Spring had come to the mountain, and it was glorious. I have survived the last two months without being involved in any of Mary Ellen’s projects. I did pay off the Monk for saving my life, otherwise I had been celibate. How did I do it you asked. Well everybody showed me a lot of love at work and the community seemed to appreciate all that I had done. I guess I didn’t need the love of a strange man to justify my existence at that particular time in my life.
I was reporting for the new SOU for the very fist night. We finally got the special operations unit up and running. The SOU had lots of things different about it for instance we carried a shotgun and a AR15 police version of the M-16 assault rifle, in the trunks of our cars. If someone had to die in a shootout, the odds that it would be the other guy were better with them than with the S&W .40mm hand gun.
We had a lot of discussion about how to organize the Unit with so few resources. There were going to be two permanent members. From the start I was going to be one of them. Some people wanted a more senior deputy, so that he would assume a command position. Others wanted someone young and driven, much like me.
They finally settled it with putting the two sergeants, who had platoons in the field in charge of us. We had one sergeant form 8PM till 11PM and a different one from 11PM till 4AM. Our assignments were set by the Chief Deputy. So we never knew what we would be doing on any given night.
“I had never worked with Jake Learner, but I had passed him in the halls. I knew that he had a wife and a couple of young children. Why they had chose someone with a young family was probably to bring some maturity to the Unit. At least thats how I saw it at the time.
Learner was good looking in the gym rat kind of way. He filled out his uniform nicely I admit, If the Sheriff’s office ever needed a face for the posters he would do fine. Hell, he should run for Sheriff, I thought. He would damn sure have a fine campaign poster. Besides being married with the two young children, his mother lived with him. Christ he was the perfect partner, or at least he should be, I thought.
Since he had five years on the job, he would be senior office but that wasn’t a rank, He was to officer who should have most of the answers. If he couldn’t answer, it was up to the duty sergeant.
“Hello Sarge,” I said. “I’m reporting in the start my first night.”
“On paper it is a hell of a efficient use of manpower, I have to admit that. So where is your partner?” he asked.
“Don’t know, I have never worked with him before.” I said.
“He was on my platoon. He is a good cop. You won’t have to worry, if you need him, he will move heaven and earth to be there for you. Only bad thing its he sort of loves himself.”
“Oh really, how do you mean that. Like vain?” I asked.
“Exactly, he will most likely be neater and cleaner than you. I know you aren’t going to believe that is possible of a man, but it’s true. He will most likely try to convert you to his faith as well. Lots of church invitations and that sort of thing. A bit of a bible thumper, but all in all, he is not much trouble. Since you won’t be riding in a car with him, you should be fine.”
“So what do we have on to do tonight,” I asked.
“Here he comes why not wait a second so I can do it just one time,” the sergeant said. Then to Learner he said, “Hello Jake, you know Deputy Porter?”
“Never worked with her, but I hear good things about you Porter,” he said.
I nodded. I doubted that he heard anything at all, Let alone good ones. “So now that we are both here, what is our assignment tonight.” I asked.
“From now till midnight stake out the Northwest High School. Seems they have a graffiti problem,” the sergeant said.
“Yeah I have taken reports there. So why the sudden push the principal didn’t want anything done last month.” I said.
“Well the last round, the perp wrote Principal Evans is a cocksucker. The problem is that it just might be true.” The sergeant said.
“Why do we stop at midnight,” Learner asked.
“We want you to swing by and serve a warrant. He gets off work at 11PM so we think he will be home then. It’s a failure to appear, so we want you to bring him in. I don’t think you will have any trouble, he didn’t resist when they arrested him.”
“Okay, there are only two entrances to the the parking lot at the school. If it is a kid driving up, he has to go in one of them.” I said.
“What make you think he drives,” Jake asked.
“The walls he paints have always been near the parking lot. He either drives up, then does a hits and run, or he chose those wall for max exposure or both.” I said.
“Well it’s not to cold tonight, maybe it wont be too miserable out there,” Jake said. I hoped it wasn’t his way of telling me not to leave the car running for the heater.
We went into the parking lot for our cars. We were driving two of the confiscated drug bust cars. He had a Buick and I had a Ford.
“501 to 502… tack two,” Learner said into the radio.
“10-4 going to tack two,” I switch my radio to what had been the detective unit’s frequency. The were going to have more traffic from this moment onward.
