Officer Mary had just finished a call with her beat partner where she had to convince a New Year’s celebrant to take his foolish, drunken behavior indoors. Her partner left in his car, and within 30 seconds she heard him broadcast the license plate of a car he was going to pull over for a traffic stop.
Something didn’t sound right in his voice over the radio. Officer Mary’s beat partner was sick with a touch of the flu and accompanying sniffles, but it was more than that. Her senses alerted her that something was going to be wrong with the traffic stop he was conducting. She began to wonder what he had seen. She spun a u-turn and hurried to his location. The final stopping point of the car was in an isolated and less desirable part of town.
Details were relayed that the car was occupied–times three. The car, registered out of East LA, its occupants, and the hour of their travel, all seemed out of place. All three occupants wore bandanas, and the ink on their shaved heads pledged allegiance to their gang. The officers cautiously approached the car and stated the reason for the stop. A third officer arrived.
After a lengthy conversation, the officer that had initiated the stop stepped away from the driver’s door window and went to his car to get additional information from the computer. The driver of the car either forgot about the two other officers positioned tactically around the vehicle, or he had other plans in mind–we will never know the truth. What we do know is that the driver of the car slyly pulled a revolver from under the dashboard and positioned it under his seat. The action produced a shout of “GUN!” by Officer Mary.
It was GAME ON! Both officers immediately drew their service weapons from the holsters and pointed in on the suspects. They shouted commands that pierced the cold night air. “Freeze! If you move, I WILL shoot you!” The message was loud and clear. The arms of the officers were rigid as they held weapons with great resolve. They were prepared to take any action needed to ensure they would both be going home to their families at the end of their watch.
Additional units were called for help. The comforting sounds of sirens coming from all directions could be heard as back-up raced to the scene. A thorough search of the car revealed a second handgun. Two of the occupants were arrested for possessing handguns and violating their parole. The car was impounded, and the third character was pointed in the direction of East LA and advised to start walking home.
The three men may have fired off some rounds in celebration of the New Year, or they may have traveled down from East LA to conduct gang business. Since they exercised their right to remain silent, Officer Mary never found out. What was confirmed is that Officer Mary and her beat partners went to their homes that night, and the gun-toting gangsters were taken off the streets.
Sick or healthy, law enforcement officers like Mary and her partners provide services for us day in and day out. They are on the front lines pushing back the forces of darkness and fighting evil. They protect and watch over our cities and towns at the risk of their own lives.
The next time you see a cop, smile and say hello. If the officer seems preoccupied or ungrateful for your gesture, forgive them. You have no idea what they may have just encountered or what is chirping in their earpiece. Remember to say a silent prayer for their safety, and remember their sacrifice always.
Lord, please watch over our law enforcement and return them home safely tonight to their loved ones. Thank You, God, for their valuable service.