“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”

"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Knowing when to say when

The stop starts to feel a little off from the first moment, he's taking too long to pull over and something just feels wrong. Unfortunately, the radio is busy and I can't get on there to at least get someone started my direction. When he finally pulls over and I start up towards the car he waits until I get right up to his bumper before he takes off. Now I'm running back to my car trying to let anyone listening know what's going on, even though it seems everyone is still telling their life's story on the air.

By the time radio finally notes the pursuit we're thirty seconds into things running through the neighborhood - that doesn't sound like long, but it can be a lifetime when you need it. He's blowing every stop sign and red light without a care, doing 60+ on a busy night; I'm doing my best to try to catch up in between looking out for citizens, but each street he's getting a little further ahead. I know people are trying to come to me, and I'm just doing what I can to keep everyone updated on where we're going and what he's doing.

I finally see some blue lights ahead and know I'm not alone. Unfortunately, he sees them too, and whips off in a new direction. Now we're running through another jurisdiction and he's still getting further ahead. Miraculously he hasn't hit anyone yet or caused a wreck, but it's close. By now he's got about three blocks lead on us and he whips down a side street and is out of sight. I get on the air, call everyone off, turn off the lights and slow the car down.

One of the things that's hard for cops to do is give something up - those of us who care about the job at least are dedicated and want to give it our all, chasing the guy til the wheels fall off, running through neighborhoods when out of breath, or fighting when you're already had a long night. But you also have to learn when it's not worth it - the times the risk to you and to the public is greater than the arrest you'd get out of this. It's a fine line that separates giving up too soon from taking things too far, and it always changes with the situation.

We find the truck a few blocks away, beat up and with the guy gone. Radio finally lets me know it's stolen, and a few pieces of evidence will hopefully give me an idea down the road to maybe charge him. If not, he'll mess up again. Fortunately, no one got hurt and I did everything right.

Still glad with the decision I made.

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