BEGINNINGS, ENDINGS AND BEGINNINGS
Gary P. Cady
Authors Note: The events in this story take place around The Impossible Mission and Something Worth Dying For Part 2.
Los Angeles, California
Jean Reed felt her husband Jim get out of bed. She looked at the clock sleepily and saw it read 7:15. Way too early. "Jim, come on back to bed. It's early, and you know it's going to be a long day."
"Good morning to you, too. Of course it's early," Jim yawned around his reply. "It's just that it's the first day and I wanted to get in a little run before it got too hot this morning." Jim sat back down on the bed facing Jean, a nervous look on his face.
"Come on, you've already had the 'first day' six months ago when you started the academy. So, what's the problem?" Jean rubbed her husband's back, surprised that he seemed nervous about starting his career as a Los Angeles Police Officer.
"But today is the real first day. I get to go out on patrol with my training officer. I just hope I don't mess up too bad. It's mid-week, so it shouldn't be too busy."
"Honey, you just graduated the academy after six long months. This is just the on-the-job part. The easy part. You said so yourself."
"I've heard it's supposed to be easy, then I hear of guys in their last months who get washed out. And if that happened, the last 12 months of waiting to get hired and then the academy would be for nothing. I don't want to wash out of the L.A.P.D."
"Jim, you know better than that. I know how hard you worked all through the academy. It took a lot to graduate in the top 10. According to you, you received the best training in the world. Or were you just telling me that?"
"Jean, it's just that I don't know anything about my training officer. All these guys are supposed to be hard when they rate us. They watch everything you do and document everything. There's going to be only a few new officers working at Central. Bill Stenzler is the only one who's going to be on my shift. I hope we get to work adjoining beats so we can see each other out there. After our training officers see how well we do they'll have to let us work together. I'm sure that the training officers don't need to work with officers as good as we are."
"Now, that's the Jim I remember." Jean smiled at Jim, secretly glad their good friend and Jim's academy mate, Bill Stenzler, would be working together. It made her feel better, somehow.
"You betcha. But I'm going to have to be there early to get my stuff into the station." Jim paused for a moment before saying wistfully, " I want to make it off probation so we can get that house soon instead of being in this apartment. We're going to need a bigger place soon for little Jimmy and little Jean."
"Little Jimmy and little Jean?" Jean asked, giving Jim a look she knew he'd understand.
"Well, you know, in a couple of years...." Jim stammered.
"I don't remember talking about another baby that soon."
"Well, I thought that after the baby is born you might want another soon. You know, maternal instincts."
"Jim, I know that we talked about more children, but I don't remember saying we would have one right after the other."
Jim looked at Jean and tried to reply but couldn't find any words to say.
"I think what you need is to go run before you get yourself in any deeper, copper." Jean gave him a playful shove, then patted her still-flat tummy. "Besides, this one can be a 'Little Jean'. No one knows except God if it's a boy or a girl. You would be happy with a daughter, wouldn't you?" asked Jean sternly.
"Yeah, but doesn't James A. Reed Jr., have a nice ring to it? Family namesake, you know," Jim said with confidence.
"Men!" Jean harrumphed. "You go run, and I'll work on my beauty sleep for a few more minutes."
"Women!" Jim parroted. He leaned over and gave her a kiss. "I'll see you in a bit."
Jim changed and left the apartment as Jean snuggled back under the covers. He started out on a short two-mile-run. After he got into stride he started to feel better. Clears out the cobwebs. As he ran, he got to thinking about raising a family and how life changes so fast after children come along. Sometimes he wished that they had waited a little longer to start a family, but his great-Aunt Letitia always said that there was no time like the present, so in just a few months "Little Jimmy or "Little Jean" would be here.
After he finished the run he felt calmer, so he walked an extra quarter mile to cool down and enjoy the morning.
Jim returned to the apartment, reached into his pocket for his door key and discovered he didn't have it. Great, that's all I need now. Jean will never let me live this down. So much for a relaxing run. Hope the rest of the day doesn't go like this. Jim reluctantly rang the doorbell and within a minute Jean opened the door.
