I don’t remember exactly when Eve came on the job, but after she completed the two required Police Academies and other training I met her. Eve was a veteran of the Marine Corps, so, she’d been around and certainly wasn’t a shrinking violet. I immediately liked her. Being one of only a few female cops at MPD she worked hard to fit in and be accepted as one of the guys, in what was then, with few exceptions, a predominately male police department. It didn’t take long for her to achieve that acceptance.
Although she was a rookie, it was impossible not to be drawn to her friendly, sometimes mischievous smile or smirk that she often displayed. She was outgoing and gregarious, and when she was pissed about something, she didn’t hold back and could cuss with the best of them. The other cops, when she was around, never had to worry about their language or the topic being discussed. If anything bothered her about some of these things, she never showed it and often joined in the raunchiest of discussions. She proved early on she could hold her own on the street and handle herself as well, and was never shy about jumping into a fracas and she could be depended upon to cover your back out on the block.
Eve went on to become one of my better friends on the job. She’d been to my house, met my family and everyone liked her. At one point, during my second stint back in Patrol, she and I worked together off and on.
One night, I ran into her at the station house after I booked a prisoner I had arrested. She asked me what I had. I told her, in a solemn tone that I had arrested a guy for forcibly raping his wife. I expected some half hearted off the cuff compliment about my felony pinch, but instead, Eve looked at me and said in a most sarcastic and dismissive manner:
“You locked him up for raping his wife? Oh, puleeeze. She should have just sent him to my house” and then she walked away. Not the most enlightened comment, but that was Eve. Of course, I knew she was joking. Typical station house banter between a couple of street cops.
One midnight, we were both partnered up in an unmarked car, and we were sent to the Northwest corner of the city, which bordered on the town of Hooksett. There were numerous large apartment complexes up there around Hackett Hill, and many of them were very nice buildings with a clubhouse, in-ground swimming pool and a large gym. The problem was, on midnights we, and the residents of these apartments were getting murdered with car break-ins, and multiple residents would awaken to find their car windows broken out, the interiors ransacked and often extensive damage to the interior of their cars.
It got to the point where the dayshift guys who worked in that sector were getting pissed at the midnight shift because many days they’d get out of roll call, and before they even got a chance to pick up the morning cup of coffee, they were sent up to take multiple theft and vandalism reports within those complexes. One day, I actually found a car up on milk crates, the tires removed by thieves presumably to steal the expensive rims that previously adorned the car.
So this night, Eve and I headed up to Hackett Hill and some of the other nearby apartments. We set up surveillances at hot spots throughout the night, moved around and tried to be unpredictable. Needless to say, nothing notable happened that night, but I was thankful I was wasn’t by myself and had someone personable to talk to that night.
One of the stories that she told me that night was that a few days before, she went to the cleaners to pick up some cleaned and pressed uniforms. She brought them to the station that night, and when she tried to get into the pants, she found she couldn’t fit into them. Turns out, the uniforms she was given belong to another cop, who was a rather thin guy. Now Eve wasn’t overweight, but I’d describe her as rather full figured, and there was no way she was getting into that pair of pants. We had a good laugh about that, and that’s how the night went.
About 4 or 4:30 AM, nothing was happening. We were bored and getting a little sleepy, so we pulled over to take a short nap. Yeah that happened sometimes on Midnights. No matter how much or how little sleep you got, sometimes those slow midnights were hard to stay awake for. We didn’t miss or dodge any calls, we just needed to close our eyes for 20 minutes or so. The rest of the shift was rather uneventful, and finally, the sun came up and thankfully, it was time to head in.
One day, about a week or so after that, I got off duty and headed to District Court. The prosecutors provided a room for us cops so we could sit around and wait for our cases to be called. It was a place where we could wait and not have to rub elbows within the lobby filled with defendants and felons waiting for their turn as the wheels of justice slowly rotated.
Despite having to go to court following a midnight tour, and even worse on a scheduled day off, hanging out with a bunch other cops who were also waiting for their cases to be called or resolved was sometimes even enjoyable. I guess there is some truth to the old saying that misery loves company. We usually talked cop stuff, union stuff, joked around and so forth. It was one time that you knew you belonged to a special fraternity and outsiders (except for prosecutors who sometimes hung out there) weren’t allowed this glimpse into the private world of police officers.
Although Manchester District Court covered only the City Manchester, unlike most other municipal courts, from time to time an out of town cop would have to appear in court, and they were always directed to the waiting room with all the Manchester cops. They always got an earful while we all carried on, telling stories, joking with our somewhat twisted sense of humor, and especially shitting on each other. Other times NH State Troopers would be there, but we worked with and knew most of the Troopers from nearby Troop B, so they usually (but not always) fit in well.
However, if a Supervisor was present, whether from MPD or the State Police, we usually toned it down a bit around them. Also, I learned that when I was at a gathering such as the district court waiting room, it was wise for one not to talk about another cop or a boss and say anything bad unless it was something that I would be willing say to that person’s face. Sadly, there were always those cops who would run back with our gossip, primarily to ingratiate themselves with whatever boss they thought they needed in order to get along easier or pave their way to coveted assignments. We had a term for those types of cops, and we called them “Ball Sucks”. Not nice, but an accurate descriptions of certain cops. The “Brotherhood” existed, but sadly, it wasn’t as tight or as strong as most civilians believed.
