3 years ago

January 2020 Blues Vol 36 No 1

The BLUES Police Newspaper celebrates 35yrs. of service to Law Enforcement

MY WORST DAY started on

MY WORST DAY started on my 5th day in the academy. It wasn’t unusual to see the Captain walk into the classroom as he had made an appearance each day that week to offer his insight into what lay ahead for the 79 cadets in my class. But this day would be anything but normal as he walked up behind me, put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Jones, I need to see you a minute outside please.” Well hell, I didn’t even make it a week and already I’m getting kicked out. As I made my way to the door, I could tell every eye in the room was on me. I’m sure I was white as a ghost. Once in the hallway, the captain once again put has hand on my shoulder and said in a comforting voice, “Jones this is Detective Miller, you’ll need to go with him. He’ll explain once you get outside, and I’ll be here when you return.” Return? Where the hell was I going? My mind was racing trying to figure out what was going on. Miller shook my hand, opened the front door and escorted me out to the parking lot. “I’m sorry to have to drag you out like that. I know it’s your first week and all, but my Lt. asked me to bring you to him ASAP.” “Uh, Ok what’s this about? Where are we going exactly? I asked. Miller shrugged his shoulders and said “12000 block of West Main. That’s all I know’” “Unit 610 I’ll be back in from the academy and enroute to the scene with Cadet Jones. Advise Unit 60 our ETA is 30 minutes.” UNIT 610 THAT’S AFFIRMATIVE I’LL ADVISE THE LT. For the next 30 minutes or so, the detective didn’t say much. Asked me if I liked the academy so far and the obligatory “why do you want to be a cop” stuff. As we turned onto Richmond, there were several units parked outside a nightclub along with a crime scene unit and the ME’s van. “Unit 610 show us out with Unit 60’” SHOW YOU OUT. As I got out, I could see Lt. Smith walking towards us with a blank look on his face as well. What is it with everyone today? “Jones I’m Lt. Smith from Homicide. Thanks for coming down and I apologize for breaking you out of class” “I wish it was under better circumstances, but we’ll walk you through this as best we can,” said Smith. “Lt. what the hell is going on? “I need you to come with me.” I followed him through the side door of this club and could barely see anything it was so dark. We walked towards the back of the building, down a hallway to the restrooms. Once we got outside the women’s restroom, they were several uniformed cops, a couple of detectives and the crime scene guys Everyone seemed to be waiting on something, and once we turned the corner it became obvious they were waiting on me. They all stopped talking, seemed to bow their heads, and all backed away from the tiny hallway. The Lt turned around, looked me straight in the eye and said “Jones, as a cop you’ll be faced with the unfortunate task of telling families their loved ones have been victims of crimes, accident victims, and God knows what else. The bottom line, it’s the worst damn part of the job. For me it’s even worse that I have to share this with you.” “Early this morning a cleaning crew found a young lady in one of the stalls. Somehow the night shift that closed the bar didn’t know she was in here. They called 911, and the paramedics found no pulse and declared her DOA. Son, the woman’s ID says she is your wife. I’m so so sorry, but I need to take you inside to ID her and verify that she is in fact your wife.” “ There has to be some mistake, sir. I’m sure someone stole her ID. There’s just no way it can be...” As we stepped inside, there laying on the floor was the love of my life. I fell down to my knees and the tears flowed like rivers. I wanted to be strong. I wanted to be the brave cop I signed up to be. I didn’t want to break down in front of all these cops. But I looked up and they were all weeping and crying too. How? Why? So Many questions. “Yes ...yes sir ...yes that’s her “ The Lt. wrapped his arms around me and lifted me off the floor and held on to me as he escorted me out the door. “Jones, we have no idea how she got here but we’re pretty sure its an OD” As we sat down in a booth near the dance floor, I looked at the Lt. and said, “I’m 99% sure I know how she got here and I’m pretty damn sure you are right, it was drugs. Laura and I had met back when I was in high school. She was two years younger than me but looked much older than she was. Those blue eyes and blonde hair swept me off my feet the minute I first laid eyes on her. I knew from that minute on she was the one, and I would spend the rest of my life with her. We dated for two years before we got married at the JP’s office. My family never approved of the marriage, and the only family she had in Texas was her older sister. That sister unfortunately was a drug dealing piece of crap. When she found out I was going to be a cop, she immediately tried to convince my wife to divorce me and leave town with her. Unlike her sister, my wife wasn’t into drugs. Oh, she might have smoked weed a few times and occasionally got drunk, but nothing like the shit head her sister was. A week before I started the academy, I came home from work and found my sister-in-law snorting a line of coke on our coffee table. I went fucking nuts. I drug her ass literally out of the apartment and kicked the shit out of her. My wife, who had been in the bathroom, and came screaming into the courtyard. “What the hell are you doing?” I told her to get her fucked up piece of shit sister out of my sight and for both of them to get the hell out of my house. She packed a bag and left with her sister. “That’s the last time I saw her Lt.” That was last Monday. That was the last time I saw her alive. I had called her multiple times since then and begged her to come home and break off any relationship with her sister. “I’m a cop now Laura. I’ll get fired if they find out she’s doing drugs inside our house.” I should have tried harder. I should not have thrown her out. What the hell did I do Lt? What the hell have I done? We drove to the detective’s office downtown and I had to write down everything that had happened the previous week. They pulled video from the club and saw my wife and her sister in the club just before 1am. They issued a warrant for her sister and arrested her a few days later. (Of course, she was in possession of all kinds of drugs. The DA threw the book at her and she got 14 years. At her first parole hearing I showed up in uniform and told the parole board my story. They all cried. I also told them that if she walked out that door, I would take her ass out. Luckily, that never happened. She served nearly all of her 14 year sentence.) After we finished all the paperwork, the Lt. drove me back to the academy. It was late when we got back, and I was surprised to see the parking lot still full of cars. As we walked inside, every member of the academy staff along with every cadet from my class were lined up along the hallway and standing at attention. As I approached them, I heard the Sgt. give the command “present arms” and everyone stood there at full attention saluting me. I broke down again. Here was my new family. My Blue Family. My brothers and sisters in Blue. There I was, only 22 years of age and a widower. I had no idea how to plan a funeral, or what to do. Surely, I was about to be thrown out of the class, but that was hardly what happened. Every single person that day helped in some way. They raised money for the funeral and helped me with all the arrangements. We held the service on Saturday, so no one would miss class. After the funeral, the Captain took me aside and said, “No one will ever speak of this week again unless you mention it first. No one should start their career with such a burden on their back, but no one ever said police work was easy. There will be hundreds of ups and downs, but I’m sure you’ll be just fine. We are all here for you.” This was NO DOUBT THE WORST DAY I have ever had on the job. I had lost the love of my life, but I found a new love. The love of a new family that would always be there for me no matter how bad things got. It’s been over 40 years since I lost my Laura, but not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. I retired many years ago. During my career, I lost many of my friends. Some of them killed in the line of duty, many for medical reasons or just old age. One thing I’m sure of, they are all together with my Laura waiting for me just like they did that horrible day back at the academy. All standing at attention waiting to salute me when I walk through those pearly gates. Author’s Name Withheld By Request Thanks for Sharing Your Story. ED 18 The 18 The BLUES BLUES POLICE POLICE MAGAZINE The The BLUES POLICE MAGAZINE 19 19

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