When Jean cracked the door and saw who it was she said drily, "Well, well, the conquering hero returns to the castle and his queen humbly awaits his return from the field of battle from defending her honor." She giggled. "Hope you don't forget your 'cuff keys tonight."
"My fair maiden, your honor has been defended for another day," Jim replied. "Now let me in so I can take a shower and we can go out for a while. You did want to look at some paint for the baby's room, didn't you?"
"I did. Blue or pink?" Jean still didn't let him in, acting as if the answer would be a password.
"How about yellow? That's a nice neutral color," Jim said.
"That sounds good. I like a man that can stand by his values." She opened the door wider and moved aside. "Now go shower and I'll fix something for you to eat."
Jim showered and felt even calmer than he did earlier. I wish I didn't worry about every little thing, but if I don't, it never seems to get done. He hoped the nervousness wouldn't return but he knew it would, probably around one o'clock. But he'd promised himself that he would not let it show to Jean. Being a policeman's wife and pregnant didn't seem like a good combination.
The rest of the day passed uneventfully as he helped Jean with the shopping and some other household chores. He enjoyed doing things like that since he didn't have the space to work on any cars at their apartment. He longed for the day they would be in their very own home. A three bedroom ranch with a big garage. That's what I want. With a blue room for little Jimmy. But yellow, just in case. About 1:30 p.m., he decided it was time to gather up his uniform and equipment and start taking them out to the car. It seemed like it would take forever to get all of it settled. Uniforms, duty-belt, hat, helmet, briefcase, shoes, gun, baton; it took a lot of equipment to be a cop. But he had gotten a box, and besides, a lot of that stuff would stay at the station after tonight. Especially the gun.
Jim was glad that he bought an off-duty gun. That 6-inch service revolver would be a lot to carry. Jim remembered that one of the range officers said that the department would be changing to the 4-inch revolvers in the next couple of years. Jim's class got to see them when they were on the firing range and all of the officers thought that they were great. The two-inch difference made them look better. It looked like a police gun, not a six-shooter from the old west.
Jim knew that he would get a lot of ribbing about being the new guy at the station by from the veteran officers there. He thought back to the station orientation the other day and thought about Sergeant MacDonald and Lieutenant Moore. The lieutenant had been around a while and seemed like a pretty good supervisor, but the sergeant was another story. Jim thought that he seemed kind of hard to read. He remembered a conversation he had with Bill Stenzler the other day how they would be riding together in A-cars in a couple of weeks after they got to know the division. They planned to make sergeant in five years The new L.A.P.D., that's us. Sergeant Brown at the academy told us that we are the best trained in L.A.P.D. history.
And Jim believed that.
After Jim got everything put in the trunk he walked back to the apartment. Jean stood at the door smiling at him.
"Jim, it'll be all right," she said, apparently still sensing his worry. "Go out there and do your best. And don't worry."
"You bet. I love you, Jean Reed." Jim pulled her into a hug.
"I love you too, Jim. Come home safe," Jean said, as she laid her head on his chest. "You want me to wait up for you to come home?"
"I finish watch at 11:30 and I'm sure that there will be a ton of paperwork to do. I remember that from the academy. Everything goes on paper. I think the L.A.P.D. has an interest in paper companies. Come to think of it, maybe we should get some stock in paper, too." Jim leaned down, gave Jean a kiss and said, "I'll see you later, gotta go."
Jean gave him an extra squeeze then let him go.
Jim walked away to the parking lot, turned and waved back to his wife, trying to look confident for her. He then got into the car and drove off toward the job that he knew would change his life forever.
Jim made it to Central Division without a lot of traffic delays. As he pulled into the parking lot he observed some other men walking into the station. Wonder which one is my training officer?
He walked into the locker room and asked one of the other officers there if he knew of any empty lockers and he was shown one. It took three trips to get all his equipment into the locker room. Finally he got his equipment stored and walked by the report desk to pick up the various types of reports that he would need. That's one thing I know about -- all the reports that I'll need in the field. We spent hours and hours writing all types of them in the academy.
Jim went back to the locker room, sat down on the bench, and put some of the reports into his notebook and the extras into his briefcase. He looked around and saw more officers coming to change for the P.M. watch. Good thing I waited. I didn't want look too new by getting dressed too early or spilling anything on my uniform.
