Category Archives: Law Enforcement

Posts that deal with law enforcement.


Everybody was dressed in their Class A uniforms. The full nine yards. Boots and shoes were shined so bright that you could go blind if you looked at them too long. Everybody looked good.
The Sheriff walked up and down the line of Deputies, Correctional Officers and Professional staff, shaking hands and smiling at each of them. The only people missing were the deputies, dispatchers and correctional officers on duty. Everybody else was there. Continue reading Inspection


“R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me…”

I have been thinking a lot about respect lately. Our society has kids who show a total lack of respect for their parents and teachers. My wife actually had a mom tell her, “I don’t make my daughter respect her teachers if she doesn’t think the teacher deserves it.” What? A teacher deserves common respect if for no other reason than that they show up each day to teach your brat, ma’am. Continue reading R-E-S-P-E-C-T

The Polygraph Test

There I was, trapped in a small room. There were no pictures on the wall, and my “host” was behind me, out of sight. The technician wound cables around my chest area and attached sensors to the tips of my fingers. As he strapped on the last of his sinister torture devices, I thought I heard a maniacal laugh escape from his throat.

“The test will now begin,” he said in a low voice. Over the next few hours (okay minutes), I struggled to answer his questions. My mind raced, my heart pumped faster, my palms and armpits began to sweat. Finally it was over. Continue reading The Polygraph Test


“Start at the right delta, then follow the ridge to the right and up. You will find a dot. From that dot, count three ridges over and you will find a bifurcation. Stay with that ridge and it will become an ending ridge. Two ridges over you will find another bifurcation that leads to a dot.”

Sound confusing? That is how you read fingerprints. As part of my job I am recognized as a court expert on fingerprints. Think of it, of all the people in the world who are living, have ever lived, or will ever live, none of them had the same fingerprints as you. None of them. Not one. A study by the FBI figured the chance of anybody having the same piece of ridge detail on any finger is 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000. And that study only counted one of the seven patterns! Continue reading Fingerprints

Critical Incident Stress Management

Even though I am in the ministry, I am not a real “warm and fuzzy” kind of guy. My children ran to their mom when they had “owies.” Their mom would get out the Bactine and Band Aids, kiss them on the forehead and send them on their way. Their dad would say, “Nice trophy, dude!” Not a lot of comfort there, I am afraid.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a very compassionate person. I hurt with the hurting, I can cry with those who are sad. I cried at Old Yeller and during Brian’s Song, but not during Little House on the Prairie. A man has to have limits… Continue reading Critical Incident Stress Management


A rope, a gun, a sharp object, prescription meds. These are only some of the ways I have seen people end their lives. In my job as a crime scene investigator I have been to these tragic scenes more often than I wish. The methods they choose are different, but they all have one thing in common: hopelessness.

They have different reasons. Some are in physical pain and can’t go on anymore. Some fear that they will be a burden to family. Some have decided that their life problems are insurmountable. Others do it out of anger, wishing to make those who have hurt them pay. No matter what the motive, they all leave behind pain and suffering. Their pain is over, but for the survivors the pain is just beginning. Continue reading Suicide

Baton Training

8 AM: I slid my new collapsible baton and its holder onto my brand new Sam Browne belt. I snapped the baton open a few times, and it made a metallic clacking noise as it extended. The noise is a very distinctive sound, and would give me the creeps, if I weren’t the one holding the baton.

8:30 AM: Sergeant Lopez and Corporal Chavarrin, two correctional officers with the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office, begin putting us through our paces.

They start us out with some light stretching…

8:38 AM: Have you ever heard a muscle cry out in pain? I am positive that I heard my thigh muscles screaming, “We give! Please, make it stop!”

9:00 AM: Sgt. Lopez is showing us how to snap the baton open. There are 17 ½ ways to open the baton. I think it was 17 ½. It may have actually been 6 with each hand, but I lost count. I was concentrating on not letting the baton fly out of my hand and impaling Cpl. Chavarrin.

