Tag Archives: police

Movie Review – The Enforcer (1976)

Lady police officers!  What’ll they think of next?

I promised you 3.5 readers a review of all the “Dirty Harry” movies and I’ll get there slowly but surely.  BQB here with a review of the third installment of the series.

It’s a shame that Dirty Harry gets stereotyped in the annals of movie history as a close minded, chauvinist pig…when in reality, he (or perhaps I should say his real life alter ego, Clint Eastwood) made what could very well be the movie that makes the case for women in law enforcement.

Our tale begins when Harry is taken off the street and forced to serve on the department’s hiring committee (punishment for foiling a store robbery by driving a car, well, into the store, and over the hoodlums in the process.)

Here, he meets Officer Kate Moore (Tyne Daly in an early role).  It becomes clear that the rest of the committee wants to push Moore through the process and get her on the street as a full fledged detective pronto in order to fill a quota mandated by the Mayor (i.e. the force must have so many female detectives).

Clint, on the other hand, is repulsed by the idea – not that a woman might be a detective but that a green, inexperienced woman might become one.  Moore has only ever worked in the police’s records department and while the other members of the committee throw her softball questions, Clint, in his trademark, teeth gritting, vein bulging out of his forehead way, holds out his hand as if it were a gun and asks Moore, “What are you going to do when somebody points a gun at you and says, ‘Hit the deck, you son of a bitch?'”

Ironically, while Dirty Harry is often thought of in the public eye as the poster boy for racist cops, he works with partners of different races throughout the series, never blinking an eye.  The only thing he cares about is if they get the job done.  Typically, they do, and it’s made clear Harry appreciates them for it.

Meanwhile, Harry despises incompetence.  He has no patience for it and doesn’t suffer fools lightly.  Ergo, there’s a chubby white detective who, throughout the first three films, Harry nicknames, “Too Much Linguini,” lambasting the cop for eating himself to the point where he can’t do his job effectively and gets worn out if he has to climb a fence or chase a bad guy.

In short, if you’re a good cop, Harry’s happy to have you as his partner.  If you suck, he’d rather not have you around.  Race or sex doesn’t matter.

As the film progresses, Harry and Moore partner up to take the terrorist group down.  Slowly but surely, Moore proves herself to be effective and competent.  What she lacks in experience, she makes up for in heart and a drive to succeed.  She wants no special treatment from Harry which is good because he isn’t giving any.

I hate to give away a spoiler, but the most heroic scene in the film goes not to Eastwood, who could have demanded it, since he was a bankable box office draw at the time, but to Moore who saves the day.  I assume the point is if you lack experience, then you at least have to have the guts to throw yourself into the fray and risk life and limb even though you don’t know what you’re doing.  Fake it till you make it.

Conversely, the saddest part of the movie proves Harry to be prophetic – Moore could have used more training on the street as a beat cop, getting some experience going up against petty crooks before being promoted to being a homicide detective, a job that requires going after some of the worst killers and psychopaths imaginable.

The movie definitely sparks a debate.  Women should be able to be cops and should be considered for detective positions.  However, the desire to be able to say “We have women detectives because we’re so PC!” shouldn’t trump basic common sense – i.e., Harry most likely was a beat cop for many years.  He probably had punks take swings at him, take shots at him, dealt with all kinds of low level scumbags and learned to keep his cool and be on the look out for danger around ever corner.  When he scoffed at Moore in her interview, he wasn’t trying to say she shouldn’t be a detective ever because she’s a woman, but that she shouldn’t be a detective today, because she should be on the street awhile first.

Then again, there’s room for the argument, “Well, if you don’t let women get the experience then how can they ever move up?”  That’s true, and perhaps Harry could have calmed down a little and said something like, “Hey hiring committee, I know you want to have women detectives, but there’s no sense putting greenhorns out there, so perhaps we can make an effort to get more police women on the beat and into cruisers, give them experience before they take on the worst.”

But alas, Harry doesn’t always find the right words when he’s mad.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  It splits the women in the workforce argument in half – yes, they should be able to do what they want, but no, they shouldn’t be waved on through, especially when its a job where lives are on the line.

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Toilet Gator – Chapter 59


A gaggle of Cole’s former police officers, now Grover County Sheriff’s deputies, buzzed around the room that had once served as Cole’s office, packing up and moving out their ex-boss’s belongings. Three deputies carried out the stuffed heads of Cole’s tiger, bear, and wild boar.

