When you have done a thing for so long that it has become second nature, you have a tendency to take some things for granted. This was me as I got back into a patrol car for the first time in almost ten years. Well to be honest, I had been in one more recently but only as a rider and not the primary officer.
One of the things that got my attention was just how much gear I had to wear. As an American man, I am of average height and weight. I stand five feet, 10 inches tall and weigh approximately 214 pounds. When I am dressed for work, I go from 214 pounds to almost 250 just by adding my gear. My belt alone weighs almost 26 pounds depending on what I am carrying.
Now add to that an almost 50 year old back and you begin to see just some of the problems I had in getting re-acculturated to patrol life. And I haven’t even begun to talk about my sleep cycle.
Like my character Nate, who is making the opposite transition, from patrol to detective life, I am having to learn the rules all over again. All the little things about the workday, how I talk to people and why. The settings for contacts with the various people I meet and how the fourth amendment of the constitution applies. It is all pretty wonderful. And on top of all this I have several different sergeants to deal with, unlike in CID – that’s another name for detectives – where I only had one. If I had hair, I’m sure by now it would be gray.