Chapter 53

February 25th, 2011

Not Mission Critical

After my 8:00pm meeting on Friday, I drove up to The Cabin and to my surprise, 75% of the snow and ice was melted. There were vast lakes of water pooling in low-lying meadows, and in creeks, streams and rivers which were flowing furiously down the mountains to the watersheds below. I pulled into the 1,000ft drive and parked in front of the massive deck with its 12ft picnic table, which was bare now. The floodlights came on as expected, front and rear, as programmed. I disarmed the building, tuned-on the inside lights, went back and grabbed my gear, rifle and shotgun, and took it all inside. I had all weekend to help Sgt Clay and Capt Bunce with their peacekeeping needs, and called Clay on my cellphone, to let him know I was in town. He'd be right over with my Deputy Sheriff Badge & ID and all the

Police gear I'd need for tonite, Saturday and Sunday. I refilled Jenny's 3 bowls and she supped gratefully.

I laid the two long guns on heavy newspaper on the massive dining room table, and took my gear into the Master Bedroom to unpack. I turned-up the furnace to 78°F to take the chill off The Cabin, closed the hearth's flu damper, vacuumed The Cabin, changed sheets and towels, and did two loads of laundry, folded the items as they cane out of the Kenmore #9825 24" Gas Laundry Center w/ Dryer, and put them away in the chest of drawers, dresser and closets. By now, I heard the doorbell ring, and Jenny was at the door growling, with Sgt Clay and Deputy Tim, waiting outside. I invited them in, with armloads of gear which they laid on the dining room table. We sat down and reviewed procedures, the wearing of the bulletproof vest at all times, the clipboard with Incident Reports, cuffs, walkie talkie, red light for the Jeep's roof, flashlight, shotgun and extra shells etc. Sgt Clay re-Deputized me on-the-spot, giving me my badge & holder, #7 parking space back. I was "official" again.

It was only 8:40pm, and my shift with Deputy Tim would run until 10:00pm, while the Saturday morning shift would be from 8am - 6pm, or longer to 10pm, if needed. I had no problem with that schedule or its extension, as long as I got some "private time" to do some reading, play with Jenny, shave and shower and change into clean clothes. He said that'd be no problem, unless TSHTF, whereas we're all on-duty 24x7 hunting the "bad guys". I was ready in 15mins, and left with Clay & Tim, after turning-off the inside lights, setting the automatic spotlights and arming the building. We caravanned to Adam's Junction, and I immediately started patrolling my 10-square block assignment. Tim left for his patrol area, which was the outskirts of the town.

The streets were ugly, dirty and gritty from all the cinders and calcium chloride used to ameliorate the ice and snow, over the past few months, and we could use several days of hard rain to cleanse them off, The store's sidewalks had been swept clean, and the one Elgin Street cleaner which Adam's Junction had, did its best to clean-up the gutters, but it was even overwhelmed. I turned left on Locust & West 10th Street, where I'd seen the 3 dealers selling crack, coke and heroin, and arrested them last week. It was empty, thankfully. But further on down Locust at 31st Street, two other punks were selling the poison. I pulled the red light off the top of the Jeep, radioed the incident into the Police/Fire Dispatcher and Deputy Alex, and was told to keep them in my sight, but do nothing right now, until back-up arrived. I waited 10-15mins, and no one came. I checked my Kimber 1911 .45cal ACP, chambered a round, safety off, took 4 more 8-round magazines and worked my way down the block, again ducking into recessed storefronts to keep hidden. I had my walkie talkie with it earpiece in, so there'd be no noise, three sets of cuffs and a can of Mace.

