• Wendy Wilkins

"Driving down Fitzroy St, it was very quiet, all the restaurants and hotels closed. No one on the sidewalks." [Excerpt from "Sex, Love & Cops"]

I was the senior person on the van, at twenty five years old with my brand new trainee by my side, Ed, who was twenty five himself. We were on an early morning shift. It was 7.30 am a crisp Sunday spring morning and the sea mist had just lifted to expose a beautiful blue sky.

Driving down Fitzroy St, it was very quiet, all the restaurants and hotels closed. No one on the sidewalks.

I noticed further down the street a man walking by himself and as we got closer I could see he was an Aboriginal, looking around hesitantly, as he carried a large object. I pulled the van up beside him and motioned to Ed, my partner, the trainee, to hop out with me.

“Good morning,” I said. “What brings you out and about so early and what do you have there with you?”

The Aboriginal man held his hands behind his back, seemingly hiding something.

“Let’s see it,” I said. Finally, he showed us. It was a large, professional, expensive-looking camera.

“Where did you get that?” I asked.

“Found it,” he said.

“What’s your name?” “Simon Black,” he said.

We both raised our eyebrows at this. An Aboriginal called Black. That’s a first.

“Okay, Simon, we will hang on to the camera for now. Hop in the back of the van and we are going down the station for a chat.” Slowly, but obediently, he got in the back of the van.

As we drove towards the station I called into the back of the van.

“Simon, by the time we get back to the station I want to know how and where you stole that camera from, okay?”

My new trainee whispered “Aren’t we supposed to read him his rights, say “You are not obliged to say anything unless —.”

“That’s only in the movies, and besides we haven’t arrested him yet,” I replied.

My trainee got a huge crush on me that day. He thought I was ‘a super cop’ because it turned out in fact that Simon had just climbed into a lovely Stkilda home’s open window about an hour earlier and taken the camera from the coffee table of a local resident.

There was a label attached to the camera with the name of the owner. When we called him, he had just woken up and said “yes the camera belonged to him.” He went into his lounge room and was shocked to find out that a man had been wandering around his house while he was asleep an hour earlier.

I knew I had just got lucky seeing him walking along the street with the camera, it just didn’t fit the picture.

I said, “Okay Simon I know you have done at least three other burglaries recently. Why don’t you tell me about them?” And he actually did!

We spent the afternoon driving around the streets as he pointed out houses that he had burgled and we solved a number of crimes that day. Simon Black pointed out houses he had stolen VCRS, TV sets, boombox radios, etc. In total, six houses and he also gave up his ‘fence’, the guy who got rid of these stolen goods for him.

As we began the interrogations, our local detectives paid a visit. They normally take over at this stage but they said, “You can do this one because Simon has been in and out of jail many times and normally says nothing at all when he’s arrested so you go for it.”

I asked Simon later why he told me everything and he said, “cause I didn’t give him a wack across the ears and I talked nice to him.”

There was a group of local homeless Aborigines at that time that congregated in the Cattani Gardens by the foreshore and drank copious amounts of cheap alcohol out of brown paper bags and then fell asleep in the grass. Most were harmless and just displaced citizens.

The history of the Aboriginals in Australia and the way they were treated is not something our country should be proud of.

They are a nomadic people that were introduced to western ways through alcohol, disease and attempts to urbanize. Generally aborigines are alcohol intolerant which also doesn’t help.

Around the time of arresting Simon there was a huge national incident that made the front page of every newspaper.

There was a local trendy bar in Fitzroy Street, named the ‘Cattani Bar’ just like the local park at the foreshore at the end of the street. The owner refused to serve a man he thought was one of the local homeless Aboriginal drunks and sent him out of his bar. Unfortunately, the owner did not recognize this slightly drunk Aboriginal who just happened to be a famous Aboriginal singer with a number one hit record.

The singer made a national incident out of it and a few weeks later the bar was closed for good.

*This is an excerpt from Sex, Love & Cops.

Order my memoir “Sex, Love & Cops” now at Amazon prime


"I had my firearm drawn on him and attempting not to shake, nervously." [Excerpt from "Sex, Love & Cops"]

I only had to draw my weapon a few times, and thankfully never pulled the trigger. But I did come very close one night.

