>>> Primal Urges
By staff writer Nathan DeGraaf
May 10, 2006

Luke: Man, my neighborhood got raided in the middle of the afternoon last Wednesday.

Nathan: That was Operation Cool Breeze.
Really? It sure looked like a raid to me.
It’s actually more of a sweep than a raid.
Luke: Whatever, dude. A cop in my backyard is a cop in my backyard. You can call him Elmer Fudd on a stack of Playboys if you want. It doesn’t make me any less scared.

Here in North Tampa, just down the street from the seven hundred square feet of grandeur that I call home, police officers, code enforcement officers, and animal control officers all put aside their differences, French kissed, showered together, and then decided to go looking for all types of minor violations as a part of something they called (and yes, this is actually the name they chose) Operation Cool Breeze.

Operation Cool Breeze is based on the idea that a community can eliminate serious crimes by being incredibly strict about lesser crimes. This would sound stupid as hell if it wasn’t the same philosophy that Mayor Giuliani used to clean up 42nd Street (and other parts of Manhattan), effectively changing 42nd Street from a meeting place for illegal trade into an upscale, outdoor mall. So the idea works, even if the name doesn’t.

Apparently, Operation Cool Breeze was a success. It was so successful, in fact, that the results of this urban mission with a pansy name were printed in the local newspaper. The following list outlines the success of Operation Cool Breeze.

“As someone who never paid for cable until well past college graduation, all I can say is, to my cable stealing homeys, I feel you.”

Five Dogs were Seized

Nice job, Animal Control. Somewhere, a kid who couldn’t find his dog’s collar Wednesday morning is crying like a PMS victim during a chocolate shortage. Way to go, gentlemen. (Golf clap.)

TECO Made One Theft of Service Case

TECO is Tampa Electric Company. Apparently, they caught a guy stealing electricity. What kind of low rent punk steals electricity from their neighbor? I mean, really…I could understand stealing your neighbor’s newspaper or banging his wife, but stealing electricity? That’s just wrong.

Bright House Cable Shut Off Cable at 33 Residences for Theft of Utilities or Nonpayment

As someone who never paid for cable until well past college graduation, all I can say is, to my cable stealing homeys, I feel you. (Sidenote: I love how the punishment for stealing cable is usually just the forced shut off of the cable. Why would you not at least try to steal it if there’s no punishment for doing it? I am clearly not the only one who thinks like this, which is good to know.)

So basically, the cops used Operation Cool Breeze as a chance to pull a bunch of people over and ticket them. Way to clean up the neighborhood, jerks.

Four Narcotics Arrests

I don’t feel bad for these people because these arrests were made in the middle of the afternoon on a Wednesday. I mean, seriously, can’t you at least wait until sunset before you bust out the crack pipe, you unemployed losers? (Wow, where the hell did that soapbox come from?)

One Trespassing Arrest

Jesus, forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who ticket us for them.

One Open Container

I love this. As I mentioned before, Operation Cool Breeze took place in the middle of the afternoon on a Wednesday. Clearly, whoever got this ticket, assuming he or she can complete a sentence, is Points in Case material.

(Hey Sully, find that kid and get him a blog or something. At the very least, we’ll have another drinking buddy.)

One Vehicular Seizure for Forfeiture

This is a fancy way of saying that they repossessed a vehicle so that a bank could get some money back on its investment. My tax dollars at work and all that.

I have no idea what the TRIP center is, but it sounds like the kind of place a kid skipping school would want to visit. I mean, don’t two of the three meanings of the word “trip” imply some kind of good time? If I were running this gimmick, I would certainly rethink the name.

Twenty-Seven Inoperative Vehicles Tagged

Hey inoperative vehicles, you’re it. (Sorry, I just couldn’t help it.)

One New Complaint to Building Inspectors

Hey building inspector, my balls itch.

Two New Complaints to the Transportation Department

Hey, Transportation Department, my balls itch in a traffic jam.

Thanks to Operation Cool Breeze, absolutely no felony arrests were made, no lives were saved, and some kid’s parents had to pay $150 to get their dog back. On the bright side though, the electric company, a bank, and the cable company all made a little more cash. So, all’s well that ends well.