I observed from 50ft what they were doing, and it clearly was a "drug deal stand", so I quickly walked-up behind them, stuck the .45 into one of their skulls, and made the three get down on their knees, while I cuffed and frisked them. I emptied their pockets of drugs and cash on the sidewalk, cuffed them to each other and around the light post, while reading them their Miranda Rights. All of a sudden, another of their "friends" came running across the street, yelling and pointing a gun at me. I kneeled down behind one of the perps, and fired three shots, all hitting the guy in the abdomen and chest, and he fell in mid-street. I ran to him, and grabbed the 9mm, cuffed him and dragged him out of the road. He was a big guy, outweighing me by close to 80lbs+. I radioed for an ambulance from Memorial, which arrived in 4-5mins, about the same time my two Police back-up cruisers arrived. Sgt Clay and Tim took charge, while I catalogued the evidence so it wouldn't get lost or contaminated for their trial. I had paperwork to do. "Good job", John, said Clay. Three more off the street, and tomorrow night there'll be three more to take their places. Just like last weekend. Like clockwork.

The rest of the evening was quiet, and I pulled into the Station's #7 Parking Space, went inside to write-up my Incident Report, and turn it into Sgt Clay. I signed-out

and went home to The Cabin, to relax and play with Jenny. She was hungry, and I refilled her 3 bowls. I brought my gear inside, armed the building, set the spotlights, turned-up the heat to 75°F, took a shower and climbed into my King-Size bed to sleep. I had an early morning Saturday shift coming up, and needed some serious sleep. Jenny was soon at the r/s bottom, and I sat up and scratched her head, chin and back. If dogs could purr like cats, she'd be growling up a storm. I was asleep in under 5 minutes.

I was up at 5:30am, made breakfast, watered and fed Jenny, shaved and showered, dressed in layers — since it was supposed to be a "warm day" (a fluke around here this time of year) — put on my badge on my belt next to the .45cal, grabbed my AR-10, turned the furnace down, armed the building, left the automatic f/r spotlights on auto since I wouldn't be back until after dark, and headed for Adam's Junction for my 8am-6pm shift. I suddenly remembered that Monday the 21st is "President's Day", another bastardized "National Holiday", and Sgt Clay might ask me to stay and work a shift that day, too. I needed to get back and get the ads approved for "The Country Chronicle" and "North County News", if Lauren at Nefra was going to have them ready for me. I'd call Nefra and leave a message for her from my cellphone, after filling-in Clay about the Thursday deadline. If it was going to be Tuesday that she'd have the ad proofs ready in *.pdf format, so I'd stay an extra day and work the 8am-6pm shift.

I checked into the Police Station at 7:45am Saturday, spoke to Sgt Clay and just then, Capt Roy Bunce came into the Station, saying how pleased he was with my work, to date. Clay smiled and said that the Capt isn't one for effusive praise, but that's as good as you're going to get from him. I nodded, and headed for my Jeep to begin my rounds. It was 34°F and smelled and looked like snow, somehow. Then, I saw a few flakes coming down as I drove to the residential section of my 10-square block patrol area. I drove down to Locust and 31st Street, where the drug dealing and shooting incident happened last night, and it was clear, as were all the street corners in the 10 block area. Just a few people out walking their dogs. Since I had the red light on top of the Jeep, they waved and I honked back. The "real action" wouldn't begin until after dark, tonite. Daylight's too risky for street drug dealers.

Driving east on Oak St, I came upon long-time residents, Elmore and Lizzie Samulsen, trying to change a flat tire at the curb, without much luck. I radioed the Dispatcher with my "10-20 helping resident w/ flat tire". Elmore couldn't get the monstrous car jacked-up — it was a '63 Buick Roadmaster

The rest of the evening was quiet, and I pulled into the Station's #7 Parking Space, went inside to write-up my Incident Report, and turn it into Sgt Clay. I signed-out

with 14 tons of chrome and a bumper jack — so I offered to help and we got the car's left rear wheel 2" off the ground, after I'd loosened the 5 lug nuts on that tire. Elmore thanked me and took it from there, but I helped him lift that massive tire onto the wheel and get it hand-tightened. It would be torqued after being lowered down on to the ground, for stability. I stayed in the Jeep, light flashing, and wrote-up an Incident Report to justify my time. It had stopped flurrying by now, and the temp was already up to 37°F. Looks like a warm day was coming after all, with rain instead of snow. After the couple had everything stowed back in the cavernous trunk and drove away, I turned-off the light and continued on my patrol.

