(from September 2007)
Immediately after my back injury I didn’t really think too much about what I would be missing as an active duty police officer. As time goes on, however, I find myself missing the job and all it meant to me. Although my wife would absolutely hate it, I would love the chance to get back to work and fight the forces of evil (in and out of the police station. I'll share more on that in my new blog "Back of the Badge."
The best thing about the job is the friendships and bonds that are formed with those whom you work with. One of the many “good guys” on the job that I had the absolute honor to work with was a man named Brian Hughes. To myself and many others, Brian was the kind of guy, and officer, you could always count on. As patrol partners, we had a lot of good times as I recall more than one occasion I nearly wrecked the police car laughing so hard. It wasn’t all fun and games though as together we caught a lot of bad guys. Brian and I made a good team and it’s that camaraderie that I miss.
One winter, while working night turn, I had the flu so bad, it was an effort to drag myself to work especially after being in a jury trial all day. For that week, all I recall was getting into my police car in the city garage after 11:00 pm and Brian waking me up just before 7:00 am. For the whole shift, he took all of the calls and literally did all the work while letting me get the rest I badly needed. That’s the kind of guy Brian is.
On the lighter side, one of my funniest, yet most disturbing memories was the day Brian and I hit the drive thru at McDonalds. Now, as police we’re always a little leery of the staff at our local Mickey D’s. Between the guys on parole and the women who were jilted after a bad date with someone on our police force, you never knew what extra goodies awaited you under that innocent looking sesame seed bun. It’s one of those “Don’t think about and it’ll go away” things. This day, however, Brian and I couldn’t avoid the paranoia. After we ordered, we were asked to pull up to a space in the parking lot. An employee will “bring it right out”. After a few minutes, I felt a bit uneasy as to why it was taking so long. It was then I looked back toward the restaurant to see a handful of employees with their faces pressed against the glass looking at us. With their eyes as big as plates, half were fixated on us as the other half were watching the young girl approach the police car with our bag. All of them were snickering.
She walked toward our car as if she had just drawn the short straw in some sort of a weird human sacrifice lottery. She handed the bag to Brian through the car window and literally ran back to the restaurant. Needless to say, that bag met the first dumpster we could find and that night we ate at Dairy Queen (you can watch them cook your food there).