And in no time, there are gonna be even more second- and third-time drug arrestees hanging out in Cooleyville. I asked Bratton if, given the system’s abysmal failures, there’s really anything to be done about a free-range drug market. What can cops do about the box anyway?
“There is an ability with more resources to basically deal with that drug market,” Bratton says. “And we will, once given those resources, much as we did in New York. We have to deal with it effectively so we can, in fact, deal with the behavior issue. Can’t do that right now with the resources I have. Let me make it perfectly clear: We are getting more resources, but we’re not getting anywhere near what we need. We’re getting a thousand cops. I need 4,000. So that 1,000 cops spread around the whole city means that Smith will get probably around 40 or 50 additional cops over the next couple years. That’s not a lot of cops. There’s no quick, easy solution to the problems on Skid Row. What we’re trying to do is put people in there who enjoy dealing with problems, believe they can make a change and are trying to make a change. That’s the most we can hope for.”
Out of the Box
It’s been a little while since I descended into the underworld of the super dope cops in the box. A lot has happened in the meantime. My friend Alex got kicked out of rehab for kissing a guy named Ray, and I found out that the angry paparazzo who hit my car lied about having insurance. And then Captain Andy Smith called to tell me that Officer Rick Kellogg was dead. They found him at home a couple weeks ago, shot with his own gun. Rick and his partner Chris Luna were both up for promotion.
Detective Ron Hodges, the head officer in charge of Central’s narcotics unit, said, “Rick Kellogg was one of a kind. He will never be replaced.”
I asked Captain Smith if there was anything that would have tipped him off, even in hindsight, that this was going to happen.
“No investigation. No complaints. No psychiatric evaluation,” Smith said. “He was clean as a whistle. In my 17-year police career I’ve seen 12 or 13 suicides. People I knew. What other job has that side effect?”
I found out that Rick’s son is 14 years old. Same as Javier.
Lately, they’ve been shooting a big movie on Olvera Street. The intrusive production must really be fucking up Javier’s routine because I saw him begging on the street with a Styrofoam cup last night when I was getting some sushi over by First and San Pedro. He had on some filthy khakis and a black Eco T-shirt, stinking to high heaven. He was so high he couldn’t even talk. Kept pointing to his mouth and shaking his head but no sound would come out. His pupils as big as irises, he ran as fast as he could to the end of the block, then back. He was even skinnier than before, skin and bones. Apparently he hasn’t been getting his chippy on at all... Whatever.