I passed Nell's Kitchen Restaurant & Drive-In, where I'd later stop for lunch, Roy's Gas Station, Bev & Tony's General Store, the jewelry store where I'd bought Gabrielle her flawless 1-cwt engagement ring, and our wedding bands (which we never used), and scores of other places I'd become familiar with, over the past few months. Lots of people were out shopping by now, as it was already 10:45am and tomorrow (Sunday), everything would be closed.

I got a "back-up help needed" call from Deputy Alex and the Police/Fire Dispatcher almost simultaneously, with location, which I checked on my map, and quickly sped to the scene, 11 blocks away. I radioed in that I was on my way, and heard that Sgt Clay was leaving the Police Station, as well, since shooting was already involved and more than one back-up was called-for. When I arrived, I found Alex pinned-down behind his cruiser, with three bullet holes in the windshield and a couple in the passenger door, about 200yds from an old 3-story farmhouse, up a dirt lane. The people/ person inside obviously had a rifle, so I parked my Jeep at the far end of the front of the property on the road, and over the walkie-talkie, asked Deputy Alex if he was hit. He wasn't, but had only his .38cal sidearm and a 12ga shotgun: both worthless in this kind of situation.

I grabbed my AR-10 .308cal (7.62 x 51mm NATO) and 4 extra mags from the Eagle Carrying Bag, and got out, crouching to keep a low profile. I positioned myself at the front of the Jeep, on the backside of the engine, for protection, popped-up the lens' caps on the AR's Leupold CQ/T Scope, and scanned the front 3 windows. I could see two of them open 6-7" and that's where he was shooting from. Then, I saw "him" appear in the 2nd open window, with the deer rifle (.30cal-.06) aimed outside. I had his head in my crosshairs and at 200-300yds, the AR-10 wouldn't even be breathing hard. He fired and hit the passenger door of my Jeep. Now I was pissed! I fired and hit him in the forehead, killing him instantly with the .308cal (7.62 x 51mm NATO round), his rifle going limp and he disappeared from my scope's view. Sgt Clay pulled-up next to me, and I told him what had just happened.

Now comes the hard part: getting up to the house and inside without someone else inside picking-up that rifle and killing or wounding one of us. I told Clay and Alex to stay put, and I took the AR-10 and swapped it for my Remy 11-87 Semi-Automatic 12ga Shotgun, with 7 slugs loaded in the tube and one chambered, and made my way up the side of the property behind the evergreen (Yew/ Taxus baccata) hedgerow, to the left side of the small farmhouse. It was old and very dilapidated, which we couldn't tell from the front road. I peered into the window, and saw the dead perp laying on the floor in a pool of blood, and his deer rifle half-in and half-out of the window. I saw no other movement, so I crawled around back and carefully went in the backdoor, only to find a small child (3-4yrs old) cowering in the kitchen. I radioed to Clay that I was inside and had a child in custody, as I went through the entire downstairs, room-by-room and closet-by-closet. Empty. The upstairs was another matter, and I checked it the same way, after telling the child to stay put and quiet in the kitchen. He did, otherwise I'd cuff and gag him. I secured the rifle, checked the perp's pulse and he was definitely dead, the holes in the front and back of his head a stark testament to it. There was plenty of brain matter (arterial blood & brain matter spray) all over the walls behind him. I secured the rifle and cuffed him anyway. I radioed Clay and Alex that the perp was dead and that it was safe to come inside.

By now, Alex and Clay had their vehicles in the drive and parked on the front lawn, to leave the driveway open for the coroner's wagon and any other vehicles they'd called-in. Soon they arrived and bagged-up the perp, now ID'd as Ronnie Sims, who'd done time in Danville State Prison for drug smuggling, had kidnapped his son from his ex-wife just hours ago, and Deputy Alex was sent to talk to him about letting the child go back to her. The radio and TV station reporters from Harrisburg were here, too, and being kept off the property. Sgt Clay handled them; I had "no comment" to all their questions. After Alex had parked out front and called Sims on the phone, the shooting began. Deputy Alex and I would have to write-up a combined "Incident Report" when we got back to the Station. Meanwhile CSI was being called-in by Sgt Clay to do their forensic thing at the scene, and they would also submit a report. Both Alex and I were told to get back out on patrol until we were called into the Station, or our shift ended, whichever came first. CPS (Child Protective Services) from Memorial showed-up and took little Ronnie Jr into custody, and would take him and his mother down to the Hospital for an exam and further questioning. By now, I was out of the picture, except for all the paperwork and questions from CSI, which I could easily handle.