Jim figured the watch commander would like to have an inspection today since new men were reporting for duty. He made up his mind to be sure every part of his uniform was in perfect condition.
Jim started changing into his uniform as Bill Stenzler walked in with his equipment. They made some small talk about an upcoming fishing trip and working together as soon as they could . When Bill went to dress, Jim took his badge and walked over to the shine rug to put a last minute shine on it. He carefully carried it by the pin to avoid smudging it before he put it on his shirt.
Jim then saw Lieutenant Moore walk into the locker room with another officer and could only hear bits of their conversation. Jim tuned in when he heard Lieutenant Moore tell the other officer that he was going to have a new man that night. Someone slammed a locker shut so Jim couldn't hear the lieutenant tell the officer who it would be.
After listening to the rest of the conversation, Jim thought that the red-haired officer sounded like a burn-out. Both Jim and Stenzler finished up close to the same in their class so Jim figured that he was Stenzler's training officer. No offense to Stenzler, but surely the sergeant wouldn't put me with an officer like that.
Jim picked up his briefcase and helmet bag and followed the other officers to the roll-call room. He saw Stenzler sitting up front and joined him.
"I see you made it in here with out spilling anything on you, Reed," Stenzler said.
Jim told Bill that he thought he had seen his training officer. He didn't say anything about what he thought about that officer.
Lieutenant Moore and Sergeant MacDonald walked into the roll call room and took their places at the table on the platform, so Jim sat down next to his buddy.
Lieutenant Moore spoke first. "Okay, before we get started, we have two new officers working with us this shift. Stand up as I call your name. The first is James Reed." The lieutenant paused long enough to let Jim stand. "And William Stenzler. You'll be meeting your training officers here in just a few minutes. Just to let you other officers know, they both graduated in the top ten and Reed here is shooting four-dollar-money. These officers are some of the best and brightest that the academy is putting out.
"Speaking of shooting four-dollar money, the rest of you don't forget to qualify for the month. We'll be having an inspection after roll call, so we'll take a look at the watch to make sure we're sending out our best to protect the division. Sergeant MacDonald, take over."
There were a few snickers from the back row, Jim noticed. Veterans row. One day I'll be back there, but not for long.
"All right, men," Sergeant MacDonald said, "let's get the assignments out of the way before we get into the crime reports. Stenzler and Walters, 1-Adam-45."
Jim heard an officer speak from "Veterans row" and took a quick look back. He saw an officer - not the redhead -- nod toward Stenzler. No, it can't be!
"Malloy and Reed, 1-Adam-12."
With a knot in his stomach, Jim looked around a second time to the red- haired officer who nodded towards him. "Oh, no," He thought again. He turned back and wrote down 1-A-12 on a piece of paper and stuck it in his pants pocket. He paid very little attention to the rest of the unit assignments. He would learn the other officers as the weeks went on. The briefing ended with Sergeant MacDonald telling the shift to fall outside for inspection. Jim picked up his briefcase and helmet bag and started to follow the rest of the officers.
The red-haired officer had waited for Jim to walk by and said, unenthusiastically, "I'm Malloy. You'll be with me tonight. We'll talk after inspection." With that, Malloy walked toward the door, without another word. Jim's stomach fell somewhere around his ankles.
They walked outside and Malloy went to the right. Jim went to the left and set his equipment down and found a place to stand waiting for the call to attention.
Jim thought that he'd have to talk with the sergeant after watch about assigning him with Malloy. He'd heard about Walters while he was getting dressed, and he sounded like the type of T.O. that he could work with. He just wasn't sure about that Malloy fellow. I hope he lets me show him how good an officer I am.
The rest of the officers found a place as Sergeant MacDonald called out, "Watch, Ten-Hut."
The black and white pulled into the parking lot and Pete Malloy maneuvered it into a parking space. He killed the ignition with a flourish and said, "Junior, go ahead and call us end of watch."
Jim removed the mike from the holder and said, "1-Adam-12, end of watch."
"1-Adam-12, end of watch," replied the dispatcher.
Jim glanced over at his T.O. and found the older officer looking intently at him. "Well, you said that you checked me out in one piece and you wanted to check me in the same way. Did you?"
