End Evil

The Briefing

By Len Maxwell

"Well?" asked Sam as he walked to his cruiser.

"Well what?" responded his partner, Mike.

"What do you think about the new lieutenant?"

"A little wordy. Just covered the same thing we hear every day. I did like the figures he gave, though."

Sam opened the door, stuck his shotgun in place, and climbed behind the wheel. "Yeah, isn´t that something? I never knew we were providing so much money to the city."

Mike got in the passenger side, put on his seatbelt, and said, "Can you imagine that? The totals were over $450,000. I was glad to hear that he wasn´t going to change any policies. I just hope we´re not going to have to sit through a twenty-minute briefing every shift."

Sam chuckled as he put the car in gear and drove out of the lot. "Yeah, there might be a lot of citizens without police protection each shift." He looked at his partner and they both had a good laugh about that.

The new lieutenant was Harry Shrike. Not exactly on the fast track, Harry had been with the department fifteen years before being promoted to lieutenant. Most of the officers agreed that his promotion was due entirely to luck. Harry had worked on administrative crimes his whole career and had been quietly investigating one of the state senators who seemed to have a lot more money than she should.

Over a period of months Harry was able to follow a narrow thread from her campaign bank account to a local company and then to a bank in the Cayman Islands. There it disappeared until the lucky accident, or accidents. The vice squad was planning a bust on a major crack house and, being shorthanded, they borrowed Harry. As the fifth officer through the door, Harry went straight to the back of the house while others cleared the front rooms. The first accident was finding one of the bad guys just coming out of the bathroom, his trousers down around his ankles. The man looked at Harry, then at a computer on a nearby desk, and his eyes got big as he lunged toward the desk. Harry tripped him, wrestled him to the floor, and snapped handcuffs on him. From somewhere in the house he heard the captain´s voice, "The house is secure."

Harry yelled that he had one back here and then turned his attention to the computer. Jackpot! The second accident was that the bad guy had to answer nature´s call while in the middle of making a wire transfer. On the screen was the very same Cayman Island bank that Harry had traced to the senator. He pulled out his notebook, checked the account number, and smiled. "So," he said to the bad guy, "making a campaign contribution, huh?"

Naturally the man said he didn´t know anything about it. "Oh, I think you do," Harry said, "This account to which you´re wiring money is the same account that makes huge contributions to Senator Fighter."

The man just mumbled, "I don´t know nothing," as two other officers came in, pulled him to his feet, and led him away.

After that it took only days to gather the evidence and arrest the senator. Harry was promoted just a week later.

And this morning was his first shift briefing as a lieutenant. Stepping onto the dais he looked at the thirty faces in front of him. "Good morning, men," he said in what he thought later was a lame start because there were seven female officers in the room.

"The first point I want to stress is that none of the department policies have changed and I will actively support all of them.

"The department recognizes that family problems can sometimes effect your performance on the job. When you´re mad at your kids, wife, husband, wife´s boy/girlfriend, or anyone else, you could tarnish the reputation of the department if you don´t think. When you pull out your baton to beat the suspect, take a moment to make sure there are no cameras around.

"Remember our motto, ´To Protect and Serve´ The idea is to protect the department and ourselves. If you find yourself in a situation where you have to shoot - empty your magazine. Don´t ever hesitate, if the suspect is dead (s)he cannot sue us. If you make sure there are no witnesses we don´t even have to worry about the family lawsuits that are sure to follow. When we get to court and six or eight of you all tell the same story about how the suspect attacked you, we win.

"Next, if you must use a TASER, make sure to aim for the chest. Our consultants tell us if you get two barbs to straddle the heart the current will flow from one, through the heart, and back to the other. The pure electricity flowing through the heart will, with any luck, kill the suspect. Again, remember the benefits of having the suspect dead.

"Now, let me bore you for a few seconds with some figures. Last month we issued 792 tickets. Of those, 681 ticketees paid their fines so they wouldn´t have to go to court. The city´s take from that was $255,375. Of the remaining 111 tickets, ten requested rescheduling of their court date giving another $450 to the city treasury in scheduling fees. Ninety-three were ultimately found guilty and their fines brought in another $55,335. That, ladies and gentlemen, was a total income of $311,160 for the month.

"This month we´re aiming for $400,000. So, write tickets! It doesn´t matter what it´s for. Remember with court costs and other administrative fees, even the cheapest $75 parking ticket will bring in $232.50. And those times you write a ticket that is wrong, fully a half of them will pay the ticket to avoid any further legal troubles.

"By the way, last month´s winner for the best ticket written is Officer Mike Capriani. For those who haven´t heard the story, Mike clocked a driver doing seventy-five in a thirty-five mile zone. Pulling him over he found that the man´s wife was in the back seat in labor. Mike, in the best traditions of service escorted them to the hospital where, after making sure the wife was all right, he wrote the man a ticket for speeding. With the admin fees and court costs, the ticket ended up costing the man $1,650. Good going, Mike." He paused to wait for the good natured catcalls and applause to die down.

"Finally there are the DUIs. Ladies and gentlemen, these are what pay our salaries. For a first-time DUI the city receives $2,550 in fines, admin fees, court costs, and victim witness program. Then, when the perp enrolls in alcohol class the city receives another $250. That, folks, puts $2,805 in the city treasury each time we catch a drunk driver. And, if it´s a second offense, you can double that amount. Last month we wrote 39 DUI tickets, and twelve were second offenses. Our department added a total of $143,055 to the city treasury. Let´s try for $200,000 this month.

"Folks, DUIs are not that hard. We all know that most people driving after midnight are going to have some measurable amount of alcohol on their breath. Pull over any car that is even near a bar. You don´t need a reason, tell them anything: ´You didn´t signal for that last turn,´ ´Your license plate light is out,´ and the ever popular, ´You seemed to have a bit of trouble controlling your car.´

"Once you have them stopped, you can always ask if they´ve been drinking; some of them are stupid enough to admit they have. An important factor here is that even if their BAL is less than the legal limit, you can always arrest them anyway because, ´in YOUR opinion´ the driver was impaired. Statistics show that we win nearly 65% of such cases because the judge nearly always believes you over a drunk."

Harry looked up from his notes and concluded his talk, "That´s it, people, get out there and watch out for each other. Remember, the citizens are out to get you."

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