TPS E12: Jon Pierpont – 34 Years Policing Cape Cod – Thingspolicesee

TPS E12: Jon Pierpont – 34 Years Policing Cape Cod

In this episode I chat with retired Eastham Police Sergeant Jon Pierpont.  Jon was on the job for 34 years starting in the late 1960’s.  We talk about policing over the past 50 years and Jon shares some great stories from his career.

this is things police see first anaccounts with your oast Steve gold heyguys welcome to the podcast thank youfor checking it out in this episode Iinterview an old friend of mine one ofmy old supervisors from the town I usedto work in on Cape Cod he’s he’s a greatguy and he’s got some he’s got somegreat wisdom some great stories he was acop for 34 years started in the late 60sso it’s it’s a really fun interview Iknow you’re gonna love itand I want to say thank you to everybodywho keeps downloading and subscribingand commenting on the podcast thank youand I’ve got a bunch of emails and abunch of questions and I’m gonna answerthose so that will be coming in the nextcouple weeks I’ll throw some questionsin there and answer what I’ve beenasking that I just appreciate it I loveI love the chance to interact with theaudience and it’s just it’s just so coolto see it grow and people enjoying itand really getting a gaining a betterappreciation for the police officers inour country so I I would say you’re apolice officer and you’d like to come onthe show I would love thatand you a federal federal agent statelocal someone from overseas would begreat I would love to interview you ofyou your English is relatively strongI’d love to interview you if your copoverseas listening that’d be a fun one Ithink so again thank you and withoutfurther ado here is episode number 12John thank you so much for coming on thepodcast man my pleasure of course justso that people know you and I worktogether on Cape Cod where I was apolice officer and you were you were oneof my sergeants so I was totally psychedto have you come on here I learned a lotfrom you on the job and I know you werea police officer and Cape Cod for manymany years so I thought be a perfectinterview how long exactly were you acop well the total time in is 34 yearshowever and I started my career in 1969that was my first summer as a policeofficer andyou know in Cape Cod during the summerthey hired a lot of what you would callpart-time workers special policeofficers some have powers of less othersare hired to do traffic that for someoneI was I had powers of arrest and I wasat that time 21 years old right and andthen I spent I was going to NortheasternKasich injustice and on-again-off-againand of course that was during theVietnam era and I had pretty much hadenough about of college although I hadbut a business degree associates and Ileft I worked for town in Dennis whichis mid Cape area and from 69 to 74 75and then I left Nicole ear for 8 yearsand many things happened I had a lot ofexperience running my own businesses andworking for a large corporation retailstores etc etc but had some life changesfrankly and people can do with it whatthey want I sobered up good and you knowI realized I had a problem with alcoholso I I did what a lot of people do andand checked itself and as a result I gotback into I had the opportunity becauseit didn’t burn my bridges to go back inand start police work as a special eliteand then in the town of Easton I gotfull-time in December of agethree John when you back then back thenwhen you if you took a break for eightyears and you wanted to come back in thepolice work did you have to redo thewhole Academy or was it like anabbreviated thing what was interestingis of course you as you well know theyhad a yearly Academy from some people dorefresh all officers are required to goback to in-service training right and atthe time at the time I asked him ofJustice Training Council allowed aperson to pass a couple of tests and Ihad retained a lot more vehicle trafficthan criminal law and so forthso I didn’t have to do anything exceptattend a in service and I was fortunatebecause afterwards they required if youleft for two years and you had to gothrough the Academy again and as far asthe Academy goes I felt fortunate in1970 to go to the math State PoliceAcademy from municipal police officerswas a much better training than thelocal varsity not with all due respectlike Joe no I heard that the bar localbars phone was like a joke in 1970football training Terrace Islandtraining military training they kickedyour butt right and physically the nutsaroundthey both you there was bulky down tobuild up and that’s the way to statepolice was and frankly I’m forevergrateful look although I was scared youknow crazy for the first six weekssure I really I can say throughout mycareerthey taught me not to quit and therewere a number of times when I was bymyself last time with somebody andtry to get they didn’t keep the gun fromtransferring over and that training keptme alive I really didn’t believe thatand of course they softened up over theyears and made sure you had brakes anykind what already all the time I canremember when I was playing football inhigh school and we didn’t have any waterout the field yeah not until game timenot to go off on a tangent but I Ibelieve it at the time the nineteenseventies I got the best training thatone could get so alright so would youjust because our listeners Believe It orNot podcast is doing well I’ve listenersoverseas in the UK there’s people allover the world actually listening nowwhich is really cool so I want to likekind of describe to them what Cape Codis like this Peninsula that’s seasonalso you and I work for a town on Cape Codwhere the