A cup of coffee

A cup of coffee, a piece of toast, a glance at the morning paper, and a leisurely stroll through a bloody crime scene. Sometimes, though, there’s no time for the coffee. Instead, the morning begins with a brisk, adrenaline-filled scuffle with a suicidal man who’s crazy-high on methamphetamine, or a lovely peek at a bloated body that’s teeming with hundreds of writhing maggots.

That’s how some cops start their day.

Others, well …

Maybe they’ll drop the kids off at school before heading to the office to finish up a report or the beginnings of a search warrant.

The rest of the day is a piece of cake—chasing drug dealers, shots fired, lost children, crying mothers, abusive parents, hungry children, murder, suicide, shoplifters, pursuits, fatigue, crack cocaine, addicts, prostitutes, burglars, no lunch, robbers, spit on by abusive citizens, battered spouses, drunks, rabid animals, lost pets, remove wild animal in citizen’s garage or basement, bad checks, autopsy, trip to crime lab, traffic accident, speeders, question witness, peeping tom, search for lost child in woods filled with tons of poison ivy, serve warrants, miss child’s play at school, citizen can’t get furnace to work, dog stuck in drain pipe, citizen locked keys in car, citizen locked herself in bedroom and doesn’t know how to turn button on doorknob to get out, pull unconscious man from burning house, citizen hears prowler, kids throwing water balloons at elderly people, check homes for people while they’re on vacation, testify in court, retrieve body of young woman from river, sit with elderly man because he’s alone and frightened and very much misses his wife of 50 years.

4-12 officer calls in sick … must work 8 more hours. So …

Drug dealers, shots fired, fighting, lost children, crying mothers, catch rapist …

 

Dog bite, punch in face, take knife from wife-killer, kid accidentally shoots best friend with father’s gun, woman jumps from overpass, teens fire shots at patrol car, third-grader struck by drunk driver …

Man with knife, woman with meat cleaver, boy with gun, teen with poison, attacked by people who simply hate cops…

Training for the day when, well, whatever can and will happen…

Search for drugs, search for weapons, search for explosives, search for people who want to kill you…

Anthrax, ricin, and other small things that kill…

Murder scenes decorated with blood, brains, and human tissue…

Working all night and then sitting in court all day the next day while waiting to testify about the guy who killed and butchered his neighbor’s child…

Destroying the dangerous drugs that destroy the lives of many…

Autopsy. Collecting fluid from the eye to determine if the dead guy had been drinking or on drugs when he collided with the school bus, the crash that killed nine little kids.

Transporting the most dangerous people in the country to and from various appointments—doctor, jail, prison, court, etc.

Running DNA test to determine the identify of a serial killer, the guy who raped and strangled mothers, daughters, cousins, and friends.

Standing guard over the people in your community who’ve raped, robbed, and killed your neighbors and friends…

Entering homes to search for violent offenders who’ve killed other cops…

Comfort a stranger whose loved one died in a car crash…

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Trying to leave it all behind at the end of the day so you can spend a brief bit of quality time with your family, knowing you’ll do it all over again the next day. Because it’s what you do.

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How’s your day, so far?

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