Long, boring hours sitting in the cruiser have put a cramp in Vic’s neck. He twists his head around and puts his arms behind his back before settling back in. This is most nights for him, laying in wait in the same spot, keeping a lookout for people stupid enough to think that breaking the rules “just once” is no big deal, because that “just once” couldn’t possibly result in someone’s kid going through a windshield, maybe their own. So he spends an hour or more around the bend in the old country road, confident it is just a matter of time.
Then again, maybe confident isn’t the right word. It’s not like he wants to write someone a ticket. The way people react you’d think they believe he enjoys it. Yes, it’s true, he and his brothers in blue have quotas. It would be nice if their were a better tool to measure their performance, he’s even suggested a few, but the easiest path wins, and quotas are it. Besides, it’s not like the people he tickets are being persecuted. You speed, drive recklessly, or in an unsafe vehicle and you are putting lives in danger. He is trying to protect them, but all they see is the uniform in the badge.
They don’t see the dad that takes his daughter to dance lessons. They don’t know he helped raise his brother and sister because their dad bailed. They never ask if he ever wanted to be anything other than a cop. Sure, in Vic’s case he always knew, but so many of his fellow officers wanted to be doctors, lawyers, shrinks, and even artists. They just ended up in the cruiser because it is where life brought them, for any number of reasons. They are people, not their job, but you’d never know that the way folks act.
He doesn’t let it bother him too often though. He knows what he does is important. It may aggravate the civilians that there are rules and people there to enforce them, but they’d be a lot more aggravated without them. He rubs the cramps out of his thighs just before the radar goes nuts and the pick up flies down the road. One more time he flips on his lights, and hopes it’s just another fool.
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