“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

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Real life

"OK, go ahead and knock." I say to the second officer in line, as the shield up front moves just a bit to the side. My perimeter team is in position in case anyone runs, and the radio is blissfully silent for the duration of the operation. The sound of his hand banging loudly on the door momentarily is louder than my own breath in my ears; for the second time this night my mind is running through the possibilities and my responses - what I'll do if the shooting starts, if the door opens to the guy we're looking for or to someone else, and also thinking about the rest of the team I've assembled to try to serve this warrant and what they will do - who I can trust to do what, who I have to keep an eye on and everything else at a hundred miles a second.

Contrary to what Hollywood and the newspapers would have you think, every time we go to a house or apartment it doesn't involve kicking in the door, SWAT guys running through the building, or some dramatic shoot out with the guy who swears he isn't going back. The vast majority are as simple as a couple of officers knocking on a door, letting someone know they are wanted, and a quiet ride to jail. Some of them fall between the two extremes - this night is one of them. A guy who has a drug and gun history, and who the night before beat someone half to death and has new charges out. Now the word from his mother is that he wants to turn himself in, but really no details other than that. As the senior guy in the area tonight, and the one with the most tactical experience, I get asked by the supervisors to take charge of our trying to pick him up. Not enough of a threat for a SWAT callout at this point, but with everything in the history I don't want to give it a chance to get ugly if I can avoid it... So I've done the best I can with officers from two shifts, putting the experienced officers where I need them and letting the junior folks take more of a support role as I hand out assignments. Everything from which apartment it is and the layout, to how we're going to the door, to what way we're driving to the hospital if one of us gets shot is layed out in five minutes on the trunk of my car and then we head up the stairs.

The door is opened seconds later by a woman and a sleepy infant - as quickly as we can we shuffle them out of the way and find out where our subject is. Weapons up we give loud commands and I'm waiting for the drama to start the whole time...

And, like the great majority of these situations, he gives up with a whimper, not a fight - being woken up by a number of loud police officers all pointing guns at you, and the red dot of a TASER bouncing on your chest first thing in the morning tends to get rid of a lot of the street talk that happens in front of your boys. Seconds later he is in cuffs on his way out the door, and I'm explaining to a child and her mother why we had to come take daddy away this morning, and trying to ease some of the fear in her young eyes.

A few minutes later I'm on my way home, still thinking through the good and the bad parts for the next time it happens, and pulling into my driveway before he's even processed at the jail.

1 comment:

Broomell said...

dude....all I did today was go fishing.