Cole stepped out into the main floor, carrying an open cardboard box filled with his possessions. As he did, the officers clapped until Sheriff Hammond whistled loudly.

“That’s enough of that,” Hammond said. “I don’t care what you all did before but there will be no applause for losers on my watch.”

Cole glared at Hammond. “You don’t think the Mayor will turn on you one day?”

Hammond chewed on a piece of gum. “The Mayor plays ball. I play ball. That was always your problem, Cole. You never knew when to sit down and shut up.”

Cole did not feel like prolonging the pissing match. He walked on, only to soon find that Maude was following him, gas tank in hand.

“What are you doing?” Cole asked.

“I only work for the Sitwell Police Chief,” Maude said. “If he’s not here anymore, then it’s time for me to retire.”

“Noble,” Cole said. “But stupid. I can’t let you do this.”

“You’re not letting me do anything,” Maude said. “You think you can stop me?”

The old lady turned around and faced the room full of officers. “This is bullshit! This has nothing to do with the investigation. This is all about sandbagging Cole because that Mayor can’t stop himself from getting behind the wheel while he’s snookered!”

“That’s enough lip outta you,” Hammond said.

“Aww, go sixty-nine the Mayor, flatfoot,” Maude said. “And the rest of you. Are you all going to take this lying down?”

Rusty, who had been standing in a back corner, gulped and stepped forward, joining Cole and Maude.

“This isn’t right,” Rusty said.

“Deputy Yates!” Hammond shouted.

“Cole,” Rusty said. “You say the word and I’ll walk out this door with you.”

Cole stood there silently and said nothing.
“Oh thank God,” Rusty said. “I mean I don’t want you to go but shit, I got overdue bills up my ass, I’m nowhere near retirement age, I’d be throwing away years of contributing to the pension fund.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Cole said.

“I won’t,” Rusty said. “Thanks Cole.”

“Pussy,” Maude said.

“Shut up, Maude,” Rusty said.

“Know your place, Deputy Yates,” Hammond said.

“Yessir,” Rusty said as he fell back.

As Cole and Maude reached the parking lot, they found Sharon and Gordon saying their goodbyes.

“It’s not a problem,” Maude said. “You deserve to run lead on this.”

“This isn’t how I wanted it to go down,” Gordon said.

“I know,” Sharon replied. “Buck up. Finish this and before you know it, we’ll be back together in Miami in no time.”

Sharon and Gordon embraced. Cole winced.

“He’s definitely plowing her,” Maude said.

“Thanks Maude,” Cole said.

“Sorry,” Maude replied.

Sharon noticed Cole and smiled at him sheepishly. “I’m sorry about all this. Looking back, maybe it wasn’t right for me to take on an investigation involving your town. I should have recused myself.”

“No,” Cole said. “It has nothing to do with you. The Mayor’s punishing me because I stood up to him and he’s punishing you to get to me.”

Sharon sighed. “America loves to put assholes into office.”

“That it does,” Cole said.

The exes stared at each other for awhile before Cole stepped away. “Goodbye then.”

“Cole?” Sharon said.

Cole stopped in his tracks. “Yeah?”

“What are you going to do with the rest of your day?” Sharon asked.

“The gun range crossed my mind,” Cole said.

“Want to give me a ride down to Miami?” Sharon asked. “Gordon drove me up here.”

Cole felt this was a ridiculously bad idea but he could not help himself from saying, “Sure.”

“I’ll get my stuff and be back and five,” Sharon said as she walked away.

Maude shook her head.

“What?” Cole asked.

“Pussy,” Maude said.

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Toilet Gator – Chapter 18


As Sharon entered the lobby of the sorority house, Cole’s heart did backflips. Sharon was walking normally, but it had been so long since Cole had seen his ex-wife that he felt as though he was staring at her while she was walking in slow motion. Every hair flip took forever, every step seemed like it was a thousand years. It was almost as if his mind was slowing the image of his long lost love down on the premise that he better drink in a good view of her now before he never sees her again.

“Hello Cole,” Sharon said as she gave her ex-husband a brief, polite hug. Cole didn’t return it. He was so surprised to see Sharon that he just stood there in a daze. Oddly enough, he could even hear his favorite romantic cowboy song. He thought that was strange, and wondered whether or not he was losing his mind.

