December 9, 2019
Crime took another vacation yesterday. That doesn’t mean the officers weren’t busy. There was plenty of follow-up to be done and crime from the previous week to be solved. While we wait for that work to happen, let’s enjoy a fictional account of A Day In The Life Of Officer Friendly.
A day in the life of Officer Friendly
The alarm on Officer Friendly’s phone sounded off like the wail of a police siren. It was tempting to throw it across the room, but he didn’t want to pay for a new one. Instead, he tapped it off and wondered why in the name of all that was holy had he signed up for day shift this rotation. Five-thirty a.m. was too early for any sane person to have to wake up, but he needed to be in Jackson by seven or he’d miss the start of his shift. Not only would his team be counting on him, but the other officers waiting to get off shift.
That spurred him to action and he stumbled out of bed, nearly falling as he tripped on a tangle of dirty clothes. Laundry wasn’t a priority in his life. Neither was picking it up off the floor apparently. Bleary eyed, he made his way to the bathroom. Five minutes later, found him standing back in the bedroom digging through the closet for his uniform. He pulled it out and frowned. It was only the second day for this uniform, but he was going to have to send it to the dry cleaners and grab a clean one. The previous days shift had been a hard one. The two traffic accidents and disturbance calls hadn’t been that bad, but the domestic had ended with him wrestling in the dirty parking lot with the suspect. The uniform was a mess, covered in dirt and a little blood. He checked the pant leg again to make sure there weren’t any holes. Satisfied it was intact, he emptied the pockets on the floor and wadded the pants in a ball along with the shirt to take to the dry cleaners.
Picking a clean uniform from the closet, he pulled the plastic cover off and threw it at the garbage can. He gave it a brief once over to make sure it was still serviceable, then slipped into the pants, tied his boots on and gave them a quick polish with a dirty sock. Satisfied, he began transferring everything he’d emptied from the dirty uniform to the clean one. A folding knife clipped to his pocket, leather gloves, rubber gloves and keys in the various pockets. He slipped on the shirt, patches on each shoulder identifying his department.
Reaching into the bottom of the closet, he pulled his vest carrier from the floor. The thing seemed to weigh a little more every time he picked it up. He heaved it up and slipped it over his muscled torso. He was still in good shape at the age of twenty-seven. It wasn’t officially a job requirement to stay fit, but police work was unpredictable and you never knew what you were going to be doing. A life may depend on his level of fitness, maybe even his own. Besides, he’d have to buy a whole new wardrobe if he ate too many donuts, good as they were.
After shrugging the carrier on, he patted it down to make sure everything was there; two sets of handcuffs, Taser, radio, tourniquet, and body camera. Yup, all there. He looked for his gun-belt and then swore softly and shrugged back out of the vest carrier. It was easier to get the gun belt on without the carrier in the way. Grabbing it off its hook in the closet, he wrapped it around his waist. Making sure the Velcro strip aligned with the inner belt he already wore. He settled the weight on his waist, grimacing a little as it dug into his hips and then snapped the four keepers in place that would anchor the belt. Checking the placement of his gun, he grabbed his carrier again and shrugged it back on.
The weight settled on him, the thirty pounds of the tools of his profession. His heartbeat skipped a few beats faster. The thing that weighed the most was the gold star, shining brightly on his left breast over his heart. The symbol of his authority. He’d sworn an oath never to betray it and he never would. He loved his job. He loved everything about it…well, most things. It did have its moments. Officer Friendly checked his watch. It was time to get moving. The citizens of Jackson needed protecting.