I called a lunch order into Nell's for lunch: a Bacon Cheeseburger w/ Home Fries and a small carton of milk, picked it up and called in a "10-20 lunch 15mins" to the Dispatcher. Nell came out from the kitchen and told me she'd heard everything on her police scanner, and that I did some "nice shooting to potentially save the child's life". I thanked her. It was now 1:45pm and I only had a few more hours to go until my shift ended. It was quiet and uneventful, so I stopped for gas at Roy's Shell Station and filled-up. He'd heard everything on his scanner, too. "Excellent shooting and I hope the child isn't too traumatized from it all", was his comment. I'd made sure the child never saw his dead father or the mess in the living room, since we'd hustled him out the back door and into one of the 3 waiting ambulances. It took 18.54gals to fill my 20gal tank, and I got a receipt. I was back on the 10 square block patrol within 15 minutes, after using Roy's Station bathroom to take a whiz. Light snowflakes were falling again, even though the temp was now 33°F.

My shift ended at 6:00pm, and I pulled into the Station's #7 parking space, while Deputy Charles was in his cruiser driving out of the parking lot, to take over my 10 block area for the 3rd shift. I walked into Clay's office and Capt Bunce was sitting there, discussing me and my "methods" of ending such "shooter situations". He noted that there'd been more "legal killings" in the past 8mos — since I moved here, with the creek gold and various other situations even before I was deputized — than in the entire 210 years of Adam's Junction History. He intended me to hear that, and I did. I was just about ready to give him an earful when Clay stepped into it, and explained that since the economy had "soured" in 2008, Adam's Junction, although a "Virtual Village", had been subjected to more vicious crime than ever before in its 210 history, and that we as a village were damned lucky that Mr John Shelley had come along when he did. Could the Chief deny that, based upon what's happened, and what's probably going to happen in the coming months and years if TSHTF? Capt Roy had nothing but agreement, but complained that it all put Adam's Junction into the "regional and national spotlight", all too often. "Growing pains", I said. With all due respect to the Captain, I said that I was forced into these situations and never, ever went looking for them or any trouble on my own. It always seemed to "find me". When attacked or my life or the lives of my Family or my friends are in danger, I simply kill that offending person. Did he want my Deputy's Badge back, right now? I said that I came up here to get away from the crime and BS in the Real World, and do some reading and relax, but lately, it hadn't turned out that way. He smiled and said, "No way in hell. Nice work."

I finished-up my paperwork and expense report in Tim's Office next door to Clay's, handed it into Sgt Clay, reviewed it with him and clocked-out at 6:43pm. He reminded me that CSI would be back, possibly Monday morning, with their report, to see how the two meshed, and all the evidence would be turned-over to Stan Robbins, County DA, for his evaluation and decision as to whether to convene a Grand Jury in a shooting/killing incident. It was dark on the ride home, and the 1,000ft driveway was under almost 8" of snow melt water with the auto-spotlights lighting-up everything for 300yds, front and rear. I pulled into the dry carport, disarmed the building, lugged my gear inside, gave Jenny a big hug and filled her 3 bowls, which she ravenously devoured. I turned-up the furnace to 78°F, since I had no plans to build a roaring fire. My clothes were muddy, so I washed them right away, and took another shower. I laid the AR-10 and Remy 11-87 Semi-Automatic (not fired) Shotgun out on 5-10 sheets of newspaper on the massive dining room table, for examination, cleaning and reloading. I put on tight Latex gloves so as not got get the Hoppe's Cleaning Fluid on me, though I love the smell, and after disassembling the AR, cleaned it thoroughly. I emptied the Remy 12ga and my sidearm Kimber 1911 .45cal ACP, cleaned and re-oiled the inside barrels, wiped the outsides down, reloaded all mags for the guns, made sure safeties were on, and took them all into the Master BR for the night. I cleaned-up the dining room table paper and cleaning kits and put the kits into one of the cupboards with all the ammo and empty, resting mags. Tomorrow, I'd swap-out rested AR .308cal (25) & .45cal mags (8) for the ones I'd been using for the past 2-3 weeks. Habit.

