Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What I learned from Jake

In the summer of 1975, I was a 21 year old police officer, newly promoted to an assignment as a motor officer. It wasn't really a promotion, but as I looked around the Lincoln police department, the chief, assistant chiefs, most of the captains, lieutenants, and sergeants had all been motorcycle cops, or so it seemed.  It appeared pretty evident to me that riding motor was a resume-builder.  So, despite my complete unfamiliarity with the steed, I accepted the assignment.  As part of my accouterments, I acquired a pair of aviator sunglasses--to protect against pebbles, wind, sun, and bugs, of course.

One day, Capt. Paul Jacobsen called me aside.  Jake was a Captain of Detectives--among the most prestigious of positions at LPD.  He was a legend for his investigative skills, particularly his ability to develop rapport with suspects that led to an inevitable confession of the most heinous crimes.  It was said that Jake could get a tree to admit to the offense of issuing a bad check, wood pulp being a necessary precursor in the production of the paper upon which the check had been printed.

"Casady," Jake said, "You need to lose those mirrored sunglasses.  You can't talk to a man when you can't see his eyes."  Sage advice from the master of interviewing.  The Ray-Bans were relegated to off-duty wear.  I remember one more thing Jake taught me about interviewing:  "When you ask a suspect a direct question, and he repeats the question back to you, the next words out of his mouth are likely to be a lie."

Jake knew a few things about human nature, humor, honor, gunfights, and life.  He passed a couple of those on to me, and to this day when someone repeats a clearly worded question right back at me before answering, I recall his words.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just make sure you do the same thing as I'm sure you have a wealth of institutional knowledge and wisdom in your head.

Steve said...

This post wouldn't have any connection to Sandusky's televised interview yesterday, would it?

Anonymous said...

Director,
Did you learn to love motorcycles or was it just a tool of the profession? I got hooked on motorcycles when I was ten. I bought my first one when I was thirteen and over the next fifty years I have owned dozens of them and enjoyed almost every minute spent riding. This year has been fantastic so far for riding. I know I am going to have to park the bike in the garage when the snow & ice hit but it looks like another nice day shaping up to ride today. When it hits forty degrees outside I will find an excuse to make a run to the store for something.

Gun Nut

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the words of wisdom. It has opened my eyes.

Tom Casady said...

Steve,

Ya think?

Gun Nut,

I got bitten, but not quite as badly as most. Learning to ride on an AMF-era Harley wasn't as much fun as you might think, but after I took a buddy's Honda 550 SuperSport out for a spin, the hook was set.

I went out and bought a Suzuki. A few years later when I was a family man, I sold my motorcycle to pay for fence around the backyard to keep our toddler from straying into the street. The very day the fence was installed, he climbed over it.

I still get the fever. I left a lot of drool on a Ducati last week, and had to quit gawking at a BMW parked downtown the other day because I was starting to look suspicious to pedestrians.

Adam Beltz said...

Spot on. 1:10 mark was lifted right from your post. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2011/11/jon-stewart-comments-on-the-jerry-sandusky-interview.html

Adam Beltz said...

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2011/11/jon-stewart-comments-on-the-jerry-sandusky-interview.html

Steve said...

Another good one, Arrrg!!!!

The bike bug bit me in 1972, but, like Tom, I took a hiatus from biking to get married and raise a family. It lasted 38 years, but it's probably a good thing. With my propensity for being in the wrong place at the wrong time and going to fast to do anything about it, I may not have lived long enough to have the two wonderful kids I have. Now that their grown and successful on their own, I'm free to tempt fate again. :) I think 50 is a more reasonable temperature, though. If I go down, I don't want to be shivering with broken bones!

ARRRRG!!!! said...

Since it failed the first time, I will try again....

I got some good advice once when I was a young lad.

Anonymous said...

Arrrrg a picture is worth a thousand words. Words to live by LOL.

Gun Nut

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of truth to that. Someone repeating a question is simply buying time to think up a believable lie. I saw it in real life. Even with rogue police officers who are trained to interview. It's a human nature thing.

MRDRIVEDRUNK said...

Wow Honda 550. I started riding the streets of Lincoln when I was 13 years old. Put the face shield head gear on and I looked like a little adult. My neighbor, who now I assume was nuts to let me ride his cycle that young, stll is a bit goofy as a 70 something tear old. Tom: this blog seems to bring back memories every time I read it.

Anonymous said...

Jake must have been a very special person and you, obviously, had/have a great deal of respect for him. I like this, that you take the time to remember those that have helped to shape your life.

Anonymous said...

Tom-The motorcycle history is great. The rings in the 70's have a caption indicating "3 unknown officers". That would be yours truly, Hupka, and I believe either Cauble or Frakes.

I still wear mine occaisionally, usually when riding my 1961 Harley FL Police Special.

256

Artillery CPT said...

Mr. Casady,

Thank you for the fond remembrance of my grandfather, Paul Jacobson. I was small when he passed (I'm 31 now), but I remember him well. Among the gifts he gave me when I was young were a whoopi cushion, a harmonica,(makes sense if you know him) and his badge and bars. I still display them in my office. My mother found this and sent it me. I think it says a lot about a man that the wisdom he bestows sticks with someone so long after he's gone. Thanks again for the kind words.

Shirley June Jacobson said...

Paul Wm. Jacobson was my father. He meant what he said about those glasses. I had a pair which I used for skiing in the Alps, while serving in the Air Force. He took one look and told me pretty much the same thing. When I told him that I only wore them skiing, he was satisfied.
Thanks for remembering my dad. He loved the LPD. He appreciated all who served the community.

Tom Casady said...

Shirley,

You made my day! Your Dad wil be smiling.

Anonymous said...

In 67-68 I putted around in a Cushman writing parking tickets. Sgt. Cox was my supervisor. Did you know him or was he gone by 75. Had to leave because $129 a month wouldn't support family. Interacted with a lot of the motor officers back then. Could tell you a few stories (nothing terrible) but will let them lie.

Nyfty said...

Director,

I know of one recently retired "top cop" who can be see riding either a Triumph or a BMW. I bet you know who I'm talking about. Go talk to him he'll steer you down the right path, and keep you from going to the dark side.