"Yes. You did fine for a first night. But let me tell you this. You try any more stunts like you pulled in the park again, and you'd better plan to look for a new job." Malloy said, stabbing a finger towards him for emphasis.
Malloy narrowed his eyes at Jim, but Jim could see there was no real anger in them. "Don't 'sir' me, junior. Since I told you that I can't turn you loose yet on the citizens of this fair city, you can call me Malloy. I have to keep you safe for your wife and baby."
"Yes, sir." Jim said, grinning.
Pete just sat there looking at Jim and shaking his head. Val was right. I do see a lot of me in him. I guess I was that full of fire when we hit the streets.
Pete showed Jim how to close out the car log and they gathered their shotguns, cleared them and walked into the station. They went to the report desk and completed the paperwork on Jim's arrests in the park. It took about forty-five minutes to get it all completed. They both walked in the Watch Commander's office and laid the reports from their shift on Sergeant MacDonald's desk.
Mac gave the paperwork a quick look and then told Reed to step into the hall.
After Jim left, Sergeant MacDonald asked, "Pete, how do you think he did? Everything go all right tonight?"
"Fine. Lieutenant Moore was right. We've got one of the best working with us. Let me get him trained and he'll be the best. Good kid. I see a lot of good things coming for him." Pete felt comfortable with his prediction.
Mac studied Pete a moment, then let a small grin turn up one corner of his mouth. "I take it you decided not to quit the department."
Pete tried not to squirm. "I had a change of heart."
"Keep the change of heart. That's the Malloy I remember. Never one to let any poorly trained officers out. And never one to run away from a problem. I'd hate to lose a good friend and officer. I thought I'd lost him for good a few weeks ago."
"You might have lost the officer, but not the friend," Pete replied.
Mac nodded and smiled. "Anything I need to know about Reed's performance tonight?"
Malloy grinned. "No. I'm keeping him on a tight leash."
"You do that. Anything else?"
"Then you two get out of here, I've got more important things to do. Got to talk to Wells again." Mac said, shaking his head and sounding exasperated.
Pete left the office and found Jim standing against the wall just like he had been standing against that tree in the park earlier. "Let's get out of here. I'm sure your wife is waiting up to hear all about your first night and how mean your T.O. was to her husband," Pete said, grinning.
Los Angeles, California
Several Years Later
The Chief of Police placed the Medal of Valor around Jim's neck and he responded with a salute. The chief shook Jim's hand and said "Congratulations Jim, you're a very brave man." Jim took his place in line with the other honorees, then the emcee spoke.
"Ladies and gentlemen...your Medal of Valor winners. To them we owe our thanks with gratitude and with pride."
The emcee then began to applaud, and following his cue, the guests and other police officers broke into thunderous applause that eventually turned into a standing ovation at the six officers standing on the stage.
After the applause died down and the honorees were dismissed, Jim came from backstage and walked over to the table where his friends and colleagues stood waiting for him, smiling and looking proud. He had been so relieved to see Jean show up at the last minute. He had been so afraid that she wouldn't come, and even more afraid that she might never forgive him for the events that had led to his receiving the award. Jean and the others were standing up waiting for him with smiles on their faces.
But now as he got closer to her, Jean's seemed bigger and brighter than the rest to him, and he felt a load start to lift from his heart. Jim held out his arms to her, and she rushed into his embrace. They stood, just holding each other for a long moment. Finally, she tipped her head up and whispered into his ear, "I'm so proud of you Jim, and I love you." She gave him a big hug, released him, and stood with her arm around him.
Jim had never heard sweeter words. "I love you, too," he whispered back. "I'm glad you decided to come."
Jean pushed away from him only enough to look into his eyes. "I wasn't going to. Judy called me this morning to see if I was going. After I told her no, we talked for a while and she told me how she felt when she found out that Pete was shot and how scared she is everyday that he goes out on patrol. After listening to her, it made me realize that I'm not the only one that worries. And I do mean it, Jim, I'm proud of what you do, even if it does scare me."
"That means a lot to me, honey."
Jean looked at him and furrowed her brow. "But Jim--I don't want to see Pete or Mac at our front door except to come to dinner. You promise me that you'll be careful."
