After my recent interaction with the Jackson Chief of Police, I decided to roll the dice and see if he'd be willing to do an email interview. Sure enough he was! I'd like to express a huge appreciation to Chief Jed Dolnick for taking the time to appease a renegade blogger like me! Enjoy the interview.
How did you discover the Misadventures of Trailer Park Charlie?
One of my officers actually discovered it and relayed the link to me.
What is your experience with the "Brown Mountain" Trailer Park?
The park is like most neighborhoods; most of our time is devoted to a small percentage of the residents. The majority just live their lives in peace.
Keeping in mind I don't use their real names, would my neighbors have any legal recourse if they found out I write about them?
I'm not an attorney and I don't play one on TV, so I can't help you on that.
Where were you working before becoming the illustrious Jackson Police Chief?
I worked at the Washington County Sheriff's Department from 1977 until I was appointed Police Chief in 2001.
(I followed up by asking him if he knew my old high school teacher Mr. Hayes. Any of you SHS grads out there definitely know who I'm talking about! He did, in fact "Know Gene very well)!"
What's the most bizarre police call you've ever been on?
When I was a rookie deputy, I went with another officer to a cabin in the Town of Erin. Two old fellows lived there, and occupied their time drinking rot gut whiskey. They had what we called "The Never Ending Pot of Stew". This was, literally, a pot of stew that was kept cooking all the time, and they just kept adding to it. I have no idea what they put in it. One of the old boys offered me his bottle, but I declined. The call itself, an argument between one of the men and a visiting nephew, wasn't as interesting as the tableau itself.
Here in Jackson, the officers have handled such things as the young girl who was forced to wear a dog shock collar; several cases involving Milwaukee call girls; the drunk who drove his pickup truck into an apartment building; and "cat hoarding" (houses filled with cats... and filth).
If you weren't a police officer, what would you be doing?
Radio broadcasting was my first career choice.
Would you ever be a cop in a whacko town like Sheboygan?
Sheboygan, which means "Spirit on the Lake", is a lovely community on Lake Michigan. It's famous for its white beaches and bratwurst.
(I believe this is The Chief's creative way of saying "No comment...")
For another keg full of laughs, check out this Twitter feed someone does for shit they hear on the Sheboygan police scanner. Thanks to Trailer Park reader KAO for pointing it out!
In your Ask the Chief section on the Jackson PD website, do you ever receive any questions that are so incredibly stupid you just delete them right away?
No, actually I think they're all fairly reasonable. People often have assumptions about police work that they get from the news, TV dramas, and movies. You can see that in some of the questions.
If you could be a fictional law enforcement-type character, who would you be? Mustachioed Magnum P.I.? Badass Counter-terrorist superagent Jack Bauer? Intimidating, gravelly-voiced Dirty Harry? Bumbling buffoon Frank Drebin? Someone else?
Lennie Briscoe (Law and Order)
Do cops really enjoy donuts?
No more or less than everyone else. This story got started because in many communities 24 hour doughnut stores were the only places open for the night shift. No matter what the shift, meal breaks can be interrupted. A doughnut and coffee is a quick refreshment, and you're not out a lot of money if you need to leave quickly.
Have you seen Super Troopers? If so, do cops actually pull antics like that to keep things interesting?
I thought "Super Troopers" was hilarious. As with other occupations, cops sometimes play practical jokes on each other, but it should never involve the public as was shown in the movie.... not even the "Meow" trick.