Dave was one of those recruits you just know won’t make it through their probation.
He just didn’t look like a policeman. I don’t know what it was about him, he was almost 6 feet tall & had a reasonable stature. He had one of those vacant looks about him. When he smiled you wondered of he was a special needs kid on work experience. He seemed to spend half the time in a state of blissful ignorance, unincumbered by a grasp of what was going on around him.
There were those who said he’d never make a copper as long as he had a hole in his arse. They were right.
You just knew he’d been recruited on a Friday afternoon; the Human Resources folk at recruiting were obviously either drunk at the staff party or totally absent & the cleaner had signed his forms.
On his first week of independant patrol, Dave was walking up to people & asking what they were doing. He’d seen someone fill in a form with a name & address thereon and had thus asked everyone he met what their name & address were. The second person he stopped declined to provide the said details saying "What you gonna do about it then?" Dave knew exactly what he was going to do about it, and told him so, "I’m going to follow you home & see where you live." And he did. Four & a half miles he walked, right up to the multi-storey block of flats. The lad went inside shoving the door closed in Dave’s face. Dave didn’t know the entry code.
On another occasion Dave was sent down to the local pond with instructions to investigate some pretty serious crimes being perpetrated against the wildfowl of the town. Complaints had been received about the local Chinese restaurant whose recent increase in the availability of duck dishes seemed to correlate to a corresponding decline in the number of mallards. Dave’s job was to count the ducks. He walked to the pond, which was some way off his beat, at the start of the shift, counted the ducks & returned near to the end of his shift. For seven nights. Nobody had the heart to tell him it was a wind-up.
Back then we sacked people like Dave.
These days we promote them.