“Oh my old lady…done got up and walked out on me.
And now I’m so lonely, I can hardly even see,
What’s the point of not drinkin’ from now until infinity?
Oh drink, yes I’ll drink, till she’s gone right out my mind.
Toss back that whiskey, till the barkeep calls quittin’ time.
But no matter how much damage I do to my liver,
I’ll try my best to forgive her,
But Lord knows I’ll never forget her.”

Rusty’s voice broke Cole out of the trance. “Sorry,” Rusty said as he poked a button on his phone. “I bumped into the wall and my ass turned on my radio app.”

“Rusty,” Sharon said as she gave the red headed a lawman an equally quick hug.

He threw Cole a confused look. “Sharon.”

“How are you?” Sharon asked Cole.

Cole found a little spot on the floor to poke with the toe of his boot, a tactic that he used to stall for time. “Oh, fine, fine.”

Gordon had been standing off to the side for awhile. He coughed to remind his partner he was still there.

“Where are my manners?” Sharon said. “Cole, meet my partner, Gordon Bishop.”

Gordon and Cole locked eyes and traded angry glares. Neither of them knew why, but they instantly did not like one another. Their hands launched out like two angry sharks, consuming one another in a handshake. Gordon squeezed Cole’s hand tightly. Cole returned the gesture with a hard squeeze of their own. The faces of both men turned red. They gritted their teeth, waiting to see who would bow out first until finally they both caved at the exact same time.

“Gordon,” Sharon said. “This is Officer Rusty Yates.”

Before Rusty even knew it, his hand was being crushed by Gordon’s giant hand.

“A pleasure,” Gordon said.

As soon as Rusty’s hand was released, he shook it to and fro until the feeling returned. “Oh shit…likewise, big fella. Likewise.”

Cole scratched the back of his head. “What brings you big time city folk to our little old neck of the woods?”

“Take a wild guess,” Sharon said.

Cole was too busy sniffing the air. It smelled of Eau de Price Town, the cheap perfume that Sharon had always worn. How he missed it. It was as if each nostril full brought him nourishment.

“Countess Cucamonga,” Rusty said.

Sharon tapped the side of her nose with her finger. “You got it.”

“You got any leads?” Rusty asked.

“Just an idiot who’s cooling his heels in lockup,” Sharon said. “But other than that, not a one. Frankly, we were hoping you’d have some.”

Cole kept staring at Sharon. Suddenly, he realized he’d been staring for too long, so he looked around the room, anywhere he could to avoid eye contact.

“Cole?” Sharon asked.

“Huh?” Cole asked as he stared at the ceiling.

“You got anything?” Sharon asked.

“Oh,” Cole said. He half-looked at Sharon. He couldn’t bring himself to look her in the eye, so he focused on the wall just to the right of her. “Not much. Bunch of college kids in the bathroom. The male’s dead. The four females were knocked unconscious and rushed to the hospital.”

“Well,” Sharon said. “We’ll have to talk to them as soon as they wake up.”

Cole nodded.

“What about that old timer in the nursing home?” Rusty asked. “Saw one of the Hot Ass Blonde Chicks with Big Titties talking about it on NN1.”

“Yeah,” Sharon said. “And frankly, I was surprised the media found out about that so quickly. Pretty much the same situation. Man sits on the toilet, ends up all over the walls. No one knows how. No one knows a damn thing.”
Rusty cracked his knuckles. “Sounds like we got the case of the century here.”

“Sure does,” Sharon replied.

“Well, as soon as the state crime lab boys grace us with their presence, we might know more,” Rusty said. “We’ve been cooling our heels waiting on them awhile.”

“Oh,” Sharon said. “I probably should have called ahead and filled you two in. I called the state crime lab off.”

Cole was useless. Still looking around the room. Still smelling the perfumed air.

Gordon chimed in. “Because we can’t trust a crime scene of this magnitude to a bunch of backwater hayseeds, Opie.”

Rusty stepped up to Gordon. “Opie? Who are you calling Opie?”

Gordon was at least five inches taller than Rusty and had fifty pounds of extra muscle. He looked down at his challenger. “You, Opie.”

Rusty’s angry face disappeared. A fake smile emerged. “Oh! Because of my red hair! I get it. Hilarious, man.”

Sharon turned to Cole. “Thank you for everything. We’ll take it from here.”

