(Had to spend a couple days on the keyboard, and now we’re ready to continue with our crime novel…please go to the Archives section, the July 16th post, They Had the Right to Remain Silent (1), if this is your first time to this blog…if you’re up to speed, away we go…)
A special thank you, to those who served in the NYPD eleven years ago today….
They Had the Right to Remain Silent
Richard S. Jachimecki
Chapter ( xxx )
     HOMICIDE CAPTAIN MICHAEL BERNARD BERRY had been with NYPD for fourteen years. He created his own fast- track, straight out of the Academy, driven to earn a gold shield and move up the ranks. He approached everything as one big classroom. While a uniformed officer, he studied the streets during his watch as fervidly as he devoured the police procedure manuals and tomes regarding Law, when off- duty. Historic accounts of the Force and its role in New York culture, politics and psychology were casual reading. He bled Blue.
     Application is the Key a personal mantra; you took what you knew and put it to use on the streets. Through tours in Vice, Narcotics and finally Homicide, his education never waned.
     But Mike possessed the quality anyone ‘on the job’ swore you were born either with or without. ‘Hunch’, ‘street- smart’, and ‘gut feeling’ were simplifications that described the innate characteristic of taking complicated scenarios and breaking them down to bare bones. His record spoke for itself– he solved tough cases and the bad guys did time.
     Jealousies of his progress, held by a handful, but respect was high from the members of any precinct with which Mike had association.
     Standing just under six feet, administrative duty had allowed for a little thickening, but visits to the gym, religiously three times a week, kept him a solid one hundred- ninety pounds. Coarse jet- black hair of medium length was brushed straight back on his head. Crystal clear emerald eyes sat below thick brows. His Roman nose took a slight detour at the bridge; a remnant from a literal ‘face- to- face’, tangling with a violent wife- abuser who was hopped- up on Meth. Both his nose and the junkie got busted.
     His beard was heavy, something he’d dealt with from the age of thirteen. He put it to work in undercover Narcotics, and let it grow wild. Coupled with shoulder- length hair, it topped off the ensemble of ratty unwashed clothes. His personage allowed him infiltration to crack houses. First he gained the trust of small- time dealers, then he parlayed their confidences to set up a sting operation. The target was a Columbian drug lord who enjoyed a reputation for being untouchable. Mike was point man, spearheading the bust that ignited simultaneous raids throughout the city. It didn’t bode well with the Feds, but the upstaging collar scored huge points at One Police Plaza. Now clean- shaven, Mike kept a Braun in his office, to remedy the five- o’clock shadow that appeared by eleven every morning.
     He aced exams and promotions followed, to Sergeant and Lieutenant, where his reputation grew as a leader with no hidden agendas. When the previous captain transferred, opportunity and preparedness met for Mike, though some called it luck, as his advancement jumped over the seniority of others conventionally considered next in line. But he knew his territory, and he could deal with any who called it home; from street vendor to societal elite.
     He analyzed the personnel ‘jackets’ of all in his charge, considering their assets and shortcomings. Improvement was mandatory. Some opted out, realizing status quo an anathema to the new Captain, and transferred to other precincts. Those who stuck with him became razor sharp, emulating the man in the office at the end of the squad room.
     Now he stood in front of Detectives Becker and Marshall, his Thinking Man’s Dog and Goliath.
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