Thursday, October 8, 2009

Close, but no......

A police officer's career is exciting and dangerous. It's not however, all shootouts and frisky women. (A big city copper is polite and doesn't describe it as "bullets and blowjobs" like some officers would.)

There are areas where an officer can go his whole career without ever taking his gun out of his holster except for practice or qualification. There are also towns and cities where the high crime and violence forces officers into gun fights on a more regular basis. Not all gun play results in injury or death. Sometimes, it's a close call that could have gone bad but didn't.

A copper responded to a disturbance call one night. He approached the location and paused to put his flashlight into a baton ring. The door burst open. A woman screamed out "he's got a gun!" She ran out into the street followed seconds later by a man holding a very nasty looking revolver. The copper, in the middle of the street, realized he was still fidgeting with the flashlight. He succeeded in securing the light (they're expensive) then grabbed the .45 he had just purchased a few days earlier and had only just qualified with. (Strange, the things that run through a copper's head during a adrenaline surge.)

The armed man, apparently very intent on the woman, chased her into the street. The woman , screaming, ran behind a parked car. She kept the car between her and the gunman by running back and forth as he chased her.

The copper, gun drawn and leveled at the man, shouted "police, drop it". The man stopped. The copper shouted again. The man turned, looked at the copper for a long second ( the hands, watch the hands, crap, there's bullets in the cylinder, it's loaded, watch the gun, watch the gun,) then said "SHIT" and dropped the gun. The copper ran up, ordered the man against the wall, then stepped into the back of his leg and forced him to his knees. The copper backed away then called for an assist car to take the man into custody.

While off duty and returning to his car after traffic court one day, a copper watched a man approach a car that was pulled over at the mouth of an alley. The man pulled a gun and began to fire into the car. People began screaming. There was a school on the block and the kids were just getting out for the day.

The officer, pulled out his pistol and began to approach the gunman. A woman screamed behind him " AY DIOS MIO, OTRO!" (Oh my God, another one!) The copper couldn't fire. Too many kids and parents were behind the shooter. The gunman continued to shoot as the car screeched away from the curb. The copper yelled "police"! The shooter, a young male, turned and ran into the alley. The copper (remember, off duty so no radio) chased after him. The young man turned into a gangway and disappeared from sight. The copper, slowed down and began to carefully search for the gunman. After several minutes, there was no sign of the man or of any other police. The copper called it in and provided a description of the shooter and the vehicle but no injuries or damage was ever reported.

Cruising in the vicinity of a block party shooting, a big city copper spotted a man fitting the description of the man wanted for the earlier shooting. The man ran into a yard then continued out of the back gate. The copper gave chase and called out the direction of flight to other cars in the area. When the man turned into another yard, the copper immediately turned into a parallel yard and exited the front at the same time as the suspect. Unaware that the officer was approaching from behind him, the man ducked under a porch and pulled out a gun. He was hiding it under some stones when the copper came up and challenged him. The man looked back and saw the officer had a gun pointed at him. He put up his hands and surrendered.

After each of these incidents, the officer involved got the "coulda shoulda woulda's." He was second guessed by other coppers. "I'd have killed him" "You should have shot him" were some of the comments he heard. Like a true professional, the big city copper told them he never felt threatened or not in control of the situation so killing wasn't necessary.

Sometimes a close call is just part of another day in the big city.


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