War Stories: The Prank

Editor’s Note:  Law Officer values our audience and especially those that have retired from law enforcement after serving their community for decades.  Their voice matters and that is what “War Stories” is all about.  Our ‘War Story’ Series of articles highlights the beauty of this great profession.  True stories about real police officers that until now, have never been told publicly.  Contact us to send in your own ‘War Story’.

Silly Willy was a true Department original. Every police department has one and Willy was ours. While it is only natural for people in high pressure jobs to relieve their stress through humor and pranks, sometimes these pranks can go sideways really quick.

Silly Willy was a rather large tough individual with a shaved head and a few screws loose. He was well liked by the other street cops; whom he would do anything with or anything for. Most street cops were grateful that he was on our side of the badge.  On the other hand, Willy was despised by most of the bosses to whom he would do nothing for and everything against. They viewed him as a liability, but realized that his political clout was a force to be reckoned with.

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Poor Willy’s demise began innocently enough when he decided to prank the outgoing Chief of Police. Willy had waited years to get back at the Chief. He felt, as many officers did, that the Chief was a political sell out who liked to belittle the hardworking street cops. Willy spent weeks on RECON and learned that each morning the Chief would enter the underground garage at 0715hrs and take the main elevator from the basement to his third floor office. He also noticed that while the elevator indicator lights on the first three floors were new, the basement indicator was an old system whereby a medal arrow would swing down and then up as it passed each floor. The Prank was set!

One morning, Willy hid in the first floor men’s room with a clear view of the underground garage. Just like clockwork, 0715hrs in drives the Chief. Willy immediately runs to the elevator and sends the elevator up to the third floor.  Moments later, everyone in the building could hear the Chief’s voice reverberating up the elevator shaft and down the halls, “ WILLY, I’M GONNA GET YOU THIS TIME!”

Apparently, when the Chief arrived at the basement elevator he pressed the up button and waited for the doors to open. While waiting, he looked up at the floor indicator and noticed this photo of a huge black penis strapped to the metal arrow and watched as it slowly moved downed to the basement level where there was a picture of him taped over the “B” for basement. By the time the doors had opened, the penis had penetrated the face on his picture. Oh boy!

While weeks of investigating proved to be fruitless, Willy was taken off the street and assigned to office desk duty. BIG MISTAKE!

Willy would further his own demise by taking on the new office Lieutenant. There is a long standing tradition on the job that when an officer is promoted to the rank of lieutenant, he can request a police transport to and from work as a sign of respect. The street cops who were taken away from their other duties to make the transport hated it. Willy decided to do something about it.

On one particular night the City was hopping. All hell was breaking loose; shootings, stabbings, and robberies all over the City. Willy was still assigned to the office, when the phone rang and newly promoted Lieutenant Stiff Collar requested his ride to work. The lieutenant earned his nickname for his impeccable appearance and his belief that the measure of a good cop was the shine on his shoes. Willy advised him that he would work on it but the City was on fire.

Some twenty minutes later, Willy answered the phone again only to hear Lieutenant Stiff Collar now loudly demanding that Willy have a car in front of his house within five minutes or he would face department charges. Willy responded,” YES SIR!” and hung up the phone.

True to his word, a car pulled up in front of the lieutenant’s house and beeped the horn. Stiff Collar, dressed in his new uniform with silver bars on each shoulder, and shoes you could see your face in, kissed his wife and kids goodbye as they followed him to the front door. As the door opened, the new lieutenant stopped in his tracks when he noticed a Yellow cab parked at the curb. The cab driver had to scream twice,” DID SOMEBODY CALL FOR A CAB?”, before the lieutenant could close his mouth and walk to the cab.

Willy’s political clout saved him again; but his clout was getting weaker. The Chief permanently assigned him to inside duty working directly for Lieutenant Stiff Collar. Everyone knew the end was near and waited to see just how Willy would go out.

As it turned out, Willy hung in there far longer than anyone ever expected. He had outlasted the office pool and appeared to have changed his prankster ways. Then it happened! It turns out that Willy had been making obscene phone calls from the office to Stiff Collars wife all along. On this night, Lieutenant Stiff Collar had to rush home to console his frantic wife and left Willy in charge of the office. BIG MISTAKE!

Shortly after the lieutenant left the office, Willy felt the strong urge to create havoc. Within minutes he had the prank set. Willy was an equal opportunity prankster. His victims could be male, female, old, young, black, white, and even the mentally challenged. No one was safe!

Several years earlier, a young black mentally challenged kid was found walking the streets during a snow storm and taken to the station. This kid had been released from the State home and was now homeless. He could not read or write and only spoke a few words. Almost immediately, he was taken in by the men and the bosses and became one of the guys. Officers provided him with food, clothes, and a place to live. He was also given a ride to and from his small apartment to the police station each day. On slow nights, he was given a portable radio and sent out with the rookie footmen to teach them how to patrol their post. He was affectionately called Major Neddy.

On this night, when Stiff Collar raced home, Silly Willy decided to have some fun with Major Neddy.  Willy ask the Major if he would go down the street to McDonalds and get hamburgers for the office people and himself. Since this had become one of Major Neddy’s regular duties, he quickly agreed to make the trip. As usually, Willy told him he would write a list of what food to get and for the Major to just give the note to the clerk at McDonalds. Off Major Neddy went with that confident bop in his step. Prank was set!

When the major arrived at McDonalds it was very busy with the dinner crowd. He stood in one of the lines and hoped they would go faster so Willy would not get mad at him. As the minutes past, Major Neddy became nervous and started swaying back and forth. He quickly brushed by several other customers and went to the front of the line. He then threw the note at the startled female clerk and said please hurry up. As the clerk opened the note, the store manager came close to see what the fuss was about. Immediately the clerk and manager raised their hands above their heads and started yelling,”GIVE HIM THE MONEY!” Immediately there was a mass exit from McDonalds with people screaming it’s a hold up, it’s a hold up! There were sesame seed buns flying every which way with special sauce, lettuce, and cheese all over the place. Major Neddy remained standing at the counter like a statue and not knowing what was happening.

Within minutes the police department switchboard was flooded with calls about the armed robbers and hostages at the McDonalds restaurant. Numerous cars were dispatched to the scene and Lieutenant Stiff Collar, returning from his home, requested that SWAT be alerted and the Chief be notified. Stiff Collar wanted a perimeter set up and hostage negotiators called to the scene. A short time later, as the Chief arrived, Lieutenant Stiff Collar yelled into the bull horn,”COME OUT AND YOU WON’T BE HURT!”  The look was priceless, when Major Neddy got tired of waiting for the food and walked outside to see what was happening.

It wasn’t long after the note, which read,” I HAVE A GUN – GIVE ME ALL YOUR MONEY!” was handed to the Chief, that Silly Willy was finally fired, Lieutenant Stiff Collar was assigned to the Records Bureau, and Major Neddy was demoted to Sergeant Neddy.



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