By now, it was 11:15pm, and I was getting tired. No reading tonite; just sleep. I had to be up at 5:30am to get ready for the 8am - 6pm shift on Sunday, and find out if they wanted me to stay-over for Monday's Presidents' Day Holiday, unless Nefra had *.pdf ad proofs for me to look at, in which case I'd have to leave for my Garden Center to proof and okay/ make changes for Lauren. I checked my cellphone, and didn't see any reply from Lauren, yet. I laid-out my "set-up" for the day's breakfast, as I do every evening, so I don't have to go through cabinets and the 'fridge, rummaging-around for what I need, minus the few perishable items (milk, butter etc). I was in bed and asleep within 15 minutes.

I was back-up at 5:30am Sunday, made breakfast, fed & watered Jenny, grabbed my gear and firearms, turned down the furnace, armed the building and sped off to the Police Station, to check-in and begin my patrol. I reviewed Deputy Charles' Incident Reports from the previous shift. Nothing major at all. Seems it all happens on my watch. It was Sunday, and 90% of the village's people would be headed to or already be in Church, for most of the morning. I checked-in with the Dispatcher, and headed to my Jeep in Parking Slot #7, and drove to my assigned area. Deputy Tim was with me on this shift. Sgt Clay wasn't in yet; he'd be in after Church with his family, around 12noon. Many people walking to Church waved, and I waved back, since honking on a Sunday didn't seem appropriate.

It was a cloudy day, with temps in the lower-30s and a light snow falling. Adam's Junction looked like a turn-of-the-century postcard, once again. I radioed Tim and all was clear in his assigned area. I told him to stay in touch, since the snow was getting heavier and he only had RWD on his cruiser, whereas I had AWD and could get around easily. Within 20 minutes, he radioed back and said his cruiser slipped off the highway and crashed into the guardrail, and he couldn't restart it. I asked for his "10-20", and told him to sit tight, and that I'd come pick him up to get a new unit. I radioed Roy's Shell Station for a wrecker to pick-up the cruiser and meet me at the scene. Tim was uninjured and jumped into my Jeep until Roy showed-up and towed the unit back to the Station. We followed the wrecker back, all lights flashing, including my Jeep's. Tim went inside to fill-out an Incident Report, explain what happened and get assigned to an official AWD SUV, which he should have been issued in the first place, considering the weather. I went back to my assigned area.

It was already 11:30am, so I called Nell's for an egg & olive salad on toasted white bread, lettuce, extra mayo, and chips, to go. I called the Dispatcher with my "10-20 lunch 20mins", ate and then was back on patrol. It was a quiet day, with Tim having a much better time in the 4WD SUV vs his RWD cruiser on the snow-covered, slick roads. I kept my speed to 15-20mph, just to be safe. On Main Street, which was all but deserted, I saw a car parked in front of Adam's-Wilson's Jewelry Store, with the front door standing partly open. I took the red light off the top of the Jeep, drove halfway down the block, did a u-turn and came back to park across from the store. I radioed Tim for back-up, and the Dispatcher for some additional help. I grabbed the AR-10, chambered a round, put the safety back on, and got out on the sidewalk to crouch behind the engine for cover. No one came out and no alarm was sounded, so I asked the Dispatcher to call the security company and ask if they'd received a signal. She answered back that they hadn't, but their software showed the wired front door and inside doors, all to be open. I could only think that this was a hostage situation, with one of the owners being held inside by the "bad guys". It was snowing even harder now, and I decided to make my move: work my way down my side of the block, cross the street and back up to the Jewelry Store. Before I could get going, three men came out with a sawed-off shotgun to the back of a very scared owner. I had the AR-10 lying across the Jeep's hood, on a towel to steady it, and fired a round into the perp's left hand on the trigger. It blew the shotgun out of his hand, and took-off about half of his hand. Next, I shot out the two tires directly across from me, and shot another of the perps as he pulled a .357Magnum. That left one and the owner, who took-off running down the block. I yelled for the 3rd perp to get face down on the ground, or he'd get worse. He complied, dropped the bag of jewelry and cash. I dashed across the street, took all the guns and booty into custody, cuffed all 3 perps and radioed for backup again and a couple of ambulances, which arrived in 5-6 minutes, due to the snow-covered roads and streets. Tim showed-up, gun drawn and kept watch on the criminals, while I tracked the owner's footprints in the fresh snow to the next block, where he was cowering in a recessed doorway. I walked him back to his store, and had him ID all 3 men and put him in the back of Tim's SUV, for a later statement. The two wounded men went to Memorial for surgery, and the other perp was cuffed and also put into the back of Tim's SUV. I moved the owner to the front seat of Tim's SUV. Just then, Sgt Clay showed-up and took charge. It was nearing 4:15pm and mercifully, my shift would be over soon at 6pm.

