This is part of an ongoing series called Graveyard Shift. It can be read alone or you can roll back in my archives and start from the beginning.
“I swear, she came in like that.” The heavy set bartender said. “I never served her a drink. She never ordered one.”
“I’m not sure I believe you,” Officer Jimmy McInerney said.
“I don’t care if you believe me, I’m telling you the truth.”
“Watch your attitude”, Jimmy shot him a look. He wasn’t the biggest guy on the force but his mannerisms and demeanor commanded respect.
“Look”, the bartender said. “She came in, she went right to the dance floor, was hanging all over some guys. Made a real spectacle of herself so I had the bouncers toss her out.”
“Will your bouncers corroborate that story?”
“Do a better job on the sidewalk also. You dumped her out there and a bunch of assholes did nothing but stand there and look at her. That shit reflects on you as a business. Got it?”
“You got it, Jimmy”, the bartender replied.
“Got it, Officer McInerney.”
Jimmy gave him a long look as if to say “I mean it” and walked out. For emphasis he banged his nightstick on the edge of the mahogany bar. The crowd cleared the way for him as he stepped outside. The band of idiots that felt it was ok to watch a drunk girl helpless on the sidewalk without helping was gone. With a smirk, Jimmy mused to himself, Valentine would be proud.
Officer James “Jimmy” McInerney wasn’t a hardass by any means, despite the side of him that he had just displayed. In fact, he was known as a fair, honest and reasonable man around town. He had grown up here, was a very popular guy in High School and after graduating college in New York moved back and joined the Police force. Being a familiar figure around town, Jimmy let a lot of people off with warnings. It was his nature. His style of policing worked in a small college town. But in recent years the town had changed.
Jimmy had watched his quiet college town of 35,000 during the school year and 25,000 in the summer grow into a bustling community. A new teaching Hospital, followed by a Software Company had drawn young professionals and downsized workers from all over. Urban sprawl and a boom in population followed. The sharp increase in population forced the town’s Police Department to modify its procedures and adapt to a city mentality. Jimmy reluctantly joined in lockstep. He had to. He knew that he was lucky to still have a job after the events of August 2005.
On the night of August 28, 2005 a young and idealistic “Officer Jimmy”, as he was then known had been stationed at his favorite speed trap, the intersection of 2nd and main. It was at the bottom of a hill and cars came down it way too fast. This particular intersection was home to a very busy crosswalk and Jimmy, as was every other cop in town was concerned about someone getting hit by a speeder. A lot of stops were made there out of a regard for safety and of course revenue generation and many tickets were issued. Officer Jimmy wasn’t big on tickets, he was more about keeping people safe. He believed that “Protect and Serve” was a lost notion, that cops now were all about busting heads and acting tough. Not him. He would never be like that. He always tried to live by his father’s famous mantra, “Always be nice. Until it’s time not to.” He had heard it so many times he might as well have had it tattooed on his forehead. It was his go-to first reaction in almost all situations and it had served him well.
Until that night.
to be continued…