asked, then followed up with a second. “Any record at all from the chat with PD?”

“As far as I know the report had not been requested by medical and I’m not sure what sort of record you’re looking for. I’m sure the conversation wasn’t recorded between the MKC and the officers,” Roe said. “It’s not as if she was being interrogated. Again, if she doesn’t want to press charges then there is nothing we can really do… except maybe try and figure out why or what else we can get this guy on.”

“Fair enough,” noted Buzz with curt compliance. He’d have made notes, he thought, had he been the involved officer. But that didn’t matter right now. “I’ll check for any cameras and pull the footage from there,” he looked to Angelica. “And we can have a chat with Thomas and Hernandez.” He raised an eyebrow as he asked an indirect question, giving his new partner the chance to interject. “Either together or one each and reconvene…” 

She looked at Buzz, “Let me talk to the Chief alone. Might make her more willing to open up.”

“Sure thing,” he returned with a quick smile. “I’ll go see Thomas, sound him out.” Buzz looked to Roe. “Anything else we need to know, boss?”

“Read through the case file and talk to the officer who looked into it,” he said. “Remember this crime was not reported by the victim a rumor got CGPD to look into it,” Roe cautioned.

Bradley nodded. “Will do,” he noted, with genuine purpose. “I’m betting he at least took some notes of his own,” he added, thinking Roe was already ahead on that thought process. He looked to Passolini again. “Check-in and reconvene after for hot beverages and comparing notes?” He suggested. 

“Sounds good to me.” She responded then checked the file for the Chief’s duty assignment location.

“The Yeoman and I can continue without you guys so we can get settled here,” Roe added. “I have to go out to the airport to pick them up.”

Hannah nodded as she made several notes of her own about various things that she had noted during the briefing. Looking up at Roe she waited for further instructions.

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