Tim and I went back to our assigned patrol areas after debriefing Sgt Clay, who said he'd take care of the perp's booking and the owner's statement. We'd get together after our shift was over and we were replaced by Deputies Charles and Bob, to fill-out Incident Reports aplenty, since a minor was involved in the first incident at the farm house. It would be a late night for me. After my shift ended, I worked in Bob's office filling-out 17 pages of reports, expense statements and reviewing the verbal statements given by the owner and 3rd perp, who was now in the Station's Jail, awaiting transport to County Prison Holding and Criminal Court Arraignment. The two hospitalized perps would recover, but one had lost his left hand to amputation. The other had two large holes in his shoulder, which had to be rebuilt with plates, bolts and screws. More painful surgery would follow. Both got what they deserved, IMO.

I finally checked-out at 8:30pm and went to The Cabin. I was exhausted, disarmed the building, rearmed it after going inside and turning on all the lights and turning-up the furnace. I fed and watered Jenny, laid my gear and rifle on the dining room table, took a shower and changed clothes. More washing needed to be done, so I put in a load, while I laid out some clean clothes for morning. I checked my cellphone for a return call from Lauren, but nothing was in the queue. I wanted to sleep late, but would be there for my shift on Monday's Holiday, Presidents' Day. I would call Lauren after 9am, and find out what was going on with the ad proofs. Both Sgt Clay and Capt Roy had been briefed by me on Friday, so they had Deputy Lee standing by to fill-in for me should I have to leave for York.

There was almost 2" of snow on the ground now, with a 24°F temp, and I'd parked under the carport, so I wouldn't have to deal with ice and snow all over the Jeep to start out for the Police Station in the morning. I laid out my breakfast items - English Muffins, stainless kettle for boiling water, Chemex coffee brewer, coffee mug, Truvia sweetener, plate, knife and fork. The coffee, milk and butter would stay in the 'fridge until morning. I turned off the lights and headed for bed, after putting my cellphone on charge for the night. I was asleep in 5 mins.

Monday morning came too quickly. I had a very restful night, and made my breakfast after watering and feeding Jenny. It was already lightly raining at 36°F, and it felt very warm and Spring-like as I stepped out on to the front deck to get a breath of fresh air, with my cup of coffee and cigarette. I had four packs of Marlboros (red box) left and was glad I didn't have to drive an official Police Cruiser, because Capt Roy prohibited smoking in any of his official vehicles. I did have a bullethole in the R/S Jeep backseat door though, and would have to get an estimate for repairs and turn it into Sgt Clay for approval from Capt Roy. The round had easily penetrated the rear door and lodged in the rear seat, and CSI would need that for their evidence. Since they'd be here today, I'd give them the Jeep for 15mins to find it, or I'd look for it at the Police Station, before I went out on patrol. I used a small piece of duct tape to cover the hole, temporarily.

