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Baby, It’s C-c-c-cold Outside

I despise cold weather. Typically I try to deny the temperatures the winterness brings by wearing tanks tops and equally seasonably-unsuitable attire until the day I can no longer ignore the tingles of frostbite setting in. Today seemed to be that day. So I slipped into some skinny jeans, layered up on sweaters, added a jacket plus gloves -- gloves for goodness sake! -- and headed out to the Charlottesville Police Department to pay off some of the court costs I got slapped with for embarrassing its revered JADE Task Force team.

Somewhere near the UVA library I noticed CPD officer Todd Lucas in his Alero.

Never one to pass up an opportunity to exercise my freedom to photograph policemen in public places, I excavated a camera and, with few cars separating us, turned after the ice-blue-eyed detective. I waited for a throng of bundled-up students braving the windy chill to cross the boulevard, traveled over Graffiti Bridge, and was about to press the shutter when Mr. Lucas made a right down one of the University’s many cramped side roads. No way the driver would have failed to notice me trailing him down a constricted street like that. Nor was I much in the mood for any kind of physical encounter with him. I let the man proceed tailless.

While seeking a landing square reasonably around East Market Street, I recognized a stationary car as one belonging to a friendly local reporter. Probably he was there for some court case he was hot on. Once I found a spot for my own vehicle, I decided to include looking for the newsman on my to-do list to see if I couldn’t siphon any worthwhile scuttlebutt from him. I wrapped a colorful scarf -- scarf for goodness sake! -- under my chin and set off in the direction of 606.

I like to access the police station from the downtown mall area. ‘Cause I can easily stroll by its parking garages. ‘Cause I can tell by the cars inside who all’s on duty.

I didn’t get to peer in this time though; Detective Lucas -- yes, the same one from earlier -- was walking out of the underground law enforcement zone as I was edging the corner. He didn’t appear to realize I was me and I wasn’t tempted to test his memory. To avoid him, I casually skirted the paper machines and continued down the brickway of the agglomerated city shops.

I circled the block, entered the department from the front, and dropped some bills at the clerk’s office. I figured I’d hang until I thawed out some. I watched out the glass doors as people milled, came and went. Sgt. Mike Farruggio lumbered in. I’d taken a bunch of pictures of him at the Harrisonburg SWAT challenge; I knew caboodles about him long before then though.

A young black couple, a teeny toddler in the hands of the woman, came inside and had a brief discussion about whether “intent” was part of his charge or if it was just run-of-the-mill “possession.” The cute tot wanted to play on the payphone but her dad was disinclined to linger in the cop shop.

I observed Joe Fleming’s Impala glide down the lane, no doubt to settle at his favorite rest for it. The presence of his car prompted me to check the docket stuck to the wall for the afternoon court cases. Hail! Hail! The gang’s all here. Jimmy Bunch, Jon McKay, Jon Seitz, Tavis Coffin

I caught sight of the name Sorokti on the list, too. Craig Sorokti is another Charlottesville SWAT guy. First time I saw him, I think, was last year at a rainy-night Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement home invasion that required the tactical squad. Naturally I’d snapped shots of him in Harrisonburg also.

Returning to the four-door box that hauls me around, I believe Task Force Lt. Don Campbell and I passed by each other. I can’t say for sure though because the second it occurred to me that it might actually be him, I swung my face away and pretended to be fighting with the air currant for control of my hair. Remember, I am not supposed to have any contact whatsoever with these JADE members. And they’ve obviously no shame in whining about me.

I never did run into my reporter acquaintance but I got some nifty gossip from a cop source: the Virginia State Police cruiser that Trooper W.R. Floyd recently rolled is up at the VSP quarters off of Fontaine. I went and took photographs of it.

There’s an itsy-bitsy possibility I noted a few details about other autos in the lot besides.

A mostly uneventful day, nevertheless not the least bit uninteresting. It even warmed up some. Not enough for spaghetti straps, but, hey, there’s always tomorrow.