Page 14 of 18 FirstFirst ... 41213141516 ... LastLast
Results 131 to 140 of 172

Thread: Daily Bread

  1. #131
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Penns Woods
    Posts
    2,162
    Another specialty position gets posted. It’s one you are intensely interested in. Nearing the end of your career, you’ve accomplished about everything any LEO would want to. You managed through the police academy with a high degree of competency in all categories. You survived a painful injury and surgery was successful enough to get you right into the field with minimal delay.

    You narrowly missed being killed at the beginning of your fledgling career, your inexperience put you in a bad position, your luck got you out. You cut your teeth on patrol related incidents and first responder type crimes. You sacrificed your own finances to get advanced training and spent inordinate time away from the family. Somehow your marriage survived the first half of your career with shift work and plenty of missed children’s activities.

    The last half of your career was spent in detective work and you’ve built an excellent reputation across all aspects of the criminal justice system. You survived being shot at, attacked with knives and hand to hand fighting. Through it all, luck and prior planning have been a theme. You’ve buried a few friends, who happened to be co workers. It’s time to plan the last chapter of a reasonably decent career.

    The position is a newly created cold case homicide investigator. The task.....review all the unsolved homicides in the Troop and select the most promising ones for resolution. The improvement of DNA analysis has made cold case work an extremely interesting endeavor. Never before available testing of evidence that has been warehoused for many years has now become available. All that needs to be done is resubmission to the lab. This coupled with the review of reports has yielded good results. Smaller and smaller samples are being accepted. There is even talk of evidence from “touch” DNA. Microscopic skin cells left behind by the suspect on clothing has been used to solve cases.

    You are being recruited to bring this program online. There is just one problem. You asked to work out of your home station. The Captain refuses. It’s his baby and it’s going to be based out of Troop Headquarters where he can keep tabs on it. Troop Headquarters is an hour more drive and effectively makes an eight hour day into a ten hour day.

    At home, your oldest son is planning to be married.....to his pregnant girlfriend. Your daughter is finishing up college and your youngest son is traveling around to baseball showcases for college recruitment. It’s a busy time at home. You’ve recently been talking about spending more time with the family and everyone has been happy about that.

    There is another guy interested also. He happens to be based out of Troop Headquarters. You are starting to recognize a familiar theme. Do you put yourself first....or your family?

  2. #132
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    3,321
    WS: wow that is a tough one.

  3. #133
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Penns Woods
    Posts
    2,162
    It is a tough one. You are not simply a logic driven person. Emotion has been and will always be an intricate part of being. Common sense and gut instinct is valued over strict adherence to rules, regulations, odds and probability. You’ve made some risky decisions in your career and through perseverance or luck.....they have panned out. You’ve gone against common practices and butted heads with superiors. Sometimes it’s paid off and other times you’ve lived with your decisions.

    You know it is pointless to discuss it with your wife. She will say, “It’s up to you. I can’t tell you what to do.” You have some time to think about it but another variable is revealed that you hadn’t thought about. Specialty positions typically come with a three year commitment. You plan on leaving in less than two years. You would have to break a promise. There’s nothing they could do about it. They know that and so do you. But the thought of going into something that you couldn’t finish adds confusion to your considerations. Is it that important, your integrity?

    The thought of resurrecting a long cold unsolved homicide and seeing it to closure for the victim’s family is a strong motivator. You already have the highest profile cold case in the Troop on your assigned cases list. And you are making excellent progress. The case has been considered by the District Attorney. You are so close you can taste it. It really is the position youve worked so hard to earn.

    The other investigator sits down in the chair at the side of your desk. You don’t know him that well but he has a reputation of being obstinent with supervision. You like that he stands his ground and won’t be pushed around. He’s very interested in the cold case position but he makes it clear up front that if you are submitting a letter of interest, he won’t. He respects your body of work, your reputation and your seniority. You understand that this is a sacrifice he doesn’t have to make. He already works at Troop Headquarters, knows the decision makers and could get the job over you.

