Look, I know what y’all are thinking. What in the H.E. double heck is little ol’ Dalworthington Gardens doing with 99 explosive ordnance disposal robots? The whole dang town barely has 2,000 people. What do we even need one ordnance disposal robot for?
I can explain.
This all got going not too long after the Pentagon started its 1033 deal, where they transfer military equipment they don’t need anymore to local police like us. “Cop Christmas,” some folks call it. The program got a lot of attention after the cops in Ferguson hit the streets looking like the 1st Armored Division. Yeah, you can get pretty much anything you can think of. I mean, not anything. You can’t get a nuke, though I heard the chief up in Little Elm tried. Not to actually use, mind you. Just to scare some kids.
Anyway. This was back in ’95, ’96, somewhere around then. I was just a deputy. Our old chief, Roy Keith Plummer, he didn’t think we really needed anything, and I agreed with him. Shoot, half the time, I’d get home at the end of a shift and realize I’d left my gun in my desk drawer. You could keep the peace in Dalworthington Gardens with a stern look. What the hell did we need an armored personnel carrier for?
I mean, no one has to tell me that I’m not a cop in Dallas or Fort Worth or even Arlington. Hey, did you know that’s where Dalworthington Gardens got its name? It’s a—what do you call it? A portmanteau, yeah.
Anyway, so, okay, it’s about 20 years ago, and another one of the deputies, guy by the name of Cord Buchanan, his wife left him [whispers] for a fireman. So Cord, yeah, he’s pretty broken up about the whole thing, you know, just moping around the station. We keep trying and trying, but we can’t think of nothing to get him out of it. Then one day the chief comes in and says, “Cord, how would you like to shoot up an old squad car with an M240 machine gun?”
An M240! Jesus wearing a crop top, that’s a movie gun! Twenty-seven-point-one pounds of belt-fed, gas-operated firepower. Nine hundred rounds a minute. Maximum firing range of more than 4,000 yards. I tell you what, my pants are getting tight just talking about it.
Well, of course, that was the first time I saw Cord smile in about three months. Turns out the chief had decided to pick up a little something on the 1033 plan after all, just to see if he could get Cord back on track. And it worked. Man, did it work. Cord got a cramp in his trigger hand so bad that he went as Bob Dole to the Halloween party that year.
After that, I mean, why stop, you know? Any problem that came up, hey, 1033’ll solve it. Right? Like the 18-ton mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle, the MRAP. We got that just to break up parties over at Dimebag Darrell’s house over on Sunset, God rest his soul. We sent a kid fresh out of the academy over there once and didn’t see him again for three weeks. He came back, he had a bunch of goat bites he couldn’t explain and a wife named Destinee.
After a while, we started hitting up the cop store even when we didn’t need to. Like the ordnance disposal robots. I told you I could explain. I can, and I can’t. We got ’em from 1033, like I said, but for the life of me, I can’t tell you why we have 99. We got the first batch—I think the order was for 10, but maybe it was a dozen—so we’d have a team for our quidditch squad to practice against. You know—quidditch? Like from Harry Potter? We all started playing a couple of years ago.
I honestly have no idea why we got the other 80 robots. We have a lot of free time.