Jim hugged his wife back to his chest. "Jean, the best I can say is I promise you that I'll try. I
always try to be as careful as I can be. I didn't plan to go charging in there to save Pete. I knew
he needed my help. Just like he did a couple of years ago in Griffith Park when the totaled our
cruiser. I couldn't just give up and let him die. I don't think you would have wanted that either."
He leaned down and kissed Jean on the cheek and the others at the table started clapping again.
Jean grabbed Jim behind the head and gave him a passionate kiss on the lips. That brought more clapping and a few catcalls from their friends, not to mention others at the surrounding tables. She stopped the kiss and looking slightly embarrassed, whispered into Jim's ear, "Hold that thought. We'll talk later."
"I'm counting on that," Jim whispered back.
"Okay, time to break it up," Pete growled at them good-naturedly. He led the way for the others to crowd around the now-happy couple.
Pete's girlfriend Judy Campbell walked over to Jim, and picked up the medal that was lying on Jim's chest. "So this is what the Medal of Valor looks like," she said as she laid the medal back down and smoothed out the ribbon. She then turned back to where Pete Malloy was standing, placed her arm into his and gave his arm a squeeze. I guess Ed was right. Getting shot isn't something to be ashamed of or proud of. Jim's actions saved the man I love.
Pete returned the squeeze, then left her to stepped over to Jim. "Congratulations, partner, " he said, shaking Jim's hand. "You know how I feel about this, and why."
"I know," Jim said.
Pete turned away, and stood next to Judy, looking a little misty-eyed. I got after him about acting like Sergeant York and here I went and did that and darned if I didn't get shot. Jim felt his own eyes stinging a little. Pete didn't often express a lot of emotion.
Ed Wells stepped over, breaking the moment. He looked to his wife and said, "This is what I almost got the time I got shot. Reed, you deserve it."
"Thanks, Ed," Jim said as they shook hands.
After Ed moved away, Jerry Woods shook Jim's hand and congratulated him, and then it seemed that everyone was shaking his hand or pounding him on the back--even people from surrounding tables that he didn't know .
As soon as everyone was finished Jim spoke. "Thanks, all of you. It means a lot to me, you all being here. This day is definitely one of the proudest days of my life." He turned to Jean and said, "And one of the best days of our life."
Sergeant MacDonald motioned Jim over. He picked the medal up and shook his hand. "Congratulations, Jim. You've made the whole division proud. By the way, Captain Moore got a message to me before he left the ceremony. He needs to see both you and Pete at the station as soon as this wraps up."
"Mac, I thought we got the rest of the day off, " Jim sighed. He really wanted to have some time alone with his wife.
"You can have the rest of the day off after you two see the captain. I'm just following orders--like you two need to do, " Mac said with a smile on his face.
"Well, Pete, I guess the station can't function without us for one shift."
"I guess not. Judy, why don't you and Jean go on to the house for the party. We'll go see the Captain and get this over and meet you there," Pete said.
"What house and whose party?" Jim inquired.
"Yours," Jean replied with an impish grin. "We set it up at the last minute. We're having it at our house."
"Our house?" Jim asked.
"We can't have it at Pete's bachelor apartment and Judy's place is clear across town. Ours is the closest."
Jim shook his head at his wife. "You never cease to amaze me. I didn't think you were even going to show up at the ceremony and now you've managed to arrange a party at our house." He put his arm around his wife and gave her a hug and bent down and kissed her on the cheek.
Jean looked at Jim with her hand out and said,. "Let me have the keys to the Corvette. Judy and I can go take a cruise home. She's never gotten to ride in it and we need a few extra things for the party. We have some time now that you have to go to the station."
Jim reached in his pocket, looked at the keys and gave them to Jean. "You take care of it and be careful. You know how long I worked on it."
Jean rolled her eyes. "Believe me, I know. This is the only way I get to drive it. Besides, you two would look kind of funny driving it to the station in your uniforms." Jean replied. "Don't worry."
"Yeah, but I know how you drive," Jim commented.
"And I know how you drive partner," Pete replied, grinning as Jean swatted Jim's arm.
