By Daiyu Lubezki
Dear readers, Daiyu Lubezki here with a report from down in Laveau with the ‘LSO’, that’s the Laveau Sheriff’s Office for those who have not been down here. Some people I’ve heard say call it the Laveau Sheriff’s Department, or ‘LSD’ for short. The generous reason is because their office and jail is perched high up in the air, the more likely reason is that certain residents seem to have a view that a percentage of all the narcotics seized or even just trafficked into Laveau goes via the Sheriff. But those are just rumours surely.
It was during the purge that I drove down in the rickety Observer news van and parked at the foot of their tower. The stench of death was upon Laveau, apparently due to flooding of a cemetery, perhaps connected to the Mystery Carnival that had been sighted around…
Covering my nose, I was greeted at what can only be described as a gang-plank, needed to be walked over to reach a ladder, which itself had to be climbed before your reporter could even say she was at the building. Waterproof boots for the law enforcement officers are a real must here, with damp and mildew combined with baking temperatures during the summer and fierce storms during autumn.
Meeting Officer Bellic
Senior Deputy Bellic met me and carried my camera equipment up into their tower, giving permission to take some photos of the facilities. Once I had got these out of the way, I could concentrate on the interview with Bellic who spoke carefully, with consideration and came across as a man both in need of company and one who keeps perhaps deeper emotions mostly to himself. At no point did he come across as some ‘backwater hick’ or as some nefarious kingpin, rather a man of the law making do with not much to do (hopefully in his view) policing by consent.
I asked the officer about law enforcement down in Laveau, where places like ‘The Serpent’s Den’ or a nearby asylum mark the area as perhaps more dangerous and rundown than even Hathian itself.
Observer: “Hi, I’m Daiyu Lubezki from the Observer. I understand you wished to have a small chat and a tour of your facilities?”
SD Bellic: “Yes, well firstly, welcome to the Port of Laveau, I’m Senior Deputy Bellic. I’m sorry for the stench by the way, we’re still recovering from the storms and well then… bodies…so many bodies came up. I’m not sure, maybe a graveyard got flooded.”
Observer: “Mind if I take some pictures before we get started then?”
SD Bellic: “Mi Casa Su Casa. I’m not saying it’s the prettiest building in the area, but you know the view’s pretty good and somehow it was able to survive the storm’s wrath.”
After I took photos of the jail and the deputy himself, I noted there weren’t that many other places. There was an observation deck (our headline photo) and some radio equipment. There were also some interesting looking swamp boats or hovercraft that I understand the LSO can use in pursuit of drug runners, but otherwise, it was a whitewashed timber building standing tall, proud and old at the seafront. There was definitely that mildew smell.
Observer: “So, law enforcement isn’t exactly an easy job, but nor does it get that great reviews back in Hathian… I guess what I’m asking is where do you want to start? I’ll confess that not many people invite the Observer down this way. So except from some rumours and a few leads on some stories, it’s pretty virgin territory… so what’s the gig? What are we covering here at the LSO?”
SD Bellic: “Well, I guess I’d like to start with is that people seem to think Laveau Sheriff’s Office is some kind of corrupt organization. And that’s simply not true. While we’re under funded, we try to do more with less. You see, we don’t have that fancy state of the art building that Hathian PD has. You see, we just want to make sure that people are safe, they’re not bothered, and the businesses thrive.”
Observer: “I understand that view, can’t say many citizens agree that about the HPD and what I would say is that probably the HPD would say the same thing… Give or take large cash donations from Lt. Fyre for HGH, we hear the same complaints and in fact, some are saying that this so called ‘purge’ going on down there is led by HPD! So I guess what I’m asking in response to that is whether you perhaps have some examples of the help, support or crime you’ve solved down here? It’s nice to bring it to the nitty-gritty… and ideally not helping old ladies cross the road… more punchy…”
SD Bellic: “Yeah I heard about that there purge. Bunch of idiots deciding they can come down and wreck havoc on people. See that doesn’t happen in Laveau, we like to keep things nice and orderly. You see that’s where the HPD and Laveau SD differs. HPD is all about solving crime where here at LSD, excuse me LSO, Laveau Sheriff’s office, we’re all about preventing crime. You see we try to work closely with individual businesses to stamp out crime before it happens.”
