Touring the County Jail and Homicide Night

This is from “Days Remembered”. It shows why you never want to go to jail.

Do you remember the Citizen’s Police Academy class? Being in CERT, we got to sign up for that class and learn more about the training Fort Worth Police officers received and the things they did in their jobs. The topics we were exposed to varied from firearms to traffic operations. But the two nights we found most interesting, and also shocking, were the evenings for the Tarrant County Jail tour and Homicide Night.

Now, dear readers, if you can’t stand graphic or gross things, please go on to the next note. What I am about to tell you is 100% true, but it also might make you ill. So, be warned.

Touring the jail was something else indeed. We took police vans up to the jail and assembled in a room. A deputy then prepared us for the tour. The lecture was simple enough, but the real horrors were not seen until we were deep in the bowels of the jail. And horror was the word that applied to some of the things we learned.

As we walked through the old and new parts of the jail, we were told that the prisoners would throw their feces on the guards, try to stab them, and eat cockroaches crawling on the floor. One deputy said it still made him sick to recall the crunching sound of the cockroaches being chewed. Next, we learned of the “crapper phone,” the way prisoners talked to each other through the commode and the pipes like a telephone. Using that calling plan had the added bonus of getting infections by touching the bottom of the bowl. Next was the tale of the female inmates ingesting sausages into an orifice other than their mouth,–again getting an added bonus of an infection. (The kitchen was told to chop up the links.) Then, there was the black prisoner masturbating in front of the ladies as we all walked by. Thank God I missed that display. All the while, we were expressly told NOT to touch the walls of the jails for fear of contaminates there. In short, the tour was informative and also horrific at the same time. It made you swear that you would never have to go there under arrest.

After the delights of the jail, we next encountered the joys of Homicide Night where FWPD detectives showed real pictures of victims of murder and manslaughter. We saw things you would expect—spouses blown asunder by shotgun blasts of their mates, people sliced apart by knives and machetes, people stabbed so many times they looked like human Swiss cheese, and other evidence of real crimes in our city.

But the topic that got most people’s goat was the nurse who died while masturbating in her shower. She strangled herself to death the way the actor David Carradine did. The detectives talked about this with no emotion as they showed us the slides—the nurse sitting slumped over straddling her bathtub with a noose around her neck and a large red self- pleasuring device protruding from her loins. All in a day’s work, they said. “Just the facts ma’am. Just the facts.” They showed little emotion while they showed us their job.

All of these scenes showed things our first responders deal with each and every day. They get paid less than many of us do but deal with blatant evil and acts of human depravity few of us will ever see. But amidst these horrors and wickedness, they remain human just like we do. They do their jobs, tend to their families, and walk their dogs. Somehow, they put away the evil they see, so they can remain normal like the rest of us.

In that, they are perhaps our society’s greatest citizens. They put up with so much, but receive so little, just so citizens like us can go to a class, see the immorality and crime we refuse to deal with unless we are a victim of, and return to our quiet homes in the nicer parts of town. Perhaps, we hear the wailing sirens of their work in the distance late at night when we are safe in our warm, little beds. We sleep safely due to their tireless efforts. We should be thankful for their work and that we only see the filth they deal with in a class.

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