Pete and Jim walked out into the parking lot of the convention center. They found where Pete had left his car, got in and pulled out into traffic.
"You know, it seems like so long ago that you and I started out riding together," Jim said
"Just a few years ago. I still remember you in roll call. I remember the look on your face when you found out you were assigned to me. "
"I don't know how I looked, but I remember how I felt. When you said that you were about to quit and that was your last night, I felt bad about it and I didn't even know you." Jim paused and cocked his head at Pete. "You know, in all the years we've ridden together you never did tell me what you planned to do after you quit."
"Junior," Pete said grinning, "I don't think I knew what I was going to do. All I knew was that I needed to get out of the department. Then along you came as a wet behind the ears, too eager rookie, and you blew that plan out of the water. Now look at you. Medal of Valor winner."
"Trust me, I never hired in to win the medal. All I wanted to do was to work for the L.A.P.D." Jim said, staring out the window.
"What are your plans? I know we talked the other day about you taking the investigators examination. Still planning on that, or are you going to stay in the field?"
"I'm not sure about the examination." Jim paused and then spoke quietly. "I think you know that this last bit has been rough on Jean and me."
Jim flashed Pete a reassuring smile. "But, hey, don't worry. I think everything is going to be all right now. So for right now, I know I'm in the best place."
"Glad to hear it. I'm not sure if I'm ready to break in a new partner. It took me too long to get you like I want." Pete said, smiling.
"Pete, since we've been riding all these years together, one day I'd like to talk about what happened in that warehouse with your other partner."
"Some day, Jim. All I'll say is that I still hate getting 459's in a warehouse. I still think back to that day when we get one of those calls. You know, like the other day when we got that call with the two kids in the warehouse. No sooner do we walk in the door and the boyfriend takes a shot at us. That just knots me up inside. I think you know the rest."
"I think so." Jim replied then turned to stare back out the window. I think I do, my friend. I'm pretty sure what Jean was so upset about. Pete lost his partner and I almost lost mine. But all I could think of was to get to him. Get him out. Get him help. I didn't care about the drug dealers or anything else. That's funny, I remember the chewing out Pete gave after that big fight call in the park my first night. I told him about "thinking" and he said "it's when you think before you're supposed to think that you think yourself dead." I almost did it this time...and so did he.
They drove on to the Central Division Station, pulled in and found a parking space. They made their way to the Captain's office, and they walked into the outer office and greeted his secretary as the entered. After they stated their business, she asked them to have a seat then she called the Captain on the intercom and got permission for Reed and Malloy to enter.
"Both of you go on in," she said. Then she added to Jim, "Congratulations on the Medal of Valor."
"Thank you," Jim smiled.
The partners then looked at each other, shrugged their shoulders and walked to the inner door. Malloy knocked and heard the familiar voice of Captain Moore tell them to come in. The Captain stood up, and stepped from behind his desk and shook their hands. "Congratulations, Jim, on the medal. Well, did you two have a good lunch downtown today?"
"Not too bad," Malloy said.
"I'm glad to hear it. I wanted to stick around but I got a call from the chief just before it started and had to head down to Parker Center right after the presentation and to meet with him. I just got back here myself."
"Anything important?" Malloy asked.
"No, just some routine personnel matters." Moore gave them both a stern look "Would either one of you want to tell me why you are both out of uniform?"
Pete and Jim looked at themselves and each other and couldn't find a thing wrong with their appearance. "Out of uniform?" Pete asked, confused.
The captain continued, "Since neither one of you can see the obvious and you're both trained observers, I guess I have to tell you what it is. Now the both of you, attention!"
The partners assumed the position of attention as Val Moore picked up an envelope from his desk.
"James A. Reed, Medal of Valor winner. I have some news for you." He took a look at Reed and Jim knew he could see the nervousness on his face. "I've been hearing rumors that you're not sure about taking the investigators examination. So here's something from the last examination you took that might help you decide." Captain Moore reached into the envelope and handed him a set of training officer's stripes. "The promotion list isn't officially out yet, but you aced the test. I found that out downtown while you were eating on the taxpayers' expense."
"Thanks, Captain," Jim grinned. "I didn't know if I even made the cut."