If I was some newbie reporter I’d have been quite impressed here. Community policing and all that. Policing by consent. The broken window effect. But you know me readers, there is a risk of corruption anywhere and although it’s fair to say that I had not had Laveau citizens approach me with tales of woe (just tales of mermaids). Therefore, since it was my first visit and I’d like to believe things were clear (even if I knew they probably weren’t) I gave the deputy the benefit of the doubt.
Observer: “So you have cells here though. I get what you’re saying, but this is a big area right? Not known for great, if I might say it, standards of living. How do you prevent crime then? There are rumors of various serious criminal groups, I mean I know one is meant to be some kinda Chinese triad? I totally get prevention is better than cure which is better than digging up the dead body later to give it a citation… a la HPD style… but maybe an example would help bring it to life?”
SD Bellic: “Well I’d say every community has its unique problems, with Laveau the infrastructure and well any kind of community planning. We just try to do more with less. I’ve heard rumors of some criminal groups but we don’t really have the resources to track them down. We’re mostly trying to make certain the streets are safe.”
The word impunity wasn’t mentioned, but it almost sounded like it. But can you blame the cops if they don’t have the staff or resources? Maybe… maybe not. Still with triads and other groups at work and Twitter throwing up some odd ramblings from the various Yhengs and others who made Laveau their home, things were surely happening. Did the LSO see it and ignore it? See it and participate in it? Or just not have what they need to find it as the senior deputy said.
Observer: “Ok.. so crime prevention, I get that… but what’s in it for people in the department? Surely you don’t want the pitch to be… ‘we have less stuff… we have less crime and we talk to people a lot?’ I mean, it kinda sounds like back where I’m from in England. C’mon you’ve got bodies washing up on the coast, a strip club or something called ‘The Serpent’s Den’, there must be something juicy to flavour policing out here?”
SD Bellic: “No, I mean, I’d say it’s come to work, collect a pay check. If I wanted action I’d have joined Hathian Police Department, if I wanted to be totally bored I’d have stayed at Harvey Correctional Institute, but I think that closed down.”
Well that was… kinda boring. I wondered why they needed new recruits if all they did was kinda talk and walk… Things were probably not as they seemed, so I’d have to dig a bit more. I’m sure that would be ok right readers?
Observer: “Hah… you’re making this hard in regards to writing this, so far I’ve got… ‘pay check’, ‘chatting’ and ‘less crime’. I mean for some that does sound appealing I guess. But it just doesn’t look low crime, you know what I mean? Like, yeah… this place would worry me if I was a resident, but I guess if you’re saying crime is controlled?”
Of course I was dubious…
SD Bellic: “Look, you don’t see any crime right now do you? What you’re seeing here isn’t from crime it’s from a lack of basic infrastructure. The roads are garbage, potholes everywhere. Hell you have to climb a ladder to even get to the Sheriff’s office, imagine a concerned citizen wanting to write a report. Oh and I’m not asking for nothing, just thought that for some reason the Sheriff’s Office got some kind of bad rap, just wanted you to see how normal things were. It’s kind of peaceful out here. As long as it stays that way, well we’re pretty satisfied.”
We were running out of time and for now reader, we’ll leave you with those thoughts, but rest assured, a few words here and there indicate that there is more to meet the eye than just lack of investment. While Laveau appears a close community, little birds whisper and the Observer is collecting a few stories here and there.
I do wish Senior Deputy Bellic well in hiring ((OOCLY: LSO/’LSD’ is looking for new cops, so if you’d like a different vibe, darker perhaps, please do reach out!)) and I hope that the way he talks about policing is what it is. But… if you hear differently citizens, you can always let the Observer know! Whisper away…
((Registration for LSD/LSO in the tower in Laveau))