You know, one of the most dynamic things about working the streets is that they are so…well, dynamic. You can go to work every day for a month and each day would be different. But, there is one thing about the streets that is consistently bad. Court after a midnight shift.
Imagine going to work at 21:00 hours, that’s 9pm for you civilian types, and working until 07:00 hours the next morning. Then imagine not getting off on time because you had a late call. Then imagine your having to be in court at 10:00am to testify about a case you worked. Then imagine that you have to be back at work again that same night at nine. That’s patrol.
At least that’s one aspect of patrol. You just never really know how the di will roll. Some days you go on and you can do circles upwards to a 100 miles driving around the city and not get into anything. Then you have the night where you might only drive 25 miles and go to jail twice and have been in a fight. You just never know.
But one of the hardest and best things about patrol is having the chance to affect the lives of people. Like the other night when I got a chance to help a mother in distress. What I really wanted to do was slip an arm around her shoulders and tell her it would be all right because I would pray for her. (Nate Richards probably would have done just that.) But instead, I walked the professional line and did my best just to let her know there were still good people in the world and that we care about what happened to her and her kids.
Then again, there’s the mom I found sleeping in her car because she’d lost her job and her house. Her estranged husband has her kids and all she had was a van and a blanket with which to cover herself. Yeah, the streets are a very interesting place. If you ever think you have it bad and things just can’t get any worse…well I’m here to tell you it can. Just remember the distressed mom or the homeless mother sleeping in her van. At least in my book Nate Richards always wins….Just saying.