"You came in at the top of the list, " Captain Moore replied. "Now, that we're done with that presentation, I can get on with the rest of the news."
Pete started to relax when the Captain said, "I'm not done with you, Malloy."
Pete tightened back to attention.
"Senior Lead Officer Peter J. Malloy, my friend and trainee. Since you still need me to guide you through your career," Captain Moore said as he reached in the envelope, "I have to get you back into the correct uniform. Pete, I told you some time back that the excessive use of force incident would be figured in when you went before the sergeants' board. I wasn't sure how it would play out, but congratulations, Sergeant Malloy." Val handed him a set of sergeant's stripes.
Pete still stood at attention, but his mouth fell open in shock.
"Is that all you can do, Sergeant? Stand there with your mouth open?" inquired the Captain.
"Noooo sir. I...I'm just surprised. I never thought I'd never make it on the first go-around," replied the still obviously-shocked Malloy.
"Well, you did. It looks like I'm going to have to break this happy partnership up. You have anything to say, Reed?"
Jim grinned at his partner and said,"Congratulations Pete, you deserve it. By the way, when did you find time to take the sergeants' exam?"
"I guess the same time you found the time to take the training officers examination. How come you never told me about that, partner?"
Jim looked at his partner shaking his head and looking at the set of training officer chevrons.
"Congratulations to both of you." The captain said. "The promotions are well deserved. I have a few more things to say then you can get out of here. The chief said that I could go ahead and tell you about the promotions. Since you were just awarded the Medal of Valor it seemed like the thing to do. Pete, there's a few things that you need to know about your promotion and I'd rather you hear them from me instead of through the grapevine. First, you get to stay here at Central for a while. Sergeant Mathis from A.M. Watch is going to be out for a while so I can use you there. So that's why the chief said I could tell you. Second, you would have been at the top of the list instead of at the bottom of the cut but that excessive use of force complaint is what did you in. I know that you would have been at the top without it."
Pete started to speak, but the Captain held up his hand cutting him off. "Some of the other captains would have loved to have you in their divisions but they didn't like the idea of having a sergeant with an excessive use of force complaint. They thought it would set a bad example. You use too much force and you get promoted." Captain Moore paused a moment, then continued. "We all know that it was an isolated incident. It never happened before and won't happen again." Val said sternly, looking at Pete. "I told the other captains if they didn't want you, I'd be more than happy to keep you here. I'm sure you'll have to transfer later but right now you stay here. Besides, it beats being sent to 'shootin' Newton'. Think you can handle it?"
"Yes, sir!" Pete replied.
The captain continued, "Reed, you can stay here if you want, or I'm sure you could go to any other division without a lot of problems."
"Captain, I'd just as soon stay here."
"Good, good. To be honest, I didn't want to lose either one of you. Just to let you know, these promotions go into effect on Monday. Do me a favor and don't say anything to Mac. I have a little plan for Mac that day if you want to join in."
"Yes, sir," the partners replied together, grinning.
Captain Val Moore intercepted Officer Reed and Sergeant Malloy as they entered the station. "I need you two to come into my office." Both officers looked at the captain and nodded. They followed the captain into his outer office. "What I need you two to do is wait here and then go into the locker room and change. I haven't told Mac about you promotions yet so I want you to wait in the hallway until I call for you," the captain said grinning.
Sergeant Malloy and Officer Reed grinned back at the captain.
After Captain Moore left, Jim looked over at his new sergeant. "Pete you never did tell me the other day--when did you find time to take the sergeants exam?"
"When I was sitting at the house recuperating I couldn't get out and do much and I'm not one to sit around with nothing to do, so I started studying. I had to get back to work so I could take the exam. I couldn't take it if I was on medical leave, so it was work inside and then on test day I could go. What about you?"
"About the same. You were off and couldn't get out and I didn't want to mother-hen you, so my nights were free and I started studying. The training officers exam was first and I wanted the experience taking one of the promotion exams. I wasn't expecting to pass it, but it isn't surprising since I had one of the best training officers in the department," Jim said with a grin.
Pete smiled, looking embarrassed. "Are you still going to take the investigators exam?"
