If it had been a TV show, it would have begun with, “It was 2AM and I was working midnight watch with my partner Dirty Harry. The boss was Sergeant Owens.
It had been a quiet night so far. I was just as happy since it was Harry’s first night back after the suspension. “So Harry what do you say, want to stop for coffee and a bagel at the Alamo?” I asked. Harry didn’t answer he was the strong silent type. He did look more or less as if he approved. That being the case I swung the patrol car into the parking lot of the Alamo Convenience store. I never did know why it was called the Alamo.
I left Harry in the car while I went inside. The coffee was from a serve yourself pot at least five or six hours old. I didn’t mind the main thing I learned during my short time on the thin blue line, was how to drink old coffee and not throw up.
The Alamo had a refrigerated section filled with all kinds of microwaveable quick meals. That night I had been thinking bacon egg and cheese on a bagel. I paid the clerk over three bucks for the really forth rate breakfast. At 2AM there were not a lot of options, so I didn’t argue.
Back at the car I opened the rear door. Once Harry had joined me, I called dispatch, “Dispatch, this is K9 unit 1 show me 10-7 code 10 at the Alamo.” I had just reported myself out to lunch, so to speak.
“10-4 Unit K9 hold your position the supervisor is in route,” the tired sounding female voice informed me.
“Roger that,” I replied breaking correct procedure, but hell it was 2 in the morning. While I waited for Owens, I turned Dirty Harry loose in the park to do his thing. Sure the rules said he was never off his leash while on duty, but fuck rules. Harry pretty much had things his own way by that time.
I called Harry back after ten minutes. I got him on the leash before Owens showed. I ate most of the pretty awful bagel, before i shared with Harry. Yeah that was another rule violation, but then Harry had saved my ass a couple of months earlier. So if I wanted to buy him a Steak, I would buy him a fucking steak. Nobody had bothered to check on our relationship since the incident and I was happy about that. I sure as hell didn’t need to spend months on a psychiatrist coach.
I watched the patrol car pull in and park beside my car. Sergeant Owens was at least thirty five. He also spoke way too loud for some reason. I had told him more than once to lower his voice, so I’m pretty sure I wasn’t his favorite patrol person. “Hello Sarge, what’s up?” I asked.
“Just checking in on you two,” he said. Owens was not the checking in on you kind of sergeant. He was more the, you really fucked up this time, kind of sergeant.
“Sure you were, so what is it this time?” I asked.
“Drug bust at 5AM, vice requested you and Harry,” he said.
“They don’t know me from Adam, they just want the dog’s nose most likely,” I said. I wasn’t upset it was what Harry did. Actually he loved it, so who was I to argue.
“Whatever, I’ll be calling you with an address closer to the bust time. The narcs don’t want to take any chances.” he said.
“Sarge do they really think we are going to make calls at two in the morning. Maybe they think we are all dirty, except I think they are the most likely to be taking stuff. Not a lot for a patrol officer to skim.”
“Well Marcha just take it easy. Follow the rules please,” he said smiling.
“Let me threaten to kill just one Doctor and I never hear the end of it. I did my time on unpaid leave,” I said.
“It worked out pretty good I think, You were off for thirty days disciplinary action, and Harry was on rehab leave for the same thirty days. I would say somebody was looking out for you, if I didn’t know better.
“Then it’s a good thing you know better,” I said.
It was true that me and the department’s vet had nursed Harry back to health. He most likely could have done just fine without us. Harry was one tough son of a bitch, literally.
For the next two hours I drove around looked for broken windows in the industrial area. Mostly that’s what Harry and I did. He and I worked the tactical response detail. Sergeant Owens commanded three units. Not exactly a big time assignment for any of us. The hours were crappy. We worked three midnight shits,then three evening shirts, had a few days off then switched back to midnights again.
The mission statement had us targeting industrial crime but also to assist everyone who needed extra manpower. That night it was vice, but it could be serving a warrant on an especially hard to find mooch at his girlfriend’s house at 4AM. It was just a crappy job reserved for people who fucked up somehow.
My fuck up was threatening the doctor in the ER. Harry just had to follow me since I was his handler. Poor fellow could be working regular hours if his handler was anyone else. I was more or less unit one, at least in my own mind. Unit two would have to be Martin Ruger, yes Ruger like the gun. Martin’s fuck up was telling a reporter the truth. One thing a street cop should never do is talk to a reporter about anything.
