TV fiction

I like the TV show “NCIS,” which is both drama and partially comedic about the Navy Criminal Investigative Service. NCIS is the detective agency for Navy and Marine Corps crimes. How much the show represents today’s NCIS, I don’t know. From what I’ve read, from real NCIS investigators, not much but they find the show entertaining.

My experiences with what was then called “NIS,” the Naval Investigative Service when I served in the Navy 30 years ago, was limited. But the civilian detectives I had dealings with in NIS were not the most brilliant Crayons in the box. I voluntarily met with NIS agents once after my barracks roommate decided to rob a pizza delivery guy one night with a knife. The guy had told me prior to it happening that he thought he was going to “rip some people off.” What can you say to someone like that? Especially to a 23-year-old alcoholic who talked to a rock? I didn’t know what to make of this dude, whether he was serious or not. The guy and a buddy ended up robbing a pizza delivery guy on the base of $50 and a pepperoni pizza. They were caught trying to go out the front gate of the base.

I ended up talking to NIS because I had told my division officer of my roommate’s revelations. The two detectives I talked to were just like Joe Friday and his partner on the old “Dragnet” TV series. Both were obviously old men, stone-faced and where in the hell they had come from before being NIS detectives in Mississippi, God only knows. But I will never forget one of the questions one of the NIS agents asked me. It was:

“Did you see the subject eat pizza?”

Well, no I didn’t sir. I saw the subject drink beer at 0700, just after he got up to get ready for work. But I never saw him eat pizza.

Somehow, I don’t think those are the kind of questions Mark Harmon would ask. My roommate ended up getting 7 years hard time, by the way.

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