Earlier this year the City of Ladera, Florida recently trained 15 uniformed officers to patrol the downtown entertainment district on skateboards. This was in response to the increasing crime in those areas from the skate punk culture infiltrating parking garages and promenades. Summer statistics released last week showed a 46 percent reduction in crime because of the skateboard patrols. At the urging of City Councilman Barney Miller — who himself had been accosted by several tattooed skateboarding grunge thugs — a plan was put into action.
Sergeant Suzanne Anderson with the Ladera Police Department said the biggest challenge was getting 15 officers on board with the idea of patrolling on skateboards. Those officers that transferred to this new specialized unit came up with their name calling themselves Sk8-Kops. Equipment costs — which included skateboards, helmets, gloves, and pads — were $475 per officer. Officer Richard Mull said he transferred from Narcotics Division to Sk8Kops because he has a lot of run-ins with skate turds and can’t wait to show them up with his cool graphics, red photon lighted “deck,” and blue LED wheels!
“Most of them are degenerates videotaping each other as they attempt dangerous stunts,” Mull said. “Now we get to do that too!”
Most of the officers had no experience on skateboards but after a two week training program led by half a dozen 14 year olds from the local skate park, all the officers met the requirements for a Level One Certification. This rigorous training included kick flips, hard flips, heel flips, board slides, nose grinds, and hang ten pop flips! Moves that would make Tony Hawk proud! Sk8Kop Officer Andrew Sipowicz said, “The high speed stair jumps were the most difficult training block the kids put us through because that day they didn’t have enough bandages to go around!”
Board Slides Hurt!
The two week training program started out with more than 40 officers with only 18 graduating. 22 officers failed to get through the course due to broken ankles, wrists, and arms. One officer was pumping mongo and sustained a concussion when he ate the sidewalk.
Another received a herniated disc and other severe internal injuries when he nutted the rail on an outdoor staircase. In fact, just about all the male officers received groin injuries during the training.
Officer Hal Linden added, “I’m still pissing blood.”
The 14-year-old boys and girls — who taught the class under the direction of academy Captain Bull Shannon — said the donut shop (a.k.a. “police officers”) did as well as could be expected. Instructor Joshua Jacobs from Kilbourne Junior High said that he had never applied more bandages or heard more bad language in the 14 years he’s been alive. He said of all the injuries he saw the coolest one was the compound fracture!
Wear Your Helmet
The police department initially made numerous public nuisance arrests in an effort to let the skateboard community know they were taking back the city one polyurethane wheeled criminal at a time. Response times on the skateboards were found to be quicker and the stealth capabilities allowed for officers to roll right up on car burglars.
“The occasional skateboard pursuit chasing down sk8mafia wanna-bes,” said Sgt. Anderson, “is more challenging because it levels the playing field except when the suspect has a high skill level. Then you just hope he tumbles and isn’t wearing a helmet!”
“Once the word got around that Sk8-Kop Units were patrolling the popular areas of downtown, there were improvements in the police department’s community relations”, said Police Chief Ken Hutchinson, “but not with the unpopular skateboard riff-raff, but with regular law abiding citizens.”
Hutchinson went on to say that officer’s on skateboards also show the community that police officers are regular people and that skateboarding is not just for hooligans who engage in anti-social behavior!
Trivia answer: Bing Crosby. He stated that the show would interfere with his golf game.