the normal population is likegoes up six times during the summerright I think the population year-roundis around five six thousand and it comesup to thirty plus thirty thousand rightand that’s and and that’s not countingwe have a four-lane highway thatservices all the all the way to the endof the Cape and back down to Hyannisarea and soffel itself this four-lanehighway used to bring us a lot ofbusiness yes absolutely so John wouldyou say early in your crease police yearpolice career early in your policecareer do you remember your your firstyour most hot call the first time youwent on a call and you were kind of likeholy cow this this is for real you knowjust kind of opened your eyes yeah Ithink it was just simply being green andhaving2008you’re old wide-eyed kid even just goingto encode is famous for major accidentsmotor vehicle accidents and some of themputting here great some of the Priya andI always used to be familiar part withanxiety about going to our water callsit took a little seasoning and of coursethen the PTSD was I didn’t know anythingexcept for give him a stiff upper lipand the guy that could not show anyemotion was the guy was there to belooked up to which is and and I don’t goalong that today a lot of damage wasdonealcoholism rate was high and divorcerate and so forth then you know it was atotally different just to show youtechnology the cruisers we had in 6970and so forthwe had no cages in them excuse me ourparticular town didn’t invest inspotlights on the you know that amounton the the doorframe therewe had no portables course thetechnology affordable it was about thesize of a room or two walkie-talkie andand and our flashlights allow you guysout there that are working on a job andso forth we had those rayovac chromethree excuse me food cell D cell andsoon as you hit somebody the the topwould fly off and the value goes gatherand in the bulbs weren’t quite enough toreally see anything anyway it was a sothere are times when when you arrested acouple of guys and put them in the backof the cruiser it chastening you’d get asneaker in the back of the head orwhatever let’s just put that oncecourse attitudes are much differentpolicies and procedures relaxed nowwe’re we’re overburdened with policiesand procedures I you can’t scratch achin without so it’s it’s gone theopposite direction yeahCalifornia here they just passed a lawwhere they don’t they basically wantpeople to shoot at the police beforethey can shoot back it’s like almostthat bad here it’s pretty toughyeah well immediate does a heck of a jobof breaking down the spirit of a policeofficer to begin with as you well knowbecause you were trained or – I had Iwas fortunate to have my department sentme to the FBI firearms schools and footinstructors early on and when I want tonice return to the job and the thetraining was excellentlook Jenna you would talk and and itonly makes sense we’re never McCotter touse the word kill because using the wordkill predisposes that that you had inmind when when you we do bleach otherguys and and it’s the way it should beeven with civilians you have to seedeadly force you have to be involved indeadly force and that could be all kindsthere could be a gun the night thatcould be a police officer willing 110pounds versus a 320 pounds raising cokehead right as long as you can defendyour perception you were good as long asyou could describe why you felt thatyour your life was in fear of imminentserious bodily harm or death and andthat’s the way it should beI’m not sure what their training nowwhatI was always willing to teach basics andand drill basics so that when they youknow what hit the fan they would do itwith their train I tell ya you were mytrainer the first guy to ever qualify mein firearms and that was one of myfondest memories and go into the rangebecause you were you were so passionateabout it and as soon as you saw that Iwas taking it serious and uh you had apotential shooter on your hands you sayhey you can shoot okaylike you might be you could be good atthis if you if you you know really shota little more and it meant so much to meyou know you were you’re really reallygreat to work with well I want you toknow I really have finally gotten overthe hole all in training haha justkidding well yeah and and I don’t knowwhat’s going on with training nowadaysbecause you see the officer and I Who amI to judge but you make a traffic stopand and a guy runs away and in the endempties is what that yeah I mean amagazine I’m not one to judge but myreaction is look what is being taughtyou know if you’re going to be a policeofficer you have to understand that youhave to accept that there is a chancethat you’re going to get through andmaybe say see her but and you know meand I know you you were you were a greatpolice officer because you had a goodpolice officer is one who hasintelligence and a great heart in thecombination of the twoin my opinion no thank you nature makesa good cop you have to have mecompassionate but you have to watch youhave to watch hands as well right yeahyou can’t be a sucker you knowabsolutely you did me a great a greatservice John very early like year ormonth to maybe of being a police officerwhenI had my when I had like a realtraumatic experience on the job and forsome people might not have beentraumatic but for me this was the thingthat bothered me like this is the thingthat first got under my skin I don’t Idon’t know if you remember but we had tocall at a restaurant in town where themanager just sweeping up for the nightdrop dead just drop dead cleaning up andwas found by like one of the waitresseswho was like cashing out or doingwhatever she