Interview With Rob RIley

Rob Riley has a collection of stories based on his years on the police force, TALES FROM THE BLUE LINE, it’s out now from Down and Out Books. Jon caught up with Rob and asked some questions…. Jon: 32 years with force. How did things change while you were there? Rob: The mood of the country was quite different in 1969 when I joined the Milwaukee Police Department as a police aide. Tensions were high with the combination of enormous groups of protesters in the streets on virtually a daily basis. There were many causes – the Vietnam war, racial issues, the way the government was handling things, and so on. Veteran officers told me...

Tales From The Blue Line #29 Nov18

Tales From The Blue Line #29

Few things are as demeaning to a modern day law enforcement officer than being called a “Wyatt Earp.” Depending upon the circumstances, the officer will laugh it off, or be a bit insulted. This is not news – it has long been a rib tickler thing for cops – but of course sometimes it’s true. That goes without saying. When an individual cop steps outside the law, he/she must face appropriate consequences. There is compelling information that the OK Corral incident and followup was not properly handled. That unauthorized gun slinging ruled the day.   The Gunfight at the OK Corral was a watershed moment for America’s police type...

Tales from the Blue Line 25 Aug12

Tales from the Blue Line 25

Thirty years plus – the amount of time I spent as a police officer – can seem like an eternity, to borrow from an old cliché. But then so can thirty seconds, given the right conditions. Some who study time and space say that it’s proof that there really is no time in the traditional sense, that there are only events by which we measure and change our lives. Some predict that each of us will come to know the difference; to know the truth, in our own time and in our own way. Well, those are muddy waters for us folks stuck in the physical realm. Grasping for higher meanings aside, things can get especially twisted for we who were/are...

Tales From The Blue Line 24 Jul29

Tales From The Blue Line 24

It had been a busy stretch. An immediate assignment “right out of the barn,” as we used to say, virtually every day. At 4:00 p.m. we’d be running to the squad straight from roll call. Better this than getting some over-the-hill day shift detective’s meaningless follow up, one of my partners used to say. And he was right. Nothing worse than finishing someone else’s work because they wanted to go home on time, or because they couldn’t figure it out themselves. So off to the wild blue we went, laughing at the other guys who had to sit and listen to someone tell them how to finish their assignment. “This one’s a...

Tales From The Blue Line 23 Jul22

Tales From The Blue Line 23

I was initially assigned to the general duty section of the Detective Bureau. We investigated every kind of major felony, but mostly kept track of burglaries in our respective areas. Three of us were assigned to the same unit, to cover the days when one of us was off. We got to be good friends, and socialized a lot. We all had young kids and typical Norman Rockwell type families. We were all married. One of our wives was a registered nurse who worked at a local hospital, the others were homemakers. We were seasoned veterans, but there are always investigations that are beyond one’s ability to anticipate. I believe it’s called...