I have just been to another cot death. After speaking to the grieving parents I had to go and inform the grand parents. If anyone dies unexpectedly, the police have to attend to establish whether or not the death may be suspicious. It is a part of the job I have always detested. We live in a sterile world now where most people have never seen a body. In the third world it is commonplace.
Years ago I attended two cot deaths in a week when I had a nine month old baby at home. I sat up for hours checking my baby was still breathing and tried to buy equipment that would alert me if he stopped. Anything so as not to go through what the parents of those two young children went through.
More mundane, but a regular occurence, is following an ambulance up to the hospital with a heart attack victim who had collapsed in the road. Booking in the body at the mortuary. Searching the body and recording and securing any property. Removing clothing to check for injuries or any other signs of a 'suspicious' death. Are you aware that many bodies lose control of their bodily functions after death?
I don't know what it is but even after a few hours dead bodies have a dinstinctive smell. I know when an officer has been in the mortuary. The smell stays with them until they have showered and changed.
When I joined the police I hadn't even thought about dead bodies. I have lost count of the number I have now seen. Most were ill or just old, but some have been very untimely and awful. The motorcyclist who lost it on a corner and his face hit a lamp post at about 50 MPH. The farmer who sat in his armchair and blew his head off with a shotgun. The depressed woman who jumps eight stories off the town centre car park. The 19 year old boy who hung himself in the woods. The wife and mother who dies of a stroke in bed with her lover. The woman who throws herself in front of the train.
All of these people had families and either I or another police officer have to go and tell the nearest and dearest that their loved one is dead. Not easy, but do it as quickly as decency will allow in my experience.
The opinions and views expressed here are mine, and mine alone. They do not necessarily reflect the policies and views of the Utopian Police Force nor the City of Utopia.
The stories I tell here are all true but my purpose is not technical accuracy. My purpose is to illustrate the nature of policing in an educational and entertaining way.
I have tried to respect the privacy of the citizens of the city and to relate specific facts without identifying individuals. I believe I succeed in this but if you do recognize yourself and believe others will too, please contact me and I shall rectify it.