was doing the end of thenight and I showed up to that withrescue right behind me but I had just Ihad just bought a sandwich from this guyI knew this guyI had a rapport with him he was a goodguy nice guy and then half an hour laterI’m standing over his bodyhis eyes are open he’s doing that thatoh is that that open mouth just likejust gone that I had never seen thatface and it got into me and rattled meit really rattled me and I couldremember describing I was comfortableenough with you I’d known you longenough where we met up a couple nightslater and I said jeez Sarge that hasbeen bothering me that like I I’mgetting a little anxiety like when thewhen the fire radio goes off now becauseI that did something to me that I didn’tI didn’t even know I didn’t know I couldbe affected like that you know and yousaid good good that’s okay you’re likeyou’re that’s cuz you’re a human beingit’s not it’s not a big deal do notjudge yourself on it keep goingyou’re competent you’re trained don’tworry about it and if it gets if youneed to talk to someone but don’t let itget to you and just someone with yourears on saying that to me made me feelso much better because it wasn’t thestiff upper lip you know what I mean youweren’t going oh yeah well you shouldquit thing cuz you’re a wimp you knowwhat I mean you you really are you tookthe time you were interested in helpingme and I think I’ve thanked you beforebut that that meant the world to me Idid ten years after that as a officerwith with that department sothank you for that well yeah I was sorryto see you leave although I you’re stillin service doing this this is veryimportantpassing the word on and letting otherpeople out there know that a especiallyin this particular job and same goes forfarming too but we’re out there you knowswapping spit with people you know andit’s it’s it’s a very difficult job attimes it’s an extremely rewarding jobbut we had a guy and I know you rememberhimwho is the type of guy that if you had asituation a fight in progress and youyou know arrived on location and go upand try and calm the people down andthen separate them we had a guy he wouldshow up and just as mere presence youopen this mouth and all of a suddeneverybody’s rolling on the ground againdiscretion is the better part of valoryou know yeah and I know there weretimes when them going to a domestic andsome people would say that was crazythat but I remember going to itsparticular domestic and husband lifewere really upset each other and kidswith a couple kids in the room and youknow you can see that they’re all verystressed out and my first response was Iasked them if they mind not mind if Isat down I took off my my eight-pointhat cuz we wore those at that time and Isat down and just in there being politemasking them if they might be I sit downnow tactically yeah maybe I was puttinmyself a little bit on the edge butsometimes you have to do that I mean itthat’s where the experience comes in youyou know there’s some people I wouldhave never done that I would have justbeen on the balls of my feet all nightbut in this particular case I sat downand and it was only about a few minutesto be still order in the houseI was quite I’ve always think likehonest with my feelings and situationsbecause you know my most of my abilityis as a result of experiential you knowI I came from a very dysfunctional homeand I’ve done a lot of work of myselfand like so I know what it’s like to bein a house where you know people aren’tgetting along and I can identify with itand hence I know the quickest way tocalm it down I mean that’s the way itwas and as I say we are the sum total ofour experiences and I was fortunateenough to be able to come back to acareer after I spent a few years ofnumber one I mentioned so going up andand number two I worked on some of theshortcomings of me and and and so I wasable to you as my experiences to be ableto quell some situations but honesty isand and being straightforward it has agreat impact on people absolutely andbeing being human human and and I meanlisten and you know as well as I dothere times when you there there peopleout there that are so far gone that youknow you gotta take them out or left oryou know you know take them out whateveryou want to use or whateverbecause the kids that need need to beremoved from situations like that but Ifeel very very fortunate than in mycareer I was able to use my backgroundin my experience to to assist so thatthe guy in the blue uniform coming intheir house or covering their anaccident or whatever is a guy with aheart as well and hence I got to 34years of it and I’m very very glad thatI I would never I wouldn’t I do it overagain I guess is what I’m saying I knowyou loved it I know itJohn can you describe the strangers ormost bizarre thing that you dealt withthem John III really I’ve been trying tothink about something that did I meanthere’s been so many bizarre things attimes obviously with people and we havea community of different people aroundhere and up towards B town but how do yabizarre I don’t know I mean I pulledover a gentleman who I thought was awoman and it was a guy going up to toProvincetown to perform as a drag queenand I pulled him over and he jumped outof the car highly excited I said pleaseget back in your car and walk over andtalk to him and he was in a hurrybecause you had it before and it’s overand he was all dressed to the nines andit initially struck me rather bizarrebut it was the the guy was funny and Ipromised that I go see a show likelisten I never did but I my imaginationand so forth like there I know there’s alot of stuff that routes exit you knowgoing through our town