One of the cops on his old team was being hung out to dry by some political activist types. A reporter asked Ruger what he thought of the departmental investigation. Ruger said it was a waste of taxpayer money, since the political types were going to find his friend guilty no matter what the facts were.
He managed to save his friend, since enough reporters agreed that it was a witch hunt, but he got beat up for talking to the press.
The third unit was operated by officer Payne. Payne was a middle aged guy with lots of attitude. He had been in tac the longest. They said he had been assigned to the ‘children of the night’ permanently because he told the chief to kiss his ass in front of a councilman. They would have fired him, but it was also the councilman’s opinion. But everyone knew that the chief was an ass. So Payne would be a child of the night until he died, retired, got fired or the chief did one of those things,
Harry and I were the rookies on tac. We were also the first K9 unit ever. So far it had been two weeks and nothing but checking buildings and stopping drunk drivers. Not a very exciting life. Since Harry needed the light duty to complete his healing, I didn’t mind the boring nights.
At 4:30 AM I met with the Narc squad. There were four of them all flying on adrenalin at least. With Narcs, one was never quite sure that all their highs were natural highs. There was a lot of temptation out there.
“We are going to want to send Harry in first,” the Narc sergeant said to me.
“Sure we can go in and clear the house for you,” I suggested.
“Let Harry go in first and corner this guy. He is one bad dude,” the sergeant said.
“Harry and I can handle him.” I acted as if I didn’t know what he was suggesting, but I did. He wanted me to lay back and let Harry tree their dealer. Harry would tree him alright, but I would be there to watch his back. If I didn’t go in with him, Harry didn’t go. That was just the way it was going to be.
I was surprised to find Ruger and Payne at the meeting. The narcs informed me that there were lots of ways in and out of the house. They would not be surprised, if their man decided to go out a window. There was something just wrong with the whole thing but it had to be done. I smelled of a situation where I knew less than some of the others. I didn’t like that.
It was five minute till 5AM when Ruger hit the door with a metal battering ram. The door sprung open and Ruger stepped back allowing me and Harry to enter. I released Harry so that he could search out the occupants of the house. There were two occupants of the bedroom. One was a man and the other a woman. The woman coward in the bed, while Harry put the man in a corner.
Harry couldn’t watch everything that’s why I had insisted on going in with him. Harry rightly judged the man to be the real threat, but that didn’t mean that the woman was not a threat to a lesser degree.
Harry had his teeth in the mans right forearm. The man came up with a very long knife from somewhere. I couldn’t believe that he tried to slash Harry with it using his left hand. Harry would not release his grip on the man’s right arm, even as the man raised what amounted to a short saber.
He didn’t succeed with his murderous intent, only because I shot him twice in the chest with my service weapon. It was the first time I had ever fired it at a human. I was shocked and sickened by the effect it had on the man with the knife. The heavy 10mm slugs carried parts of his body tissue out the rear of his torso as they exited. It was a sight right out of a horror movie.
I had taken my eyes off the woman just long enough to handle her lover and then to be sure Harry was okay. I was about to turn back to her , when I heard more gunfire. She had come up with an automatic pistol from beside the bed. That was evident since she was sitting up on the bed pointing it at my back.. To my surprise Ruger shot her before she could shoot me or Harry.
Owens and the vice sergeant come into the room, with guns drawn, almost immediately.. “My god it’s shit together,” he said. “Meantime I want both of you to surrender your weapons, then go sit in the car.”
“Sarge, they need me to have Harry search for drugs,” I suggested.
“Alright, Payne you stay with Thomas, be damn sure you can testify to exactly what she and the dog do from now till we are relieved,” he demanded. “I’m putting Ruger in the car till IA gets here.”
Harry did his job. He found several small bags of white powder. It was most likely cocaine according to the narcs. What looked like a wholesale bag of weed and some rocks. All in all it was a good sized drug bust. It was going to be a night with no skimming, since the whole tac team was in shit city. We kept a very close eye on everything. The narcs didn’t say anything, but they didn’t look happy.
One of the younger narcs spoke to me when Payne wasn’t close enough to hear. “So officer Thomas is it true that you are fucking that dog.”
“Not really, but I’m sure he would be better then a pencil dick narc,” I said smiling at him. He wasn’t the first one to make such a comment.