“I just pulled into the parking lot of the convenience store. I can see any cars that go down the drive to the school from here.” Jake said.
“Okay I’ll pull through the parking lot. Jut to make sure we are clean as of now,” I suggested.
“Good idea,” Jake said.
I pulled the beast of a Ford into the parking lot. I couldn’t believe that drug dealers drove cars like those my mother drove. The thought of mom dealing drugs struck me as hilarious, and I laughed out loud.
I pulled into the parking lot and there was no fresh graffiti anywhere. That being the case I started to leave, but then I noticed a drive way that went behind the building. I pulled into it and found that it was a drive for the dumpster. The pickup man had to service the dumpster. I could sit back there and see anyone who drove in.
“502 to 501 do you copy?” I asked.
“Go ahead 502,” Jake said.
“I have found a good hiding spot here. I can see the parking lot but I’m not visible I don’t think.” I explained.
“I would say that one of us will see him, if he comes.” he replied.
“10-4 on that,” I said.
So for the next two hours I sat looking at the stupid parking lot. I had no idea how I would keep from going insane from the boredom. Then out of nowhere I saw him. He parked a bicycle and stood in front of the wall.
“501 we have a bite. He is a while male approximately 12-14 years old. Blond hair 5‘ 6“ tall 160 dressed in a blue coat with a pirate logo on the back. He is riding a bicycle. We need to get him before he gets on that bike and rides away on the sidewalks here.” I said.
“10-4 I’m rolling your way now.” he said.
“Come in hard so he doesn’t try to take off on that bike,” I said. Jake came into the parking lot on two wheels. He was out of the car before the kid knew what was happening. The kid ran about ten yards, but Jake was all over him. I silently thanked God that Jake was a gym rat. I still wasn’t able to run for speed yet.
“Kid you got any idea how much trouble you are in,” I asked as I patted him down. I zip tied his hands behind him, then seat belted him into the Ford granny car.
It was 11pm so we had our first arrest. I was happy about that. “There really is no reason to book him. We can just turn him over to his parents,” Jake said.
“We could, but we aren’t going to,” I said. “We need the numbers to keep this unit going.” I explained the obvious for him.
“Yeah but he is just a kid,” Jake said,
“One day that kid is going to be a man, Let’s help him grow up realizing there are consequences for his actions,” I said.
“It would be a lot easier on everyone just to turn him over to his parents. We know who he is. There is no reason to go though with the Juvenile booking. They are just going to turn him over to his parents.” Jake said.
“Well I’ll tell you what, let the sergeant make the decision,” I said. We booked him at that point.
Since it was after midnight by that time, we went straight to the address on the warrant. I knocked on the door since their were lights on upstairs. Jake was out back. The door was opened by a man, who looked as though he was ready for bed. “Could I help you officer?” he asked.
“Yes we have a warrant for your arrest, please come with us,” I said,
“What’s this about?” he asked.
“Says you failed to appear for a child support case back in November,” I said.
“The attorney said I didn’t need to go. That he had it continued.” He said.
“Sir I don’t know anything about that. I only know you have to come with us,” Jake said.
“Can I at least get my shoes?’ he asked.
“Jake, you want to go with him,” I asked.
“Sure thing, come on Wayne where are they,” He asked. I hoped that Jake knew not let him into the closet first, Jake did something right, since it went off without a hitch. He got zip tied just like the kid and seat belted in Jake’s car.
It took till 3AM to finish the booking of Wayne Waters. When we finished, I said to Jake. “You do know we forgot to eat.”
“I always carry peanut butter crackers just in case. Let’s go get a cup of coffee though.” he said.
“Fair enough,” I said.
We went to the waffle house across from the plaza. “God I love this unit so far,” I said.
“I think we are going to have a problem. That thing with the kid tonight goes against my grain. He isn’t going to be helped by time in the detention center.”
“Come on Jake, you don’t know that. You did all you could,” I said.
“But you didn’t do all you could,” he said.
“I’m not going to give you all the high minded cliche I’m just going to tell you we needed the number. Without the numbers they will shut us down, and I don’t want to go back to patrol.”
“Well, let me just say this, I was not comfortable that my partner wouldn’t stand with me,” Jake said.
“Well my answer is that we are not fishing. It is not up to us to be good sports. It is not okay for us to decide who to catch and release.”
“Yeah, like I said we are going to have a problem.” Jake said,