Pulp Friction: The Thin Blue Line Vanquishes Its Purple Prose

San Francisco Police Capt. Greg Corrales recently announced he would no longer be writing the weekly Park Station newsletter, where he had made a name for himself among readers with his daring descriptions of criminals and their misdeeds.

According to an Oct. 26 e-mail, Corrales says he was sad to report that he would be delegating the newsletter duties to someone else on staff. “I have enjoyed writing the newsletter very much and I appreciate the tremendous support I have received, but I must devote all of my time to the safety of the district. The new format of the newsletter will be the Dragnet format (just the facts),” Corrales writes.

That'll be an abrupt change from the provoking prose, tucked in among staid updates on community meetings, which Corrales had been using to regale readers. Here's an example from an August newsletter, which is disseminated to as many as 1,000 readers in his district: “Officer Bowers encountered a flagitious foulmouthed floozy fiendishly fighting. Further investigation revealed that the horrid harridan had destroyed property belonging to her wannabe paramour, and had pulled a witnesses [sic] hair.”

Another one: “Sgt. Meyer surprised several somnolent scalawags strenuously snoozing in the park. Sgt. Meyer cited all four of the noisome nappers, at which time he discovered that one of the dastardly deadbeats was a fugitive from justice with 18 active warrants out for his arrest.”

Corrales' goodbye came not long after he learned the San Francisco Office of Citizen Complaints was investigating him for writing a “biased newsletter.” According to Corrales, an anonymous person filed the complaint against the police captain, claiming he was taking a bit too much creative liberty with his writing. (A representative from the OCC says it doesn't comment on cases, no matter how alliterative.)

“The complaint said I was biased, and I freely admit that I am biased against muggers and burglars,” Corrales says, adding that his writing style is likely influenced by the 1940s hard-boiled detective novels he reads. The complaint went on to accuse him of “violating the presumption of innocence.”

“But as you saw, I never mentioned names or gave addresses, so it never reflected on any one person,” Corrales says.

He goes on to say that the OCC cleared him of any wrongdoing, and insists he wasn't booted from his editor-in-chief duties. Instead, he says he voluntarily decided to stop writing the news, despite the fact that he was having a darn good time doing it.

“Just call me a frustrated writer,” he says.

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