    He has the training and some of the experience necessary but most of all you can see he is extremely motivated and has a plan of attack. This guy could make things happen. He’s willing to put in extra hours beyond his regular shift work. Hours he won’t get approval for overtime pay. Once you get started on certain things, it’s hard to drop. In the back of your mind you know you are not willing to do that. You will want to get home. Some things are becoming clear. You are not what they call a “company man” anymore. And you won’t take anything home to work on. This guy is divorced already and married to his job.

    Still it would be nice to have on your resume....for that after retirement consulting job.

    You are at the scene of a double homicide. One in the garage. One in the house. It will eventually get cleared by arrest but not before some long hours, tedious reporting and endless interviews. You look in the mirror and fail to see the spark in your eye. The shoulders are a little more rounded, hair graying and the tie that used to be meticulously arranged is loosened. THe top button is undone. You leave the house with less conviction everyday. You come back and fall into your recliner, tumbler in hand with your favorite drink. As you relax, you feel it. Your heart stops, skips and then irregularly beats. It scares the hell out of you. You place your fingers on the side of your neck and feel it. You are not imagining this. Something is wrong.

  4. #134
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    3,321
    Don't stop writing now you slacker I want to know what happens) Although I do know you are still alive.

  5. #135
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Penns Woods
    Posts
    2,162
    You keep placing your fingers on your carotid artery on your way to the emergency room. There it is. There is a strange feeling of tingling in your arms, a weird sense of panic, you don’t feel in control anymore. It’s not painful, just very disturbing like you expect to pass out at any time. It’s hard to keep your composure. Why do you keep checking your pulse? Your fingers have been on the neck of many who had no pulse. If that happens, it will be somebody else’s fingers on your neck.

    When you arrive and report your problem to the receptionist, you get ushered right in to a bed. That’s strange, usually it is a process of registering, sitting in the waiting room in the queue. It doesn’t take long for an EKG to be hooked up and running .....paper is being spit out of its mouth. The problem hasn’t corrected itself, it’s not going to without a little help.
    The doctor tells you your heart is arrthymic. Irregular in its beating. No kidding doc. He gives you something called a beta blocker and refers you to a cardiologist.

    The cardiologist puts you through the paces on a treadmill, uses a sonogram type device to examine the heart and pronounces you fit but with arrhythmia caused by stress primarily and aggravated by too much caffeine and alcohol consumption.

    Prior to this nothing could have separated you from coffee and bourbon. Now, it’s time to get this under control. And now that it’s under control.....it’s time to make a decision.

    You still havent submitted the letter of interest in the cold case position. It’s there. Done. Right there on the screen and ready for printing. You stare at it. As per regulations, you have acknowledged in writing that it is a position requiring a three year commitment. You are dead set on retiring before that happens. You have transferred several times before. His time, you don’t want to go. Youve got the best supervisor. Well, hes more like a younger brother. You’ve been in a couple tight spots with him. He’s the kind of guy you would follow. A natural leader. The other members of the unit are your friends. It’s a closed circle. No one gets inside it. You all do things a little “not by the book”. Unconventional. But you produce results.

    Your schedule is flexible. You pretty much write it yourself. By now, you know it just isn’t feeling right. You’ll take the mouse, hover it over the x in the left upper corner and click the letter into infinity. All that’s left to do is call the other investigator and tell him the position is his. He is gracious when he gets the call. When you hang up you picture him throwing his hands into the air and celebrating. You take your shoulder holster off and stuff the rig in your bottom drawer along with a stainless pair of peerless handcuffs and lock it. Then you drive fifteen minutes home and have dinner with your wife. It wasn’t meant to be...that’s what you tell yourself. It just wasn’t meant to be.

  6. #136
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Penns Woods
    Posts
    2,162
    Sometimes you are just in the right place at the right time.

    You are following a car on the interstate. A deer runs out into traffic and a devestating impact occurs. Pieces of the car fly in all directions, the hood buckles, the front clip flies off. Inside the airbag is deployed. The deer rolls up over the top of the car and is deposited in the hammer lane. Somehow the driver manages to get the car on the berm. You pull in behind and quickly drag the carcass off the roadway so nobody swerves and hits you or the damaged vehicle. Checking out the driver you discover she’s pregnant. And ready to give birth.

