"Don't shit on my team again, sir!" That conversation had taken place on Friday. It was now Monday evening and Sandra was still furious. Strickland had banned Sandra from doing her own undercover operation and had got uncover 'specialist' DI Tina Murray in to do it instead. It wouldn't have been half as bad if she had been an expert, but she had been a car crash. Not to mention Sandra thought the girl was damn rude. So Sandra had called for a meeting to tell her just that.
"Hello, you asked to see me". Tina, said chirpily at the doorway the Sandra's inner office.
"Come in, close the door behind you, don't sit down". Sandra wouldn't normally order a junior officer to remain standing especially since she'd been at UCOS. However, Tina had pissed her off from the start. Tina followed the order. "What were you playing at last week?"
"DAC Strickland seemed happy with the result, I am not sure what I've..." Tina stated, she mistakenly thought that reminding Sandra of Strickland's approval of her conduct would save her.
"Stop right there, DAC Strickland did not oversea day-to-day running of the case. I did! So what he thinks is irrelevant!" Sandra warned the younger woman.
"I know but I didn't do anything wrong" Tina retorted.
'"Tina you nearly blew the whole operation, your uncover was bloody crap and then at the graveyard you completely freaked out."
"That's unfair, I have been an uncover officer for 5 years I know what I'm doing, and the graveyard was frightening and I was staying in character." Was this girl actually real?
"Frightening, you work for the Metropolitan Police not a bloody toy store! You could of helped Brain stop Derek Hadley from beating up Gerry, but you froze and did nothing." Sandra shouted at the DI, she knew the boys could hear her, because they were all stood looking at her office window. For a team of ex-detectives, her boys weren't very subtle, for Christ sake she could see Brain passing around sweets.
"I'm sorry ma'am" Tina's eyes darted towards the floor and then back up again, like she finally remembered she wasn't arguing with someone of the same rank, but was being told off by a Detective Superintendent.
"I want you apologise to Gerry, seeing he is the one who was getting punched while you stood and did nothing. If we all clammed up like you did, it wouldn't of ended well. Civilians have the privilege of being frighten, we can not" Sandra voice was quieter now but still as firm. 'Have I made myself clear?' Sandra added to emphasise the point.
"Yes, ma'am" Tina confirmed that she understood. Sandra sighed now the undercover aspect of the case was dealt with, she could deal with Tina's attitude during the case. The boys attitude could vary but they were technically civilians, usually said sorry if she called them out and she knew the dinosaurs always meant well.
"So you can be respectful to a senior officer when you are being reprimanded but not an actual case." Sandra watched Tina scrunch up her face as she thought of a reply. Sandra waited a few seconds but got no response so continued. "You chose which of my team to take undercover with asking or even consulting me, you were explicitly brought in to go undercover not take over. When I subtly pointed this out you decided to go one step further by saying mine and Jack Halford's experience would be good backup. Backup, how dare you? Who do you think you are?" Sandra was shouting again by the time she had finished.
"I well, I was a bit in awe, I errr have heard rumours of Memory Lane for years. I really wanted to go undercover with him" Tina paused. Sandra still thought the woman was rude, but she believed her. Between Jack who had the Queen's Police Medal and two commendations for bravery, Brian 'Memory' Lane and Gerry who seems to have flirted with or annoyed of half of the Police in London, Sandra sometimes felt invisible during interdepartmental investigations. "I...I didn't mean to be disrespectful to you or Mr Halford".
"Ok, I understand what you are saying, however the Police has a stringent chain-of-command, for a reason, it isn't just because I like giving orders, I have a duty of care for my team and you, whilst you were attached to my case. I can not fulfil that duty, if you are off making your own decisions, Brian has a phenomenal memory, however that is not the sole factor I have to consider when deploying him undercover." Sandra watched Tina's face absorb this information, although as a DI she should have already of been aware of everything Sandra had just said. Yes the boys frequently disappeared and pursued there own line of inquiries but with around 100 years of policing between them it was slightly different.
"I'm sorry ma'am, I didn't mean to endanger anyone's life, I joined to save lives." Tina replied, for the first time she sounded unsure of herself "Is this going on my official record?" Tina had known about duty of care, but had never taken them incredibly seriously, police officers were all over 18 so they were responsible for themselves weren't they? She had considered duty of care to be like the terms and conditions documents that she never bothered reading.
"I don't think that is necessary, as long as you realise you can't just waltz in and takeover ongoing operations, leave the door open on your way out." She knew the boys would all be eager to share their thoughts on what they could hear.
"Ma'am'" Tina nodded and did as Sandra had instructed.
"Because you have always followed orders and have never stood of anyone's toes" Gerry declared as all three men came into the inner office. Jack and Brian giggled.
"Oh shut up, did Tina apologise?"
"Yes she did, I think you scared her a bit, she said 'Sorry for endangering your life Mr Standing' and looked so relieved when I said it was fine" Gerry laughed. Sandra realised she'd maybe been a bit harsh. However, she'd met people who thought they were untouchable because they had the ear of someone high up before and Tina mentioning Strickland as her defence had confirmed to Sandra that Tina was one of these people.
"Pub?" Sandra asked.
"Ok, but it's your duty of care to pay" Jack grinned.
"Can I have a packet of ready salted? Seeing it's also your duty care to make sure I don't starve." Brain asked. Sandra smiled at her boys.