Cole nodded.

Rusty was irate. “What?”

“The FBI will be running with the ball on this investigation,” Sharon said.

“The hell you are!” Rusty said.

“You got a problem with that, Opie?” Gordon asked.

Rusty gulped a big helping of fear down his throat, then looked up at Gordon. “As a matter of fact, I do, Gigantor. Cole and I have been patrolling this town for going on twenty years now and the one time something happens worth investigating and you two hot shots with your fancy suits think you’re going to waltz right in here and take it away from us?”

“Damn right, Ritchie Cunningham,” Gordon said.

“Ah, hell,” Rusty said. “That doesn’t even count.”

“It counts,” Gordon said.

“No it doesn’t,” Rusty said. “Because Ritchie Cunningham and Opie were played by the same person, so it’s not like you thought of a new insult.”

“You know I did, Ron Howard,” Gordon said.

Rusty pointed a finger at Gordon. “Now, see! That doesn’t count either!”

Sharon inserted herself between Gordon and Rusty, largely because she saw Gordon was getting a crazy look in his eye, a look she’d seen before her partner had gone off on people larger than Rusty and crushed them with his pinky finger.

“Boys!” Sharon said. “That’s enough. Rusty, this case is bigger than all of us. We’re not going to shut Sitwell PD out of this. You and Cole will be a very important part of the task force.”

“Task force?” Rusty said.

“I’ve got a team on the way to set up shop in your department HQ,” Sharon said.

Rusty couldn’t believe it. It was like every word out of Sharon’s mouth was worst than the last one.

“You’re taking over our department?” Rusty asked.

“Don’t be silly,” Sharon said. “Just the building. Miami’s become a madhouse with all the media coverage, so we need somewhere quiet to work. But don’t worry, Cole will still run Sitwell PD.”

“Oh,” Rusty said as he folded his arms. “That’s very kind of you, Your Highness.”

“I don’t like your attitude, Rusty,” Sharon said as she looked to Cole. “Are you going to say something to your boy here?”

Rusty also looked to his longtime partner. “Yeah, Cole. Say something to these carpetbagging bottom feeders. Kick their asses outta here.”

It took a few seconds for Cole to realize he was being spoken to. When he saw Sharon and Rusty staring at him and waiting for a response, he started to walk away.

“Sounds good, Sharon,” Cole said as he pushed the lobby door open. “Let me know if you need anything.”

As soon as Cole was out the door, Sharon stuck her tongue out at Rusty.

“Succubus!” Rusty shouted.

“See you later, Ron Howard,” Gordon said.

Rusty flipped out. “I’m not Ron Howard! Ron Howard is bald! I have a thick, luscious mane of hair!”

The redhead stormed out onto the campus and caught up to Cole.
“What are you doing?” Rusty asked.

Cole walked faster than his feet had ever taken him before, putting as much distance between himself and the crime scene as possible.

“Aww, who gives a shit, Rusty?” Cole said. “They want it? Let ‘em have it. I got more important things to do. I don’t need to be marching all over God’s green earth looking for the fat ass pop star killer.”

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Toilet Gator – Chapter 10

The Right Honorable Mayor Beaumont Dufresne was too busy listening to the Stank Daddy jam that was blaring on his radio to notice the flashing lights in his rear view mirror. He rolled down his window, tossed out an empty beer can, then popped open another. He then started to sing along with America’s favorite rapper, though the words sounded odd in his Foghorn Leghorn-esqu Southern drawl.

“Stank Daddy in the house, gonna smack a bitch…whoa yeah, Stank Daddy, smack those bitches!”

Cole got on his loudspeaker to get His Honor’s attention. “Beau! Pull over!”

The mayor spotted Cole’s cruiser and sipped his beer. “Shit! That goddamn boy scout always trying to ruin my good time.”

Beaumont pulled over to the shoulder of the highway and Cole pulled up behind him. Moments later, the police chief was rapping his knuckles on the mayor’s window. His Honor rolled it down and stuck out his beer.

“Howdy Chief!” Mayor Dufresne said. “Care for some refreshment?”

“Jesus Christ, Beau,” Cole said. “Have enough respect for me to hide it, will you?”

The mayor nodded. “You’re right.” He chugged his beer, crushed the can, then tossed it out the window, where it landed at Cole’s feet. “The Dufresne administration is nothing if not a friend to law enforcement.”

