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The Night Shift Before Christmas

T'was the night before Christmas and all through the Town, not a person was stirring, no one was around. The citizens at home with kids deep in a sleep, while I patrolled alone, the dark and mean street. I drove round the block, with my family in mind, hoping the calls would be few, then I saw some lights shine. At the end of the block was a car in a ditch, as the drunk stumbled out, I knew it wasn't St. Nick. He wasn't much trouble when I locked him in jail, and felt bad for his family, who must raise his bail. Back on patrol at a quarter till 4, I spied a door open at the back of a store. I called for back-up which I knew was far away, and waited outside the door, and silently prayed. When suddenly inside there arose such a clatter, the burglar inside suspected something was the matter. He came out the door and started to run, then saw my patrol car, my flashlight and gun. "Dont Move"! I yelled but he was quick on the draw. He fired only once and I started to fall. On the way down, my own pistol fired, the felon went down and quickly expired. I rose to my feet and felt of my chest, and realized his bullet was lodged in my vest. As I stood there alone and looked to the sky..I swear I heard sleigh bells jingle up high. And his voice echoed to me, distant and faint, "Thank you my friend, for keeping me safe".

(Courtesy of)
Sgt. Dave Haskins
#262
Muldrow, OK. PD (Retired)

Comments

  • Wow! Thank you for sharing. God Bless and Merry CHRISTmas.
  • Two thumbs WAY up! Merry Christmas to all, and be safe!
  • This is AWESOME! Will be sharing this with my PD!! Thank you and MERRY CHRISTMAS !!!!
  • Very nice..will definetly be sharing with my guys. Merry Christmas!! :)
  • Wow! Will share with the other Deputies on duty. Be safe and Merry Christmas
  • Thank you. This is very wonderful. I will be sharing it with my fellow detention deputies.
  • Thank you very much! This was wonderful! Merry Christmas. Be safe
  • Thank you so much! That was awesome! Merry Christmas to all! Be safe.
  • I read this in roll call on both Christmas eve and Christmas day...everyone loved it
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  • Once again I'm sending this out in hope that you'll keep it going to all the Police Officers you know, working & retired, as a reminder of just how important we all are to each other.
    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a safe and healthy New Year to all.

    In Valor There is Hope

    Working Christmas Eve

    Unlike the newer generations of Cops – most of us went ‘on the job’ as a calling – not a money-making life choice. The job was, at times, almost a religious experience … what we saw, what we did. Things we were privileged to be part of.

    You may leave the job – but it never really leaves you.

    ——————————————————————

    In 1968 when I became a Cop, I knew there would be special occasions my family would spend without me. Knowing that fact didn't make the task any easier. The celebrations I missed those first year’s depressed me and sometimes made me feel bitter. Working on Christmas Eve was always the worst.

    On Christmas Eve in 1977, I learned that blessings can come disguised as misfortune, and honor is more than just a word.

    I was riding one-man patrol on the 4×12 shift. The night was cold. Everywhere I looked I saw reminders of the holiday: families packing their cars with presents, beautifully decorated trees in living room windows and roofs adorned with tiny sleighs. It all added to my holiday funk.

    The evening had been relatively quiet; there were calls for barking dogs and a residential false burglar alarm. There was nothing to make the night pass any quicker. I thought of my own family and sunk further into depression.

    Shortly after 2200 hours I got a radio call to the home of an elderly, terminally ill man. I parked my patrol car in front of a simple cape cod style home. First aid kit in hand, I walked up the short path to the front door. As I approached, a woman who seemed to be about 80 years old opened the door. He’s in here she said, leading me to a back bedroom.

    We passed through a living room that was furnished in a style I had come to associate with older people. The sofa has an afghan blanket draped over it’s back and a dark, solid, Queen Anne chair sat next to an unused fireplace. The mantle was cluttered with an eccentric mix of several photos, some ceramic figurines and an antique clock. A floor lamp provided
    soft lighting.

    We entered a small bedroom where a frail looking man lay in bed with a blanket pulled up to his chin. He wore a blank stare on his ashen, skeletal face. His breathing was shallow and labored. He was barely alive.

    The trappings of illness lay all around his bed. The nightstand was littered with a large number of pill vials. An oxygen bottle stood nearby. Its plastic hose, with facemask attached rested on the blanket.

    I asked the old woman why she called the police. She simply shrugged and nodded sadly toward her husband, indicating it was his request. I looked at him and he stared intently into my eyes. He seemed relaxed now. I didn't understand the suddenly calm expression on his face. I looked around the room again. A dresser stood along the wall to the left of the bed. On it was the usual memorabilia: ornate perfume bottles, a white porcelain pin case, and a wooden jewelry case. There were also several photos in simple frames. One caught my eye and I walked closer to the dresser for a closer look. The picture showed a young man dressed in a police uniform. It was unmistakably a photo of the man in bed. I knew then why I was there.

    I looked at the old man and he motioned with his hand toward the side of the bed. I walked over and stood beside him. He slid a thin arm from under the covers and took my hand. Soon, I felt his hand go limp. I looked at his face. There was no fear there. I saw only peace.

    He knew he was dying; he was aware his time was very near. I know now that he was afraid of what was about to happen and he wanted the protection of a fellow cop on his journey. A caring God had seen to it that his child would be delivered safely to him. The honor of being his escort fell to me.

    When I left at the end of my tour that night, the temperature had seemed to have risen considerably, and all the holiday displays I saw on the way home made me smile.

    I no longer feel sorry for myself for having to work on Christmas Eve. I have chosen an honorable profession. I pray that when it’s my turn to leave this world here will be a Cop there to hold my hand and remind me that I have nothing to fear.

    I wish all my brothers and sisters who have to work this Christmas Eve
    all the Joy and warmth of the Season.
  • Thank you for sharing Astover. Lucky, I had to get a tissue for that story. What a blessing for that gentleman and for you! God Bless.
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