Fifty Shades of Grey for the Street Cop

Gumshoe already suspects what some of you readers immediately thought about when you read this somewhat risqué title. Nope!  Gumshoe was not talking about a veteran street cop and a groupie.

Gumshoe was definitely not talking about the young and quite naive Anastasia Steele and her sadomasochistic sexual encounter with the billionaire sicko Christian Grey.  Please use the air sickness bag provided!

Personal note:  The book as well as the movie, “50 Shades of Grey” are both literal garbage and mind filth for sexual deviancy.

Early on in Gumshoe‘s police gypsy career, Gumshoe took to his compassionate heart and to his thick head the wise advice from a wizen field sergeant:

Remember Danny that the only thing in police work that is black and white are the police cars . . . everything else is grey!

That advice from one of Gumshoe’s mentors and personal role models held true to fact throughout the following years.

Cops have to be masters as well as practitioners of the disciplined art of “Critical Thinking”. Police academy training, field training along with police department protocols and procedures are mandatory learning for the uninitiated police probationary recruit.

Additionally, the state penal codes and the traffic codes accompanied with the federal court decisions covering search and seizure, and laws of arrest to use of lethal force must be followed.

All of these resources can only offer guidelines for the guy or gal behind the badge with a firearm on their duty belt who sometimes are called upon to make the on-scene, split-second decisions.

The folks on the receiving end of the 911 call don’t really care about how the cop is feeling or what kind of a day he or she is having.  They demand and deserve the best possible police response that is appropriate to the situation. That’s where the rubber meets the road folks!

Gumshoe learned that some of the police calls for service were in practice like trying to untie the Gordian Knot blindfolded or solving the riddle of the ancient sphinx when you have ice cream-freeze-brain-vapor-lock. Every call had a distinct shade of grey that offered a challenge to Gumshoe to get it right the first time since there were no “do-overs” or “King X’s”.

All highly effective cops develop through training and experience the ability to analyze the facts, weigh the evidence, use skeptical and unbiased observations in order to cut through the grey areas, and make sound and rational judgments.  Now that’s a really critical thing to put into practice.  No if’s and’s or but’s!

It is Gumshoe’s opinion that the acquired art of critical thinking has been lost on some of our current leaders in the arenas of politics, government, media, corporations, education, military, courts, entertainment, and church.

Maybe it’s time for all the citizenry to do the necessary critical thinking when it comes to the ballot box.  Just look around . . . no Rosetta Stone is needed!

In closing dear readers, remember to always love the ones who love you and even try to love the ones who don’t.

Coram Deo!


Danny Pitocco
Danny Pitocco
RETIRED (as a Detective with the Snohomish County Sherriff’s Department, Washington State), Danny has over forty years of law enforcement experience across city, county, state and federal levels of government, including service as a Special Agent for the DEA, US Department of Justice. He’s a decorated law enforcement veteran, and recipient of the "Detective of the Year" award for Snohomish County, Danny is a certified composite artist and has testified as an expert witness in the field of narcotics and modus operandi of particular crimes in state and federal courts in California, and has given testimony before federal grand juries. Danny served four years of active duty in the US Marine Corps and loves Jesus as his personal savior.

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  1. Another great article Gumshoe. Anyone that is or was involved in Police work knows there was many times you had to make that spilt second decision. Backup on the way, do I wait or run to the house where there is a burglary in progress. Do I enter the store where there is robbery in progress. Second guessing for some was always part of the job. Once you made that decision to act or wait you would definitely have to justify that decision. Think before you act. I usually was doing my thinking on the way to the call and then act once I arrived. Not recklessly but rationally.
    With most of our politicians today they don’t have the common sense that god gave a piss ant. Decisions are made not by whether or not that person is qualified for the job, but in some cases gender, race or just plain old they owed someone a favor.
    One more thing, during my 25 years on the job I liked working as a undercover police officer. I got to role play, I was my own boss and I was able to make decisions based on critical thinking, the situation at hand and not worry about what the brass might think.
    Like I have said many times, your articles always bring back some forgotten memory. Thanks again!!!
    Semper Fi

    • I’m always pleased to travel down memory lane with you Tom. I firmly believe that our “Type A” personalities had no problem making hard and fast decisions when demanded. Through the grace of God our decisions made a difference in many lives. Thanks my good friend in blue for your wonderful commentary.

  2. Critical thinking is important (often essential) in all lines of work, perhaps even life in general. However, as noted, it is usually done during a more or less comfortable time frame and life is seldom a factor. But, in the case of first responders, particularly in law enforcement, life is often on the line along with a time frame that can be only seconds in duration. While training and policy can provide a framework for decisions they are only that and one’s best judgment is always the final determining element in the course of action.

    I’m not sure whether critical thinking has been lost re. our “leadership” or whether the critical thinking is just being directed toward a devastating and evil path. In either case critical thinking when going to the ballot box (or deciding whether or not to go to one) has never been more needed.

    • Amen Ken! It is always a puzzlement to Gumshoe when folks seem downright confused when the facts are readily evident and they cannot make a good decision. Self ignorance is a choice! Thanks for your response my friend.

  3. Thinking on your feet and making sound judgments – like you said bro Danny, so many examples today of those ablities being a lost art. People sit in air conditioned offices and have all the time in the world (not to mention a group of advisores) and STILL make decision that boggle the mind!

    • Right on with your astute observation my dear brother. Critical thinking also termed discretionary decision making use to be taught in schools through robust debate, argument and discussion. However, the “woke-dopes” have definitely took over. Now us few folks sit back and watch these useful idiots eat their young as well as each other.

  4. Quite an interesting topic for sure! Critical thinking in the line of work in all areas is important, but when narrowing it down to those in uniform, both police and first responders, ie; firefighters, in order to pay attention to a certain pattern based too on their beliefs and actions. The separation is logic and common sense in my opinion.