The dispatcher gave an approximate address called in by a dog walker. He told of hearing yelling and screaming but didn’t know exactly where it emanated from. Christmas Eve sometimes brings out the worst in people. I pulled the squad to the curb and stood surveying the apartments while waiting for my backup to arrive.

With a crash came the chair hurdled out the second-floor picture window. Shards of window glass sparkled in the snow-covered grass. Soon followed, the fully decorated Christmas tree flew through the air as a trail of lights dangled behind.

As back-up cars arrived, I notified dispatch that I had located the domestic disturbance. Shouting the address over the radio a group of four officers made entry and climbed the stairs following the screams for help. The door was kicked in and the drunken husband was removed from atop the diminutive wife. Young children stood gawking and screaming.

He was immediately handcuffed and an ambulance was called for the mother who was bleeding from her face and head. With her motherly instinct kicking in, a female police officer quickly had the two youngsters wrapped in her arms and escorted them to another room.

The drunken husband went to jail. The battered mother went to the hospital. And the children went to an aunt’s house. Merry fuckin’ Christmas from a policeman.

New Year’s Eve is a continuous call of shots fried. This one was unusual. The call came out by neighbors on either side of the location where a single gunshot was heard. Only one shot, but I’d described as the sound of a bomb.

Unfortunately, I was assigned this job that is still fresh in my mind. A very quiet Northside neighborhood. Middle class and as close to suburbia as one could be while still in the city. Long front lawns with three-bedroom ranches all aligned in a neat row divided by runway length driveways.

Pulling the car to the curb and walking numerous houses from the given address, I made my way carefully to the foot of the driveway. All was quiet and a single light shown from the rear bedroom. Using my Mag-Light I turned the lengthy driveway into daylight.

I soon realized there was a single occupied chair in the center of the driveway being illuminated by the light escaping the bedroom. Lying on the ground next to this lawn chair was a shotgun. Closer inspection revealed what I presumed to be an old man, lifeless and slumped in the lawn chair now fully covered a crimson red.

With backup now on the scene, we made a very deliberate entry into the house and found a frail old woman lying in the bedroom adjacent to the now, crime scene.

An ambulance was summoned, not for the chair person, but for this delusional old woman. The chairperson was draped with a blanket waiting for the crime lab to arrive.

After speaking to neighbors, it was determined that the single gunshot heard was the suicidal farewell of an aged husband who could no longer bare seeing his wife of sixty plus years wither away from dementia.

Long story short, old woman went to the hospital while the body of her husband was transported to the morgue. A son was eventually located and the house was turned over to his care.

Happy fuckin’ New Year from a policeman.

On the a more cheerful side, my partner and I were assigned by our watch commander to disregard any minor jobs, go directly to a restaurant on the edge of the district and pick up a complete turkey dinner for the guys and gals on the watch. Every Christmas Eve, this restaurant, would prepare a feast for the men and women who protect their neighborhood.

The feast consisted of: Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, simply all the trimmings, followed by pumpkin pie and gallons of coffee.  A meal fit for a king. This feast became a tradition and officers away from their families on Christmas Eve looked fondly for this generous display of affection. Tonight, was different.

As I said, the restaurant was on the border between our district and another one. My partner and I walked in the restaurant and explained that we were there to pick up the order for the district. Quizzically the young man working the counter looked at us and disappeared into the kitchen. He surfaced with the owner who broke the bad news.

“Your guys just picked up the order ten minutes ago.” Apparently, guys from the adjacent district walked in for a cup of coffee and the counter man asked if they were there for the turkey dinner. What Chicago copper is going to say no? They left the restaurant with our Christmas dinner and entertained their district to an unexpected feast.

Happy fuckin’ holidays from a policeman.

I cannot leave you readers with all this negativity, so one last story.

Weeks later when the dust settled from the turkey heist, the plans on settling the score came to fruition. In our district, we had the secret weapon, a poultry distributor and a devious plan was hatched. Our guys commandeered a case of live chickens from the night guard.

At about 5 o’clock on a weekday morning, when things are really slow, they stealthily crossed the district boarder. Once in front of the other district, the district doors were pushed open and about two dozen pissed off chickens flew in. Shouts and screams from both inside and outside got the chickens even more worked up. Back in the squad cars and over the border to the safety of our district our guys went.

Phone calls from their watch commander met deaf ears and justice in the universe was restored.

Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year from a policeman.

To all my brothers and sisters in blue, lock and load and protect each other. And as always, stay safe.

 

“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “

We couldn’t agree more.

 


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View Larry Casey’s website at www.StoriesofaChicagoPoliceOfficer.com/ and review his book by the same name.

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