It was soon after the Walsh street killings. Every cop was on edge and so upset because of the ambush and shooting of two young cops who were a few squads junior to me in the Academy. I knew them to say “hi” to. They were both based at our neighboring police station so we crossed paths regularly.

Constables Steve Tynan, 22, and Damian Eyre, 20, were checking reports of a suspect vehicle on Walsh Street, South Yarra, early hours of a quiet morning. The car had been left with the motor running in the middle of a suburban street, and when the young trainee constables went to investigate they were both shot at point blank range, for no reason except that these particular criminals hated cops.

Steve and Damian had no chance, and it was only then I realized for the first time that wearing a uniform and driving a police car we are walking, moving targets. These criminals see us before we see them.

In a similar situation late at night, my partner and I spotted a vehicle stationary with its motor running and headlights on. We approached slowly, and called out on our loudspeaker, “Step out of the vehicle.”

Nothing. Eventually we were out of our vehicle with our firearms drawn when slowly the man got out. He was large and over six foot tall. “Put your hands up where we can see them,” I shouted.

Again nothing. This went on it seems like an eternity. I had my firearm drawn on him and attempting not to shake, nervously. He then reached across his jacket pocket and inside his jacket, I was sure he was going to pull out a gun and fire on us. It was a split second before I almost pulled the trigger. Fortunately I didn’t because he did not have a gun but I can understand the feeling of ‘shoot or be shot,’ as I truly believed he was going to shoot me at that moment, and only a split second of hesitation made all the difference.

*This is an excerpt from Sex, Love & Cops.

Order my memoir “Sex, Love & Cops” now at Amazon prime

#memoir #empoweredwomen #cops #police #sexlovesandcops #novella #love

  • Wendy Wilkins

"A few weeks later they changed this protocol of delivery after a patient grabbed a cop’s gun as he sat on the couch, and then shot himself right in front of the cop." [Excerpt from "Sex, Love & Cops"]

Sharky was a regular escape artist, and the first time we got the call to look for him the radio operator on our van said: “VKC St. Kilda 203 we have an escaped mental patient known as “Sharky” in the vicinity of Grey Street and Fitzroy Street. Approach with caution. He is known to be extremely violent.”

I picked up the mouthpiece and answered the radio call: “Roger that VKC. Anything else to help us identify?”

The radio operator chuckled, and said, “Yeah he has two tattoos of sharks on his face.”

We found him soon after on Grey street and approached him tentatively.

“Hi Sharky, how are you doing?” I said.

Sharky hopped into the back of our divisional van without a peep, docile and quiet as a mouse. Senior Constable Jones and I looked at each other, and agreed, “Well that was easy.”

On the drive out to Larundel, he banged about in the back of the van, and we kept calling to him: “Sharky, you’re going to hurt yourself if you don’t sit still,” to no avail.

Once we got to Larundel and got him out of the van, he was docile again, and didn’t seem to have any visible injuries from banging around in the back.

The process on arrival at Larundal Hospital was you enter the lobby and report to the reception desk, then the receptionist notifies the appropriate doctor to come get the patient. Senior Constable Jones and I sat on an L-shaped lounge, and Sharky, sat quietly between us.

I was feeling a little uncomfortable already because a man, a few minutes earlier, introduced himself, “Hello I’m Doctor Smith.” Before I could shake his outstretched hand, the Receptionist leaned out of her window and called out: “Fred, get back to your room and leave the nice police officers alone.”

A few moments later another man came and sat next to me and spoke in a whisper, I had to lean in to him very close to hear him.

“Hello how are you?” I answered politely.

“Fine thanks.”

Sharky stared ahead blankly, and Senior Constable Jones just grinned.

The man then whispered again, “You know I always wanted to be a cop.”

I answered “Oh that’s nice.”

He whispered something else and as I leaned in to be able to hear him, he screamed at the top of his lungs: “So I could say “FREEZE YOU MOTHERFUCKER!”

My partner and I jumped up in fright, then began laughing at the shock as Sharky just sat there nonchalantly.

A few weeks later they changed this protocol of delivery after a patient grabbed a cop’s gun as he sat on the couch, and then shot himself right in front of the cop.

*This is an excerpt from Sex, Love & Cops.

Order my memoir “Sex, Love & Cops” now at Amazon prime

#memoir #empoweredwomen #cops #police #sexlovesandcops #novella #love

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