I Was a Cop for 31 Years. This Is the One Night That Still Haunts Me.
...It was the first and last time I cried on the job.
It was a slow, late-winter Sunday night in 1991; the cold, drizzling rain making the shift seem endless. My partner, Bosko, was ten years younger than I, and had been on the street for about five years. His cherubic face and sparse, dark mustache somehow didn’t fit his stocky but bull-strong form. Boz, as we called him, had an easygoing manner and was very good at the job; I always enjoyed riding in a two-man cruiser with him.
On this night we were cruising a high-crime neighborhood of Mansfield, Ohio with plenty of public housing, hoping to catch a drug dealer plying his trade on a street corner at three in the morning.
I wish that’s what would have happened.
Our cruiser’s police radio, which also monitored the city fire frequency, came to life: a rescue squad was being dispatched to an address right around the corner from where we were, for a “person choking.” As we weren’t handling any calls, Bosco and I decided to respond also, since the firehouse was…
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