would deliver ohyeah bad guys someday I got it’s a lotof drug interdiction we had I remember aguy specifically that you and I got andyou can correct me in the details herebut we we picked this guy up I think wasyour stop and I backed you up and he hada federal warrant for I think firearmsviolations or something pretty seriousand we end up picking them up you hookhim up we take him back and just ademeanor you had you’re like you weresaying before you kind of have a youhave a gift for talking with people andbeing compassionate when need be andkind of letting your guard down when youknow you can when it’s safe to and Ibelieve this guy was um sober I think hewas in the a a guy and or he wanted tobe or there was something there and youstarted talking about that after webooked him and I believe that youmaintained a relationship with this guyI think he went to prison and didn’t hewrite to you from prison yeah that waslike floored me he’s like wow there wasnothing that I performed that was thatgreat it was just that Inothing is altogether that bad and youmight face the music and I believe isout and doing well I spent quite a fewyears old but it’s a it’s a rewardingjob you know if you allow it to or itcould be a very depressing job thatmakes you wanna be depressed and youhave to just be tax tactful man used toand use tactics you can’t forget whatI don’t care how nice you can be but wealways say watch the hand you know it’speculiar I’ve got to say you wanted toknow as a situation I was two years onthe job and Dennis and I was working theevening shift learn all about adrenalinecomp and so forth and I was at the oneof the beaches and I got a call sayingthat that goes to a certain address manhas somebody at bay in their basementand so I put on the lights and went fastfast and then a couple of calls couldsecond call and step it up and I got tothe father house and there’s a woman anda young girl waving me in the front doorwaving me yet now understand that was wehad the portables no cages I went off atthe house and I I got to the front doorwhen she there was the door – they inthe kitchen down to the basement and Isaid we’ll get out get out on the otherside of the cruiser and I ran into thekitchen and there’s almost balsa coredoors and I grabbed the knob and at thesame time I grabbed an arm bangyou know report of a gun mm so I drew myweapon and I opened the door and rightdown the base of the stairs is a guylooking up at me and he looked up at mewith a door came out and he had a 38 inhis hand and he he kind of swung it upin my direction I think now looking backat he was just startled he just shotsomebody and I I was I squeezed in thetrigger the hammer was going back andfrankly if I’d have been hungover theoverworked tiredwhen that guy flinched with that gun andin televisions I mean that was 38 but itlooked like it was a you know bazookanow look like down the light down thebarrel and I couldn’t I had him lightdead center and I I could have shot himbut it would have been tragic but I hadpresence of mine to also see that he wasstanding in his a t-shirt and and undershortsand I often not just pull the triggerand I ran down and picked up the gunfrom him and I said who did you shoothe said he’s right over there on thefloor and there was somebody there witha sweatshirt rule D was unconscious andhis bellybutton there is and he had tobellybuttons one of which was a bullet adancer so we loaded him up and he got tothe hospital and they took them blow itouthe was charged with the armed burglarycuz he picked up a serrated knife insideand lunged at the owner and that’s whenthe guy shot him what a night to finishthis tragic story I mean what the courthe had I think 20 years to the spendingin Cedar junction or whatever was and hegot out a good behavior maybe I don’tknow seven to eight years so that was ahomeowner defending himself at thebottom of stairs I mean that’s that’s sogreat for people to hear because I meancops have to show up run into asituation like that and then makes twosnap judgments of just figure it all outreal quick well meanwhile yourAdrenaline’s dumped your guns out thatwas just that’s that’s all couldn’t itturned out better for you I mean thatwandered in the house but he gotaggressivewith a serrated edge and in threatenedthe owner so but the thing is when hethis guy got out of jail he borrowed hisfather’s car went down the local wiringHall got drunk and on the way home hit atree and fell themselves there’s a bunchof little stories around that one thatit was tragic because that guy that wasshot was human and he had he wasalcoholic and he just did he didn’t gethelp and there’s unfortunately too manypeople like that so I like being in thatposition as a police officer becausesometimes you are able to reach peoplebefore they get to that particular pointJohn yeah how many how many things thatyou were involved in how many calls youwent to how was alcohol the predominantagitator like a how many would you sayhow many calls where alcohol was likereally a multiplier they’re causingmaking things much worseoh yeah right I mean it seems like everytime I book someone they smelt like theyjust squirted parrell hand sanitizer intheir mouth you know just alcohol I meanthere’s a lot and thank God for that butthe other thing now is as a result ofjust recently I was a I worked at Aceand they’re in recovery eight overnightsand alcohol zone facility I justfinished that job up but this opiate isis another terrible terrible thingthere’s alcohol you can you got a chanceand you may have slow death like opiatessometimes you only you don’t even getone chance and it’s it’s incredible so Ihope they