    Or you often keep an eye out for motorists who are disabled or parked on the berm. You usually stop to see if they need assistance. This time, it’s a flat tire. The driver is a little nervous but you file that away in the back of your mind and offer to change the tire for him. He becomes a little more nervous. Your instinct is telling you something more than a flat tire is going on. But what is it? As you stand at the back of his car and he stands at the front there is a pause in time while you think of an avenue of inquiry that would give you a clue as to what in the wide wide world of sports is agoin on here.

    A ghostlike muffled groan is heard. Did that come from the trunk of the vehicle? You hear it again followed by a thumping sound. Unless you are nuts, it’s clear there is something alive in the trunk of the car. You pull out a Glock 37 in .45 caliber point it directly at his chest and tell the driver not to move. The Glock is intimidating enough to get his attention. You order him to lay face down on the ground, arms and legs spread, palms up. He complies. You order him to look away from you. He does. This accomplished you quickly approach him and holster your weapon, and place your knee in the middle of his back. You draw out a set of handcuffs and get him secured. Using the keys, you open the trunk. There you find taped and bound and gagged ....a very lucky girl.

    Or you are a mentor to a new Trooper. This is a role you are assigned often. When you retire, many of them will attend your party and thank you for your insight and advice. But tonight you are simply on patrol and responding to calls. A part time township police officer has taken a report of a despondent man who took a rifle and left his house. Before driving away he told his wife he was going to kill himself. The township officer has found him but he’s alive and parked at a gas well threatening to shoot himself or anyone who approaches him. You happen to be less than a mile away.

    Believe it or not, your first response is that this could cause you a lot of paperwork. Quickly, you shift into “what if” scenarios and possible responses. When you arrive, the partime officer makes it clear. You are now in control. He relinquishes this to you. This isn’t unusual. They are poorly paid, poorly trained and clearly in survival mode. It’s nighttime. So you train your take down lights on the subject. He can’t see beyond the lights so he also can’t discharge an accurate shot at you. It offers both a measure of safety and illuminates the area quite well.

    He is standing at the drivers door with the rifle on the top of the car pointed away, finger on the trigger . It is a .30 .30 lever action but hard to say if it has a slide safety. Some do, some don’t. At this distance you can tell the hammer is cocked. A little negotiation only serves to aggravate him. He turns the rifle on himself. You know that on either side of the lane to the gas well, it is redbush. You devise a plan to circle around behind him and approach him from behind. Only with the rifle pointed at himself and cocked there is no room for error. He doesn’t see you dash into the brush because of the lighting. Your trainee keeps his attention talking a little bit. You make your way there, close enough now to tackle him.

    While you are deciding what to do next, he takes the rifle down from the top of the car, points the barrel under his chin and slips his thumb onto the trigger. Without hesitation he pulls the trigger. You hear a metallic click. No report. There’s no time to figure out why. You tackle him. The rifle drops onto the ground. Later you determine that the hammer fell on his coat zipper and prevented the firing pin from hitting the live shell. It’s your lucky day, and his too.

  7. #137
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    3,321
    Great stories WS! I am really enjoying them.

  8. #138
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Penns Woods
    Posts
    2,162
    Sometimes I walk alone. Perhaps along the south shore of a nearby lake, I walk alone. There is a nice asphalt bike path which rings the lake. It winds among maples, oaks, hickory and beechnut groves. Intermittent streams feed into the lake and slippery moss covered bridges provide a crossing. The air is cooler over these streams, the insects a little thicker and the rocky remains of stone fences separate the streams from the forest.

    In the fall, like yesterday, I walk at dusk. I walk during the magic hour between the last rays of sunlight that disappear behind the highest trees and the impending darkness. The sun turns into an orange ball and colors the sky purple and yellow. The lake appears as glass and the trees begin to appear as sillouettes. The reflection of the opposite shore can still be seen on the water. Autumnal leaf colors are perfectly doubled. It is cool, and wet leaves have fallen onto the path covering it completely. As I walk, the leaves swish under my feet until I stop.

