All good cops cultivate whatever sources of information are useful. The people who live and work on the streets are excellent sources of information, not to mention a certain source of entertainment. Back in the late '80s I was working in a parish near Toledo Bend and there were a great number of landings and marinas whose population swelled during the weekends. What was probably the last whorehouse in North Louisiana flourished there during that time, under the guise of a bar and motel near a marina. Lots of fishermen came in during the weekend, away from spouses and girlfriends and that part of Louisiana took on a wide-open attitude. Vice was everywhere, bubbling just below the surface.
One source that I cultivated was a black street prostitute called Ney-Ney. Ney-Ney was supporting herself by giving oral sex at rock-bottom prices and she was willing to negotiate on her rock bottom prices for groups. She was a good source of information about people coming and going (no pun intended). She and I came to an uneasy truce: If I didn't see her actually plying her trade, I'd leave her alone and she'd pass along information that I normally didn't have access to. Occasionally I'd slip her a twenty so she could go home early.
One day I saw her limping up the road on crutches with a cast on her leg and I asked her about it.
"Well, hell, white boy. I was partying with a bunch of rednecks last weekend and when we was through, they put me out of the truck."
"You broke your leg getting out of the truck?"
"Naw, Damn! We was a bunch of us in the back of the truck and when they was through, they threw me out of the truck. It was going about 40 miles per hour. Mister Brandon (a local constable) picked me up and brought me to the hospital. If them white boys come back, Mr. Brandon is going to take them to jail." Ney-Ney hobbled up the street toward a local hangout.
Three or four days later I got a call from Dispatch of a report of a white gentleman in a red GMC pickup having a heart attack. I rolled on it from the north, and another cop rolled on it from the south. We arrived at the vehicle almost simultaneously. A white-haired fellow was in the front seat. His head was back and he was twitching. I called for an ambulance and got out of the cruiser then noticed a cast containing a foot sticking out of the passenger window.
"Ney-Ney," I hollered. "Get off him!"
Ney sat up, a surprised look on her face. I told her to get in my cruiser and wait for me there. I cancelled the ambulance and went to talk to the fellow.
He zipped himself up. "I paid her $50.00 and I didn't get my money's worth."
"And you're not going to, this afternoon anyway. Do we need to take you to jail and call your wife to get your truck, or are we going to call this a lesson?
"We'll call it a lessson."
"Yeah, an expensive one," I continued. "She'd have done it for five."
I dropped Ney off at her apartment and told her to stay off the highway during broad daylight.