At times these daily get togethers got so boisterous that it caused court officers to come is and sheepishly ask us to try to quiet down a bit. They were sheepish about it because they often depended on the off duty cops who were present to assist them in quelling disturbances and deal with violent defendants and sometimes family members. Looking back on it, those mornings in court could be enjoyable. You could always count on plenty of gossip, a few laughs, and seeing cops that you wouldn’t otherwise cross paths with.
On this one particular morning, Eve was in court and she was going on and on about something keeping everyone entertained. She saw me arrive, as well as the cop whose pants she accidentally picked up at the cleaners. I’ll call him Ben, not his real name. Eve starts talking about her week. She then announces to everyone in the room that none of then have anything to bitch about because she got into Ben’s pants and later that week she slept with Swirko. That caught everyone’s attention.
She had that impish twinkle in her eye as she made those statements, and cops, being prone to gossip and spreading rumors, listened up intently. After she got the reaction she had hoped for, she then explained the joke. Everyone thought it was funny. She then went on to regale the crowd of cops with more “working with Marty Swirko” stories.
Up to that morning, I had kind of a weird run where I ended up fighting with quite a few females. One older women I was trying to take into custody kicked me in the groin. I had to fight with a couple of juvenile females who were either runaways or just acting up at home. And there were a couple of drunk women that decided they would rather take me on than follow advice from me to leave the bar they were in and go home. A few of the women I arrested continued to fight and act up, even after they were brought to the station and booked. One woman, who had earlier cut her wrists, attacked me in booking, and after being placed in a cell, stripped all her clothes off and defecated, smearing her feces all over the inside of the cell. My fault, of course.
This run of bad luck hadn’t gone unnoticed by the cops I worked with, and I ended up enduring many insults from my brother and sister officers both during Roll Call and in Booking. The big joke was telling me that I really knew how to treat a lady and asking if I was getting tired of getting beat up by young girls. Cops could be gracious and compassionate on the street, but with other cops they were merciless.
So, after getting everyone’s attention about getting into Ben’s pants and sleeping with me, she goes on to talk about my “Woman’ Problems”. She goes on and on about how she’s heard about me be being beat up regularly by women, then she went on to tell a story about a night we were working together.
She goes on to say that she was working with me and we went to a bar fight. Eve continued with her story while I sat there.
“So, when things quiet down, Marty and I see this woman who was shitfaced. She was really bad. She was kind of behaving herself up to that point, and Marty went up to her and started to talk to her and was really polite and everything an all of a sudden, before he could finish his sentence, WHACK. For no reason this broad punched Marty in the face. You should have seen the look on his face! (much laughter)
“So guys, I’ve seen it first hand. Women hate Marty and I know it’s not his fault because I’ve seen women attack him for no reason!” She went on for months telling that story and the fact that I have to be careful because women love to beat me up on the street.
My mother died in early 2001, and the night after she passed away, who shows up at my house, with Irish whisky and about 15 other cops. It was Eve, first one through the door. We drank all night. Sometime later, I walked in to the station and overheard a bunch of cops talking about me. I was foolishly hoping they were talking about how great a cop I was or telling a Swirko story. They were telling a Swirko story alright. This one cop, who was at the house the night after my Mom died was telling the other guys that he had never seen anyone drink as much as I did that night and at the end, I was still standing upright. I still don’t know if he was paying me a compliment or not. Regardless, the Swirko reputation, such as it was, was added to.
Eve went on to become a department armorer and eventually was transferred to work on the range.
In 2005, as many of you know, my brother and I (he was also a Manchester Cop) went to Iraq. Eve decided to take it upon herself to do these drives throughout the PD in order to collect food and other comfort items and put together these large care packages for my brother and I in Iraq. About six months before we got to Iraq, another Manchester cop went to Iraq. He was a great guy, and a Command Sergeant Major in the NH National Guard. He was in another part of Iraq, but our time in Iraq overlapped and we stayed in communication with each other during the time the three of us were there. Eve also sent care packages to him.
One day Frank and I picked up our care packages at a base in Iraq. The box was great, but curiously, each one contained a giant box of Cheerios cereal. I never saw such big boxes, and neither of us had ever stated a desire of need for cereal, never mind Cheerios. Frank and I both exchanged glances and wondered out loud why the hell she would be sending us Cheerios. We put the boxes aside and didn’t think much more about them.
Eve had emailed us later and asked how we enjoyed our Cheerios. She then told us to make sure we ate our Cheerios, (wink-wink, which you really couldn’t do by email). So, we opened the cereal box and found several assorted nips of various liquors inside the box mixed in with the Cheerios!
Now, General Order Number one in our Theater of Operations was that possessing and drinking alcohol was forbidden. This was probably a good thing for me, and other troops, because if I were able to drink, I’m sure I would have got loaded each time I survived a mission.
Frank and I never disciplined a soldier for possession of alcohol in Iraq, and there were times when I looked the other way. Therefore, none of us we felt like hypocrites when we eventually consumed and shared our good fortune with other team members. Yup, Eve was a good buddy and tried to take care of us even when we were so far away.
Shortly after we returned from Iraq, I found my self working with the Sergeant Major. We talked about Eve, and the packages she sent us. He told me it was weird, but Eve had sent his a giant box of Cheerios. He told me he didn’t like cheerios, so he gave to box away to another soldier without opening it. When I told him what was in the box he gave away, he realized what a blunder he had made. We both laughed.
Eventually, Eve left the department. She married another Manchester Cop and when he retired they moved to FLA. After a few years, her husband returned to Manchester to stay, but Eve wasn’t with him. I never heard from her or of her again. But I really enjoyed working with and knowing her.