do somethingthat eventually they’re doing it now Iguess yeah that’s kind of a like anunderlying dark current of Cape Cod andpeople who didn’t grow up there havenever been there understand it Cape Codthey don’t understand that there thereis something kind of weird about CapeCod you have to you have to be or youalmost have to be born there to livethere you know what I mean like the thecommon flow of people coming and leavingand that touristy thing then the coldgray winters when everybody’s gone forsomething about it has really reallycan’t address people nuts in there theheroin the opiate epidemic there is Imean there was a documentary on on HBOright on Cape Cod to be Falmouth thetown of Falmouth on Cape Cod apparentlyhad the highest opening depth throughoutthe country you knowpound for pound personal person right Ithink it has they have some facilitieshere as far as on the job there’sthere’s all kinds of worse than reasonand what they are out there that we allhave I know you’ve got yours but oneparticular sticks out in my mind that asfar as adrenaline dump and and going oneright after the otherI had a shiftsomeone came out of a the post officeand jumped in his car and they I don’tknowClaudia TransAm and he smiled at me andthen he laid a bunch of love her downthe down this parking lot out to theload well I chased him at a high rate ofspeed so lights and siren and so forththrough school zoneand finally stopped him and I probablywrote three different type of pages oftickets passing saw onlineyou know just I’ve been doing danger allI can fit on a piece of paper and whileI was writing in my still you know quitehyped up in Hart County and so forth ifthis packet called and said this he seethe left view over led such-and-such alane on too far away and I went fromthat into a cottage and I walked in thefront door and there’s soft musicplaying you know just almost classicalmusic and and I look at a door jamb andup to going up to the second floor inthese pair of moccasins of beadsdangling down there with Don the reasonI earned you know in a woman had left ananchor lying around in and hung herselfbut the point thing is that one wayafter another yeah and it was eerie withthis you know soft music obviously shevery unhappy woman and so forth and tookher life but flowing from a high-speedchase through this thickly settled areaswithin children and and and then Ialmost pull the guy through the ventwindow it didn’t happen to have one butand to get that out of follow-up callit’s immediately go sea rescue I thinkthat was the one that really this stackup on that it kind of blew me away therewhen others a lot of vehicle accidentswith the capitation ins and so forth andthese are what these are the real thingsthat we have to deal with but as I spoketo you was the important thing is wekind of talked about you know when Istarted in 1969 newer pardon of ana if you complained or saidanything about it right and you knownowadays if you don’t talk about if youdon’t get it out it manifests itselfinside your your corporal body andmanifests itself and in busyness and asI’m sure you can identify with the factyou having to get it out and it’s funnythough when you when you’re retiring yougo oh god no more of that like the factis you know and you’re fighting a war ontwo frontsyou know you’re dealing with a publicout there and then in the administrationand all the policies and diseases and soforth that I mean you’re afraid to doand to move without you know gettingexercise or written up so the comp istrying to caught between a I heart youknow rock in a hard place but again I doit over again right John do you have anywords of wisdom or advice for the theyoung cop out there or the or the guy orgirl that wants to become a policeofficer yeah because there’s evennowadays I mean where we got so far thisyear we have 60 plus officers killed Ithink it was the last number 66 I meanthis is there must be breaking all kindsof records yeah and and i think thatknows the media has a lot to deal withit but i what what i would say tosomeone starting out is train traintrain you know get to be an expert withyour fire now you know the old saying isit’s better than to have itneeded then they did not have a type ofthing but develop the skills and andreally training is is very importantbecause when when you get into a HardRock’s spot you do what you’re trainedif you train swap then you’re gonnayou’re gonna compromise your own safetysecondly stay in shape you know I meanand that means you know being good toyour body you know I Here I am my mycell blocks but you know lot of rice isgreat you know but don’t push yourselfwith food or alcohol or whatever and inlarge doses you know and trainingphysical agility and ability and keepingin shape is certainly a healthierlongevity but and be kind to yourselfthat’s important too and don’t be afraidto find somebody who’s older on thefoolís that you respect and have aconfidant I’m not talking about in a barI’m saying you know BS I’m sayingsomebody that you can talk to and sayhow you feel that has saved mecommunication you know and that’s veryimportant and I always you know watchthe hands right that’s a good good placeto stop John watch the hands I want tothank you so much for coming on John Ihad a really good time this interviewwell thank you for giving me theopportunity to do theirsand you know I’m a proud of what I’vedone on the police department and Ireally appreciate your friendship and Ilove all cops that wear blue all rightSargethank you for coming on again oh allright I’ll catch up either after I shutoff the recorder here okay

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