I made the bed, did the dishes, got dressed, gathered my AR-10 and Remy 11-87, and put on my Kimber 1911 .45cal and badge, turned the heat down, armed the building as I left, and headed to the Station. After parking in Space #7 and putting on my rain slicker, I lifted the Jeep's rear seat, found the .30cal-.06 slug lodged in the springs, and took it inside with me. CSI was already there, sifting through evidence, pictures of the crime scene and voluminous Incident Reports. I gave them the slug, and told them that they could examine the Jeep at their convenience. There was a picture of its punctured door, amongst the others from yesterday's shooting. I picked-up my clipboard, blank Incident Reports and other forms and muttered, "Please let there be no violence today; I've had enough for one lifetime." Everyone heard me and nodded approvingly. I headed out the door at 7:50am to begin my patrol.

It was raining hard now, yesterday's snow was gone and the streets and sidewalks' gritty grime, calcium chloride and cinders were being washed-off and into the gutters. I had my slicker next to me on the front seat with the Remy® 11-87 Semi-Automatic 12ga Shotgun with devastating Federal® 12ga .00 Buck "FliteControl®"Shells, and the AR-10 in the carrying bag, in the back seat. Plenty of loaded mags & extra ammo for all three guns, my Kimber 1911 .45cal ACP included. I could do without any shootings today. I called Nefra to leave a message for Lauren, but they were closed for The Presidents' Day National Holiday, as well. Everything was closed and Adam's Junction was deserted, except for Roy's Shell Station, Nell's Kitchen and Bev & Tony's General Store. At least I could get some gas, food and smokes, when I needed them.

I pulled on to Willow Street and slowly-cruised its length, red light on the top of the Jeep's roof. Then to Maple, Oak, Locust, Magnolia, Fern and Palm Streets. All quiet and seemingly normal. Only a few people out and about this early. Then I started cruising the cross-streets of 1st through 25th; same there, all quiet. I stopped at Bev & Tony's to get a carton of Marlboros, giving the Dispatcher my "10-20 personal purchase 15mins", and went inside. Cigarettes, especially name-brands like Marlboros were up to $69/ carton now, and it almost made me want to quit smoking, but I bought one anyway. Tony hadn't come in yet, but Bev waited on me. We talked about how much we all missed Gabrielle - me especially - the weather, the latest crime, the economy and Tony's declining health, since Gabrielle's untimely car accident death, last December. I felt tears welling-up and excused myself, telling Bev I had to get back on patrol. The tears let go as I got into the Jeep. I looked back at the store, and could see Bev at the window, crying, too. I waved, blew her a kiss, and drove away.

It was really pouring now, and my wipers had a hard time keeping the windshield clear, running on regular speed. I disliked high speed (don't ask me why), but would probably have to use it soon just to see where I was going. The gutters were running full, since the ground was still frozen and not absorbing any of the water, it all became runoff into the streets and on to other hard surfaces at a lower level. Soon, the sidewalks were overrun with rainwater and the streets flooded to 6-8" deep. They looked like lakes, now. I slowly pulled over on to Palm Street, and radioed the Dispatcher of my "10-20 hard rain, 20min break" and began to think about selling The Cabin and its 43 acres, as I had this past Winter. Talking to Bev about Gabrielle had brought it all back, in a most unpleasant way. The downpour continued.

I heard Deputy Tim on the scanner saying he was parked too, due to the downpour and flooded roads. He was back to driving one of the Patrol Cruisers, instead of the AWD SUV, and the water level was almost up to his doorsill. I might have to go and fetch him, if the Cruiser shorted-out and wouldn't restart, and then we'd be shorthanded until we could get back to the Station and get another vehicle. "I'm just glad this isn't snow", was his comment. I agreed and so did the Dispatcher. All we could do was wait until the downpour abated.