"I still have time. It's not being given until next March, so I still have time to study. I don't think I will, though. I'm happy where I'm at, doing what I do, and the money's just the same."
Sergeant MacDonald walked into the roll-call room carrying his clipboard and listened to the banter of the officers in the room. He walked up to the platform with a grin, shaking his head. It never changes. Time for me to be the supervisor. "All right, let's hold it down and get this started. Let's get on with the unit assignments and then I'll get into the crime reports. Brinkman and Corbin, Adam-15. Hall and Woods Xray-25." Both pairs of officers replied as their names were called. "Malloy and Reed Adam-12." Mac looked around when he didn't hear a reply.
About that time Captain Moore entered the roll call room in uniform. "Everything going all right, Sergeant?"
"Yes sir. We're just getting to the unit assignments and I have a couple officers not here yet."
"Who might that be?" the captain inquired.
"Reed and Malloy. It's not like them to be late," Mac replied with a frown.
"Hmmm, I just saw them out in the hall. I thought you might've sent them away for something."
"No sir. I'll deal with them later," Mac said sternly.
"While I'm here let me take a quick look at the watch. You all keep your seats." Moore swept the room with his gaze, then turned back to MacDonald. "Everyone looks in good shape except you, Sergeant."
Sergeant MacDonald did a quick look at his uniform and had a puzzled look on his face. "I'm not sure I follow you, sir."
"Mac, I got on to two of your officers the other day for being out of uniform. I thought the sergeants were supposed to keep tabs on that sort of stuff and keep it from being brought to the captain's attention."
Sergeant MacDonald, still looking flustered, said, "I'm still not sure who you're talking about."
"Reed and Malloy, of course. You've been letting them slide and now here you sit improperly attired." The captain reached in his pocket and pulled out a set of four service stripes. "I believe these are yours, Mac. Effective today. Congratulations."
The officers in the room started clapping for their sergeant as Mac sat there looking at his set of service stripes. "I sort of forgot it was today. Sorry, sir."
"Mac, I have two announcements for you and the rest of the members of the watch. You don't have to worry about talking to Malloy and Reed about being late. Right now they're on special assignment for me." The captain said, grinning. "First of all, I have two new promotions to announce for this division. Both are well deserved and overdue. I also have one new supervisor and training officer that are assigned here." The captain spoke a little louder. "Would my two new officers report up front and center?"
All the members of the watch turned to the door as it opened and in walked Pete Malloy and Jim Reed with their new chevrons sewn on their uniforms. The captain started clapping and all the other officers joined in.
"Mac, once again, I'm doing your job to make sure your officers are in the proper uniform. I hope that this new sergeant will take care of the other officers and Reed here will take care of the recruits. By the way Mac, Reed will be in Adam-12, Malloy can be in a L-car. Just a quick unit change." The captain said, grinning.
"No problem, sir."
"All right sergeant, I'll go back to my office and keep the division running. Men, oops, I forgot Officer Dana Hall is with us today. Officers, have a good shift." The captain turned and walked out of the roll call room, still grinning.
Sergeant MacDonald stood smiling at Reed and Malloy. "You two just changed the car plan."
"That shouldn't be a problem for a Sergeant with your considerable experience," Pete teased, pointedly looking at the new hash marks Mac held in his hand.
Mac snorted. "Right. No problem. Sergeant Malloy, will you take over the reading the reports while I make a few changes." Mac handed him a pile of papers. Darned if those new stripes don't look good on the both of them.
"Yes, Sergeant," replied Sergeant Malloy. "Officer Reed, if you would be so kind as to find a seat and Mac will find someone for you." He gave Jim a mischievous look. "Anybody seen Wells today?"
Reed turned back to Malloy and shot him a dirty look. "Thanks, partner. Oops, Sergeant." Jim turned back around and walked back to the last row. Veterans row, I belong here now. As he looked back to the front of the room he noticed the new officer in the first row. Boy, they're getting younger these days. No way I ever looked that young.
I hope Pete will assign him to me.
Thanks to Karen for helping with the editing of this story, Cathy for placing it on the website and to all actors, writers, producers and everyone else involved in the production of Adam-12, a show I grew up on. Also to my wife who graciously puts up with my liking of this show.