    On the lake a loon. It is quiet. The silence is interrupted with a wail. It’s call echos among the trees. The smell of the leaves and the sound of the loon ....that is what I have come for. Some describe the call as mournful. I am comforted by it. Moments later an answer. Another wail but from a different location. One has found the other.

    Night will be here soon. Throughout the night leaves will continue to fall. The loons will pass through announcing the end to each day with a sad goodbye song and winter will chase the color from the landscape. I trace my steps back toward the start of the trail, swishing leaves that emit an earthy smell, racing to beat the darkness but not walking alone.

  9. #139
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    1,383
    WS That is evocative! Thank you!

  10. #140
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Penns Woods
    Posts
    2,162
    On your desk there is a stack of yellow folders. Each of them contains a report of an incident that demands your attention. Depending on the day, there could be 40-70 of them. With a forty hour workweek.....you do the math. While it’s important as a criminal investigator to have skills that include attention to detail, persistence, communicative ability to gain the trust of complete strangers, informant development and a thourough knowledge of proper police procedure and constitutional law.....your survival largely depends on your ability to manage your cases.

    In that stack are everything from thefts to homicides. Actually, the homicides are on a shelf behind your desk in blue three ring binders. They are in various states of completion. One unsolved, two pending court and one that is labeled equivocal for now. Equivocal means, not really sure.

    You are required to do somehting and submit a supplemental report on every case every ten days. Meanwhile, new cases are being dropped on your desk every day. The primary report is often done by a patrol officer. You look at the name and know immediately the quality of the report you are getting. There are a couple names which you know, if seen, will require you starting from scratch. Others will provide everything you need in a clear and concise manner. You go out of your way to thank those officers for not just going through the motions.

    You take weekend duty about once a month. During that weekend you catch everything that comes along. That includes child molestation and sexual assaults. During the week, one investigator has volunteered to handle the unbelievable amount of these cases that happen on a regular basis. Without someone volunteering, the cases get passed out in rotation. This investigator works closely with the child welfare department and the district attorney’s office. You are happy he has volunteered but a little jealous of his steady daylight position with every weekend off. Weekend duty can be hazardous to your caseload and your sleep patterns.

    Still, in all, you are thankful you have escaped the drudgery of patrol work with its rotating midnights shifts. And thankful that for the most part, you work alone. Being assigned a midnight shift with someone you don’t like or worse, don’t trust is torture. You recall riding with an officer who was uniformly disliked for his arrogance in the face of his incompetence. He chattered constantly and cackled annoyingly and he was physically unfit for the job. He was harassed about his obesity. Other officers often stuffed his mailbox with candy wrappers. But his most irredeemable trait was his cowardice under pressure.

    One midnight shift while riding with him, you are sent to a man with a rifle. Details are sketchy as they often were. He drives like a maniac on back dirt roads that haven’t been graded in ages. The washboard effect threatens to throw the patrol car into a tree on every bend. You tell him to slow down but he’s so focused on getting there fast that you worry you might not get there at all. There is nothing left to do but hold on and hope his side of the car takes the impact.

    Miraculously you arrive at the mobile home park you jokingly refer to as “Four Star Hotel Estates.” You know the location of the trailer because you’ve been here a few times before. In fact, the last time was when a ten year old found a loaded shotgun under the bed and accidentally shot his three year old step brother.

    Your partner wheels directly into the parking space not fifteen feet from the front porch but he makes sure his side of the car is on the opposite side as the entrance door to the trailer. You are exposed without cover or concealment. He jumps out and seeks cover behind the drivers rear of the patrol car. If 5eres a man with a rifle here, and he wants to shoot someone.....you’re dead already. You step out of the car and walk directly up to the door. There’s no protection so you have your Glock in hand and tucked behind your back. This has saved you critical response time in the past.

    Your intrepid partner has summoned the courage to walk up to the porch overhang with a shotgun directly behind you. Truth is now you are more threatened by this than a man with a gun. You knock and announce yourself several times. Any fire coming through the door is going to be devastating. You hear heavy footsteps on the thin floor of the mobile home. You try to position yourself where you have the ability to see immediately the person’s hands. The door flings open.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •