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Traffic was just starting to pick up as I neared the office. I was nervous but in a good way, almost like anticipating when a roller coaster is about to start moving. I parked a couple rows back to make sure I wasn't taking any spot for patrol cars that would arrive later. It was only 4:20 so I had some time to kill. I went over to the explorer office and got a radio and stopped by the restroom on the way back to take a nervous piss. I stood there knowing I had to go but nothing came out. To me, this only meant one thing as I let out a sigh and headed for a stall. So there I was in this small stall with all my gear on trying to manuever around. I ended up removing my duty belt and set it at the end of the counter and proceeded to take my nervous shit. A few minutes later and I was walking out and back to the briefing room. A couple deputies had arrived and were finishing up some reports from the night before. I had set my stuff on the back table and proceeded to put my belt back on.
A deputy turned around in his seat and looked at me. "Steven?"
"Yes sir." I replied.
He extended his hand to shake mine. "Eric Daniels. Stan told me he had a ride along and I was floored that it was you when he told me. I talk to your mom often when I have to go to court. She sings praises about you but I don't think she ever thought you would be interested in this line of work."
"Yea, after a few years when I was younger of sitting in court watching proceedings, I knew I wanted to be in a line of work that I had witnessed. While I do like to debate my point on things, I just can't bring myself to pursue being an attorney. It was the numerous officers and detectives that intrigued me and helped me figure out what I wanted to pursue in life." I explained.
"Well, if you take after your mom then we are damn glad to have you!" Eric commended. "I am Stan's zone partner, call sign two-paul-four-adam."
I finished putting on my belt and decided to attach the corded mic to my shoulder strap. I took a seat and waited patiently for the rest of the squad to arrive and the briefing to start. Stan arrived a couple minutes later and asked me to come sit next to him a couple rows up.
The sergeant walked in and started shuffling papers on the desk. Everyone had arrived and the briefing began right at five. I didn't know what to expect but it didn't seem like anything too exciting, just some changes to the hot sheet, a list of recent stolen vehicles from the city, some areas to patrol more for certain or suspicious activity. When we were to be dismissed the sergeant made a point to identify me as a new explorer, who I was with tonight and of course mention my mother's name since she seemed to be how people knew me. As we were walking out, a few deputies approached and introduced themselves including a few words of encouragement and praises about my mom. I knew she was liked at the courthouse, unlike her judge but I was beginning to feel that parents should receive praises about their children, not the other way around.
I made my way to Stans patrol car and got in. He proceeded to give me a run down of the toggle switches and the more important ones I would need to know. The one for the spotlight on my side, the different number of clicks for the overhead lights. One for rear amber directionals, two will add the solid red and blue in front, three will add the strobe lights on top as well as the head lights and tail lights. The red switch next to that toggle turns on the siren and in case of emergencies or unless directed by me or another cop, this switch will trigger the magnetic lock for the shotgun to be removed.
"You can wear your seatbelt if you want but you will notice that over 90% of cops do not wear them. In case we need to get out in a hurry, the last thing we need is to undo a seatbelt and risk it getting caught on our shirt or utility belt. It's up to you." Stan added.
I opted to go without my belt and I enjoyed the freedom of not being held in place, knowing that if we got into an accident that I could be injured worse but I threw caution to the wind. "Want to put us in service?" Stan asked.
"Control one, 2P4, 10-8." A second later the dispatcher confirmed the transmission.
"Good job on your first use of the radio. If you are unsure of what to say, feel free to ask. If it is urgent and you forget a code, say what you need to but don't forget to kiss."
I gave him a questioning look.
"KISS, Keep It Short & Simple" Stan chuckled.
No sooner had we pulled out of the office we got a call. 2P4, 2P4A 415 verbal pending physical County General E.R. waiting room. "2P4 en route." I acknowledged. (415 - disturbing the peace)
We arrived a few minutes later to a shouting match between two women arguing over a man in the E.R. One was his wife, the other his mistress. It was rather mundane just breaking them up and ordering them to walk away or face a trip to jail. We got back in the car and thought to myself that my first call was a bummer. I wanted something that I see on Cops on tv, instead I got that. Sensing my discouragement Stan spoke up.
"It's not all car chases and shootings. You'll soon see why this job is rewarding. You will also see some fucked up shit that will get under your skin. Don't be afraid to talk about it if it is eating at you."
I nodded as he kept driving. We headed to a corner store and got out. Stan coded off that we were out of the car at the store. He walked over to the soda machine and got some 7UP. "Better get some sugar and caffeine in your system or you will be falling asleep on me."
I got a Pepsi and went to the counter to pay. The clerk looked at me and said no charge. I gave him a questioning look.
"This is a popular spot for cops in the area. No charge on fountain drinks to keep you guys going while you're on duty and with the steady flow of cops through the day and night, would-be robbers are discouraged from holding me up."
I nodded and gave him a thumbs up since I had a mouthful of soda. We left the store and drove around our zone making our presence known not just in the lower end parts but also the nicer parts of the area. We got a couple more calls but nothing exciting. It was just after 11PM and Stan asked if I was ready for dinner. My stomach growled thus answering for me. Stan got on the radio and had Eric go to the private channel and asked him if he was ready for dinner. He was also hungry and they agreed on a truck stop restaurant with a buffet. Ten minutes later we were all there. In total there were five of us, the K9 unit decided to join us. We all made our way through the line and got some food. Idle chit chat dominated conversation and after 20 minutes and a second time through the line I was stuffed. I sat back and grabbed my stomach.
"Had enough?" Stan asked.
I nodded as Eric came back with a bowl of soft serve ice cream. I got up and made a 3rd trip but for dessert. It wasn't that I was still hungry, I just wanted my money's worth. I came back to the table with a small bowl of chocolate pudding.
"Thought you were full." Eric said.
"It's pudding, there's always room for pudding." I replied with a smile.
"Okay guys, here's puddin' boy!" Eric raised his glass laughing.
The others raised their glass and I blushed. The K9 officer said a command and even the dog barked in approval to my new nickname. I paid for mine and Stan's meal and we headed back out on duty.
The rest of the night was slow. A traffic stop and a couple burglary calls were it. We got back to the office around 2:30AM so Stan could finish up with his reports. He said I could go if I was tired but I didn't want to leave until the shift had actually ended. So I sat there for about 20 miuntes doing nothing then remembered that I needed to return my radio to the charging dock in the explorer office. 3AM finally came and we dismissed for the night. I told Stan I would see him next week and got in my truck and drove home. I think I saw four other vehicles on the road going home. It made for a quick trip home and I was so happy when I got home and into my bedroom. I quickly took off my clothes and fell into my bed. I don't even remember hitting the pillow, it was just lights out.
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