9:30 AM: We are beginning the actual baton drills now. There are four zones, and Sgt. Lopez and Cpl. Chavarrin are showing us where the zones are. Easy enough. Now we have to start swinging the baton. The baton snaps out, and I go to work on Zone 1 with my right hand. Pop, pop, pop, the baton hits the pad that Cpl. Chavarrin is holding. My arms are still fresh, and it is easy to hit the bag.

9:50 AM: Now it is time for Zone 2, with my right hand. Again, the pad pops as I hit it over and over. This isn’t so bad…

10:32 AM: I am beginning to wonder what a heart attack feels like. Okay, it can’t be a heart attack, since it is only my arms that are hurting.

10:43 AM: I am trying to keep from crying like a big sissy-la-la. I have whacked my own elbow twice, and believe me, it hurts like you don’t wanna’ know. I slink to the back of the line, and try to put on a good front to the deputies standing around me. I think my sobbing tipped them off to the fact that I was hurt…

11:30 AM: We have finished the combat drills, and I am going to check and see if somebody has filled my baton with lead, when I wasn’t looking.

1:25 PM: Okay, somebody is definitely messing with my baton! It started out weighing about 8 ounces, and now it must weigh ten pounds.

2:13 PM: Cpl. Chavarrin looks at me and asks me if I need help carrying my baton to the side of the gym. It now weighs somewhere in the vicinity of 7,000 pounds, and I am looking for a forklift to help me get it to my car.

Okay, it wasn’t really that bad, but the baton did seem to get heavier as the day wore on. My arms were sore for about three days. My legs are still sore, and may never recover.

Sin is a lot like my baton. We get involved in little sins and think we can handle them without any problems. But as we get deeper and deeper in sin, the days take their toll, and things get out of hand.

Doug Lyon wrote, “There is a small tree which grows in Southeast Asia known as the Judas-tree. From its branches grow gorgeous blossoms. These blossoms look like scarlet sunbeams. The brilliant beauty of the crimson flowers attracts thousands of tiny insects. Wild bees also try to draw honey from their exquisitely shaped cups. But every insect that comes to rest on the edge of its blossom is overcome. It is overcome by a fatal drug which the flower-juice contains. And the insect drops dead upon the ground below. So, when you walk around a Judas-tree, you often see the soft grass littered with dead and dying insects. The Judas-tree reminds us of sin. Sin may look bright, pleasant, and attractive to our eyes. It may appear harmless to indulge in it. But lurking behind the pleasure of sin is a fatal poison. And sin is a poison—a wickedness that acts as a drug to take away your motivation to live for God.”

Jesus came to free us from our sin, and save us from its ravages. It is a pretty simple task to accept His forgiveness. Just pray this prayer, “Jesus, I am sorry for my sins and the wrong I have done. Please forgive me and help me to live for You.” Yes, it really is that simple. Then seek out a pastor or Christian friend and get started on the road of true freedom. You can even email me or send me a message on twitter (@jerrygodsey). Believe me, I know all about how heavy that baton can get.

Still sore, but getting better… Jerry


The radio in my Imperial County Sheriff’s Office Chevy Tahoe crackled. “10-18,” said an excited, agitated voice. Then nothing. The dispatcher called a Code 33, which demands radio silence, then repeated the deputy’s location. Suddenly, everything seemed to go into slow motion. I listened intently for the “code 4” call saying that everything was okay. It didn’t come. I turned my unit around and headed to the location. As a Reserve Deputy with our department, I figured I could at least help with crowd control, if needed. Continue reading 10-18

Droopy Drawers and Belonging

As another deputy and I made our late night rounds of the Imperial Valley Mid-Winter Fair and Fiesta, we noticed teenage boy after teenage boy with pants down low around their waists. You know the guys I am talking about. They wear their pants down below their behinds and then cinch their belts tight so the pants don’t fall all the way to the ground. These guys are so stylish that they can’t walk without putting their hands in their pockets to hold their pants up. They remind me of my kids when they were young.
Continue reading Droopy Drawers and Belonging