Burglar alarm at a church came out zero dark thirty one night a couple months ago. I didn’t normally answer a lot of those anymore and I wasn’t real thrilled about getting out in wet freezing temps but I happened to be rolling around within a stones throw from it so I check up and whip in the parking lot. I’m well ahead of any back up unit but I proceed to walk the perimeter and check doors and out buildings alone.
As I reach the back of the building I notice dark alcoves and external but enclosed stairwells. My John Wayne saunter starts to fade as I recall the rookie that got killed in my neighborhood as a kid when he split from his FTO and went around back of a feed store alone on just such a call. Then I thought of the local cop a year or two ago that was knocked unconscious behind a grocery store answering an alarm alone. I consider even the Lone Ranger had Tonto and Batman had Robin. I check up a bit and just about this time my second unit rolls up and immediately calls out that a guy in a black hoodie is running out from the shadows behind me. The perp has the jump and the chase is on. Straight into the pitch black flooded woods and underbrush we crash.
The perp dumps his flashlight and manages to break contact quickly. The terrain plays to his short term advantage but I get a good perimeter set and have K9 and air support pretty quick tonight. With a little time to shiver & consider his odds in the freezing swamp while the sound of helo circles and the land shark announces his enthusiasm as we close in the perp starts yelling that he doesn’t want to get bit and comes crawling to us.
Then to top it off A couple hours later I get a call from a friend.
I’d spent some time a little over a year ago lending my ear to a brother from my friend’s agency. Not everyday you answer a welfare concern on a peer in a motel room. Of course he knew what not to say but I got a vibe that I couldn’t shake. Went back later even to check on him a second time. In the end listen, empathize & make some calls to ensure people in his circle knew that things didn’t feel right was about all I could do. Apparently it just delayed the ultimate outcome. It took nearly a year but He eventually took his own life. I hope he found peace on the other side.
I guess my point here is that there is more to survival than cold steel and skill. Don’t face the world without back up if you don’t have to.