“License and registration,” Cole said.

The mayor rolled his eyes. “Cole, are we really going to do this little dance?”

“What dance is that?” Cole asked.

“The one where you pretend like you’re going to haul me in and I pretend as though I’m frightened all the way to my under britches and then you let me off with a warning?” The mayor said.

Cole cleared his throat. “License and registration.”

The mayor sighed. He reached into the glove compartment, found the requested documents, and forked them over.

“You like this little beauty?” Mayor Dufresne asked as he patted his steering wheel. “Got twelve of these babies lined up ready to go for a steal at the lot. You ought to treat yourself to one, Cole. It’s a surefire panty dropper.”

“Not interested,” Cole said.

“You sure?” the mayor asked. “You help me, I help you…”

Cole stared the mayor down. “You trying to bribe an officer of the law, Beau?”

Mayor Dufresne threw his hands up. “Heaven forbid! I’d never insult your integrity in such an unsavory manner, Cole. You’ve got to work on your paranoia.”

Cole examined the documents, then handed them back to the mayor. “And you’ve got to work on staying in the same lane.”

“Duly noted, my boy,” the mayor said. “Duly noted.”

Cole ran his hand through his hair. “Second time this month, Beau. Tenth time this year.”

“I never knew you were such an astute mathematician, Cole,” the mayor said. “You truly missed your calling.”

“Step out of the car,” Cole said.

The mayor shook his head. “Son, I do believe you ought to think long and hard about what you’re doing.”

“I’ve thought about it,” Cole said. “I’m not going to wake up one morning and find out you ran some kid over because I didn’t do my job.”

“A bit overdramatic, aren’t we?” the mayor asked.

“I’ve given you more chances than you deserve, Beau,” Cole said. “Step out of the car.”

The mayor looked at the chief. “I don’t believe I will.”

“Now you’re the one who needs to think about what he’s doing,” Cole said.

“You’ve made your point,” the mayor said. He put two fingers up to his forehead and gave Cole the boy scout salute. “I’ll go right home and join a twelve-step program. Honest Injun.’”

The bright yellow handle of a taser gun poked out from Cole’s utility belt. The chief put his hand on it. “I will light you up like a Christmas tree, Beau. Don’t even try me.”

The mayor nodded. He opened the door and stepped out with his hands up. “Well, I suppose I’ll play along with this charade, but only because my pacemaker wouldn’t find that to be agreeable at all.”

Cole threw the old coot down on the hood of the Ferrari. “Assume the position!”

“Oh for the love of God!” Mayor Dufresne cried as he felt every nook and cranny being poked and prodded.
Snap. Snap. Cole cuffed the mayor’s hands behind his back, making sure to close the metal bracelets extra tights.

“Damn it, Cole!” the mayor said. “You got me shittin’ my pants now, alright? Enough is enough!”

“You’re right,” Cole said. “Enough is enough.”

“Cole Walker!” Mayor Dufresne said. “You do this and I’ll sue the shit out of you for police brutality! I’ll have your badge!”

“Take it,” Cole said. “It’s brought me nothing but trouble.”

Cole’s radio squawked. The froggy voice of the chief’s trusty dispatcher Debbie came through. “Chief?”

“I’ll have every badge on the force!” the mayor said. “First thing I’ll do is call up the county sheriff and roll out a plan for him to absorb the entire Sitwell Police Department.”

“Oh well,” Cole said as he pulled his radio off his belt and pressed down the call button. “We had a good run. What’s up, Debbie?”

“There’s a big to-do at the community college,” Debbie said.

“Wild party?” Cole asked.

“Nope,” Debbie said. “Twenty calls already reporting a murder.”

Cole looked up to the sky and mouthed a trail of dirty words underneath his breath. He got back on his radio. “10-4.”

“You’ll never work in this town again, Walker!” the mayor shouted. “When I’m done with you, you’ll be lucky to be a jizz mopper at a titter bar!”

Click. Click. Cole removed the cuffs and the lousy excuse for a mayor was free.

“You got lucky,” Cole said.

“Thank the lord you listened to reason,” the mayor said.

Cole walked back to his cruiser. He stopped, turned, and pointed at the mayor. “To be continued…”

The chief got in his car and rolled out into traffic.

“Pussied out again, huh?” Rusty asked.

“Shut your suckhole, Ronald McDonald,” Cole replied.

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