Happy 18th birthday kiddo.
I know you’re excited but please sit down.
You still want to be a cop like your old man? Well let me tell you a story and afterwards you can decide whether you really want to be a cop or not.
There was this guy I knew, Jack Boyd was his name, he came onto the force when he was young. He was an honest cop too, a real straight laced by the books kind of guy unlike most of the cops I worked with. He was actually promoted to Department Chief after he hurt his back chasing a serial killer, brass felt sorry for him I think. After that he worked hard pushing papers and eventually worked his way up to Freeburg’s Police Chief but on his 60th birthday something happened.
He was being forced into retirement in 180 days and nothing he could do would change that. So what does a man do when he is faced with the end and he has nothing left in his bank account? He gets down to the dirty work. Unlike most cops Jack had never taken a bribe or anything his entire career but this was a whole new ballgame and with the entire city’s police force at his disposal, gangs and cartels vying for dominance in the city, tons people to deal with, and the entire city looking at him when something goes wrong Jack had his work cut out for him if he wanted to retire with some pocket change.
As the city’s Police Chief Jack had all the power to decide who was hired, who was fired, who got sent to what crimes, and he monitored major cases. I’m sure hiring and firing seem mundane to you but let’s say one of the cops had a problem with some illicit substances and beats a woman half to death while on a binge, that’s now a problem that the Police Chief has to deal with. Each cop was different too, each had their own problems and talents that can be used or abused which came in handy when he was looking at who to assign to what case. Jack would watch over big cases and try to make them end the way he wanted them to, sometimes the right guy went to jail and other times not so much.
The police weren’t the only organization in town with firepower though, there were plenty of other unsavory groups that the police had to deal with. Sometimes Jack would send in the SWAT team to bust up a deal and the money would mysteriously vanish, sometimes he would get a tip and accidentally misplace it or send some patrols to the other side of town, and sometimes there would be a riot and Jack would send all the police to control it while some cargo was moved around.
Even though Jack was the Freeburg’s Police Chief he had a lot of people to answer to. The mayor was always knocking down Jack’s door about one thing or another, same with civic leaders, and other yuppies looking for a little attention. Everyone wanted to talk to Jack about police brutality or police budgets or dirty cops and Jack only had 24 hours in a day so he had to choose who to hear out.
And sometimes Jack had to go to the people. He would call press conferences about what he felt was necessary like murders or drug trafficking or budgets or riots or allegations of bribery or brutality or whatever people wanted to hear. He would actually write his own speeches too because he liked having choices.
So do you still want to be a cop boyo? If you do, you know where to go.
You can check out other editions of “Another View” right here.