So, here I am in the mid-1980’s, ‘working’ as a private investigator. And I find myself in Phoenix Police HQ (7th Ave/Washington).
No, I hadn’t been arrested.
The shoe leather part of the job. This, of course, was pre-Internet.
And I needed a copy of a motor vehicle accident report to get info on a participant. Their name, address, DL#, DOB, and if/how they were cited in said accident.
Which of course, they were.
SO, I’m standing at the counter in the main lobby, along with other ne’er-do-wells (lawyers, insurance adjusters), when a voice calls out my name.
“GUFFAW!” (Of course, he really didn’t yell Guffaw, as if commanding the people around him to laugh. :-))
I turn around, and here’s my Criminalistics professor from college! He was one of the criminalists at PPD. I was surprised he recognized me – it had been maybe 7-8 years since I had seen him.
He asked if I were busy. I responded not particularly, and he offered me a tour of the PPD crime lab!
You must remember, this was before all the CSI-based TV; the procedurals where the cops catch and convict bad guys based on scientifically-determined physical evidence. It was many times asking questions and shoe leather which ruled the day.
But, I still thought it was cool!
The water-filled bullet trap they shot into to obtain exemplars of spent bullets. The cool old photos of how it was back in the day. The wall of firearms!
Yes, they had (and presumably still have) a wall with just about every model of gun you could imagine. For comparisons, testing, all manner of stuff. Most had been confiscated from arrestees.
So they were mostly junk – the good stuff having been returned to their lawful owners or sold at auction.
They even would sometimes loan firearms to the undercover guys, to strengthen their street cred. No police .38/.357 revolvers for these guys! (It WAS the 80’s)
And there she was, a shotgun. Short enough to conceal under a knee-length coat. An over/under 12 gauge.
Sawn off to maybe 14 inches! With a hacksaw!
A Diana-grade engraved shotgun! Looked like it had been hand sawn and then dragged behind a car! No doubt recovered from some hood.
I was almost in tears.
He did tell me that one officer went undercover and carried her. No one ever thought he was a cop until it was too late – I mean, what cop would defile such a fine machine like that?