Clear for 101
I got the call and ran to my squad car,
Where I was going was closer than it was far.
This place I know well, and they know me too,
The same old thing, maybe this time I will try something new.
Three units were headed that way, maybe four,
I strapped on my seat belt and slammed the door.
The engine roared as I tore out of the lot,
A deep inhale flooded my nose of booze and pot.
There would be no siren or flashing lights,
It had already been a long evening of drunks and fights.
I turned the first corner, then left to avoid a train,
The street lights made the road glisten, from tonight’s early rain.
I will get there quickly but safely, the most important call of the night,
Just ahead a familiar sign, comes within my sight.
I will be the first maybe the second squad to arrive,
That familiar feeling in my stomach returns, reminding me I am alive .
The car comes to a halt as I throw it in park,
This job can be dangerous, especially in the dark.
We may go in, or have to wait for the rest,
Each call different, each factor will determine what is best.
Two more show up, the first there was the officer on that beat,
Clear a path for the police, when the call comes that it is time to eat.
Sorry, but not sorry, to build a little suspense with the call. I laugh at this because this can be so true. I try to be realistic, but fat guys like me need to eat. In some “ten code” language, a “101” is a request to take a break and have lunch. That is subjective because you can quickly be called away regardless if you requested a break or not.
Much like my poem, “The Five Foot Table” many life’s decisions are made by cops in a restaurant booth. Important decisions like, family, retirement, complaining about policies, or maybe even the last call for service. Not only police, but all first responders, and soldiers have a limited opportunities to eat or use the bathroom. When that opportunity presents itself, it is wise to take it.
At work and home we can control a lot of things. One thing a first responder can’t control is time. You never know when that next call is coming, or what may lie in front of you. Time can be your friend or your worst enemy. Manage it, treat it well, and with any luck, it will be good to you.
Please stay safe out there and thank you for your service.