By now, it was 10:45am, and I was thinking about lunch at Nell's Kitchen Restaurant & Drive-In. The Dispatcher called and said CSI had some questions for me, and could I come to the Station during my lunch break. I said I'd be there. I went back to slowly cruising the cross streets, so the 6-8" of water in the roadways wouldn't come over the hood of the Jeep. I wasn't worried about anything shorting-out, as it's built to handle deep water and snow, but visibility would be greatly impaired. I headed slowly for the Station, which would probably take me close to an hour to get there at 5-6mph. Before I got out of the Jeep at the Station, I put on my 12" LLBean Maine Waterproof Hunting Boots and rain slicker and waded to the entrance. I met the two CSI guys and we went into the conference room, and I answered two simple questions to their satisfaction. I was free to go back on patrol. Time for some lunch.

It was almost 1:00pm now and I had 5 more hours left on my shift, and then get ready to leave for York after working for Adam's Junction for 3 days. I called Nell's on my cellphone and ordered a grilled cheese & bacon sandwich, fries and a small carton of milk. I called-in the "10-20 20mins lunch" to the Dispatcher. It was ready when I got there, and I paid the cashier and left. Tim was still stranded in 8" of water on Route 17-N, and I radioed him to ask if he wanted me to come get him. He said the rain was slowing down and after draining-off the road, he's be able to resume his patrol. No need to fetch him.

I headed back downtown where the storm drains seemed to be handling the worst of the downpour, which was indeed lessening by now. The sidewalks and streets were definitely "clean as a whistle" now, from all the heavy rainfall. The gutters were still running full. I got a call from the Dispatcher, that an isolated farmhouse was flooded and the 6 occupants were trapped on the 2nd floor, with their nearby creek flowing through the downstairs. I told her to call the Fire Dept, which had rescue boats, and I'd meet them as close as I safely could. The house was on the northwest side of town, within my patrol area. The Fire Dept sent three trucks - a Hook & Ladder, to get to the 2nd floor, an Ambulance, and a Pumper. They'd lashed 4 x 12ft motorboats to a trailer, pulled by the Ambulance. They swung into action and got near the house, but the current was so strong, they had to retreat. The Pumper didn't have a chance to divert the creek's massive flow, so we had to wait. Sending-in the Hook & Ladder just might get it stuck in the lawn's new layers of mud from the overflow. Waiting was maddening. I asked the Chief if he had a shotgun-fire grappling hook along, and he did. I told him to get it, and we drove in my Jeep with within 100ft of the house, with muddy water almost overlapping the hood, where he shot the huge hook into the front of the dwelling, right next to the front door. Too low; we'd try again at the 2nd floor, yelling at the 6 people to go to the back rooms away from the windows and incoming projectile. He shot the 2nd hook just next to a 2nd floor window, and we anchored the other end to one of the Fire trucks, so the 6 people could slide down into the motorboats.

They did and three motorboats scooped them up and got them to safety and into the Ambulance for treatment for hypothermia. By now Capt Roy and Sgt Clay had shown-up, along with Tim, and many neighbors. The TV and radio reporter crews were almost here from Harrisburg. The Firemen praised me for the shotgun-fired hook idea, and not jeopardizing the Firemen or the occupants' lives. I wanted no part of the publicity, so I told Clay and Capt Roy that I was going back on patrol, and would stop at a local Church parking lot to begin the Incident Reports, or finish them when my shift was over at 8:00pm. With so much rain and flooding, Adam's Junction was a ghost town. No one was out and there were no crimes in progress, merely the flooding incident at the outlaying farm house, which was now handled.

I called in a "10-20 coffee 10mins" for Nell's Kitchen, and went back to the Station, as it was 8:05pm, to finish my paperwork, and leave for York. Both Sgt Clay and Capt Roy handled the news conference, and then came back as I was turning-in my badge and other Police Dept issued-equipment. I dropped-off my reports on Clay's desk, signed-out and went back to The Cabin to get ready to leave. After turning the furnace down, feeding and watering Jenny, packing my gear, arming the building, resetting the f/r floodlights, I packed the Jeep and headed to York, so I could be at work on Tuesday. Three days as a cop in Adam's Junction was enough for me. My business needed my immediate attention, as did Murphy, my Condo Cat. Everything else in Adam's Junction could be handled by the others. I wasn't "mission critical", as far as I was concerned.

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