One of the hazards of police work, and police work on a college campus in particular, is catching people having sex. There are police officers that love to catch people having sex and there are police officers that hate catching people having sex and there is the full spectrum of emotions in between, but either way, there is no hope of NOT catching someone having sex, at some point. And it never looks like the high quality porn that you might have bought at the AVN Expo in Vegas, it looks much more like the porn that you stumble across in the middle of the night on a weird internet search that you never tell anyone about because you are too embarrassed to let anyone know that you actually saw that. In my career, I have caught college couples, strangers, hookers, cheaters, married couples, and people just about to break up, right after getting caught by the police.
There was the time I was driving in the parking garage late at night when I saw the only car parked on the upper floor, it’s windows open, and then a hand comes up and drops a condom onto the concrete parking space. I stopped my car (which I was surprised they didn’t hear-police cars are not quiet), got out, and walked up to the car. Inside I found a young couple in their early twenties, in various stages of undress, and a small pile of used condoms on the ground outside the passenger side window. Impressive. I asked them both to step out of the car, get dressed, and provide me with some ID. When I looked at the ID, I saw that her last name was Singh and his last name was Gonzalez, and I had a conversation with the two of them that confirmed that neither of their families would accept that they were dating a Sikh/Mexican so they were seeing each other in secret. And clearly saving up. I explained how dangerous it was for them to be in such a vulnerable position while in a public area where criminals frequent and sent them on their way. The young woman stood there shaking. “Are you going to call my parents?” Call her parents? She was 22 years old. “No. You’re an adult. And adults can pay for motel rooms.”
Or the time that I was walking through a different parking garage, during a holiday closure, so there should have been no one inside. On the fifth floor, I saw a single car with fogged up windows. I walked up to the car, thinking that the occupants were “hot-boxing,” smoking pot and keeping the smoke inside to enhance their experience, but when I opened the car door, I instead found a young couple having sex (It was unlocked. If you are going to be having sex in a car, lock the doors). Unfortunately, for me and them, she was 16 and he was 20. I had to call her parents and determine if I was just sending them home or was I arresting the young man for statutory rape. Her father, while certainly angry, told me to have the young man bring her home, and he would have a conversation with his daughter’s boyfriend when they got there.
After sending them on their way, and me not having to write any reports, I took the nearest stairs to the next floor, where I immediately found a man leaning back against a pickup truck while a young woman on her knees was performing orally on him. They stopped as I walked toward them. He was close to my age, somewhere in his late 40s and she was in her early 20s, so my first thought was that he had hired a prostitute, but it turned out that he was an unrelated “uncle,” a friend of the family, and no, her family was unaware that their relationship had taken a turn. Yes, it was creepy.
And then, we opened a brand new, joint, University-City library. Nine stories of educational support. No one would have sex in a library, right? Haha. Of course they would. Within the first week, one of the security officers called me into the control room, where he was watching the security cameras, and show me a woman giving a man a blowjob in one of the glass elevators. I contacted the couple on the fourth floor and explained what we had seen and warned them about their illegal activity. The security staff showed me the video of how angry she was with her boyfriend after I walked away. Later, at a weekly security meeting with library executives, I shared this incident with them. Part of me wanted to shock them and part of me wanted to show them what was actually going on in their building. In the awkward silence that followed my announcement, one of the University Library executives, a woman in her 60s, with her hair pulled up into a gray bun, said, “Well, it was lunchtime. She was probably hungry.” Now, who was shocked?
In an area where we frequently caught prostitutes parking their johns and doing their jobs, I found a car whose license plate had a confidentiality flag registered to the County Sheriff’s Office (meaning that the owner worked for the Sheriff’s Office). I was emotionally preparing myself for an uncomfortable confrontation with an off-duty deputy when I contacted the driver, but he did not look like a deputy. The passenger definitely looked like a working girl and I got ID from both of them. I asked the guy who was busy trying to zip up his pants, “Who owns the car?”
His eyes got wide. “My girlfriend.”
“And what does she do for the Sheriff’s Office?” And now his mouth matched his eyes.
“She’s a dispatcher.”
I asked my dispatcher to send a deputy to my location and to give them the license plate. Once the deputy arrived and realized what was going on, the boyfriend got to walk away without a citation. But he also had to walk all the way home, about a forty-minute drive away. I sometimes wonder if he got home before all his stuff was packed into hefty bags and left on the front lawn.
So these are some of the more memorable incidents, however it doesn’t include all the times that I discovered someone masturbating at the library, or the couple of times that I found prostitutes plying their wares hidden in a small conference room in the library, or all the students I found in classrooms and offices that they thought no one would enter, or everyone in their cars that don’t think or don’t care that anyone else can see them. Either way, it’s never as fun as you think it will be and it certainly isn’t pretty.