People ask me if being a cop is hard. Well, sometimes you have to hold it. The restroom of course… you have to hold it until you are able to get to one, and sometimes, that’s the easiest part…
“Partner, it’s time to hit the head, been holding it for the past three traffic stops.” After 5 years of being out of the Marine Corps, I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of that habit; calling the restroom the head. It’s so much easier, only one syllable. Marines tend to like monosyllabic words.
“Sounds good bro.” My partner replied as he texted his girlfriend good night. She was going to bed like a normal person, at night, while we were barely halfway into our shift.
And just like that… once again… an officer working the night shift was going to have to hold his piss for a few minutes longer… approximately 180 minutes longer. This time it was my turn.
“Shit, you see that?” I was referring to the metallic blur that whizzed by the nose of our Dodge Charger.
“Nah.” He looked up a split second too late. That was the problem, the car on the adjacent street was driving so fast, my partner didn’t get to see it. We were on a business street, not a freeway on-ramp.
Normally, speedsters slow down as soon as they see the police. This wasn’t normally. The thing about conducting traffic stop after traffic stop is, the abnormal likes to grace you with its presence, dropping in with its adrenaline-packed bag of random and sometimes nightmarish tricks and treats.
It would be cool to say my partner and I just know where to be at the right moments crimes are occurring, but for rookies like us, it’s just simple statistics. The more work you do, the more likely you are to run into crimes in progress.
As I revved the engine and followed behind the black metal whirl, I reminded my partner, “What I tell you Partner, never a trust anyone that drives a Dodge Durango!” I’d never actually told him that, it was just an ironic and sarcastic remark that in the moment explained the bewildering and nonsensical experience we were speeding into.
The past months had been marked by pedestrians and motorists being killed by hit and run drivers. While some of the victims may have prevented their horrific and abrupt demise by not getting high on PCP or meth and surely by avoiding standing in the middle of the road, others were just working their Uber/Lyft shifts, or simply commuting during the midnight hours. Either way, crimes had been committed and someone had lost a loved one to unscrupulous motorists.
Normally, we just show up after the fact, hold a crime scene, and take a report. But, like I said, this wasn’t normally, the first stop sign the Durango failed to stop at was followed by airtime and sparks.
I activated my lights and sirens and prepared for the inevitable failure to yield (just a hunch). A few seconds seemed like forever as we followed behind the metal Grim Reaper and waited for radio traffic to clear. Einstein was right, time moves slower as you travel faster.
We were never able to read the license plates past the first three characters. As the suspect vehicle ignored stop signs and red tri-lights, my partner finally got a chance to broadcast, “3A99, show us in pursuit of a possible DUI driver, let me get a back-up, airship and a supervisor.”