The town of Athens, WV is kind of small, but a nice place to live. It's home to Concord University, and in spite of that the crime rate is pretty low, so the town doesn't have a full-time police department. There's two officers. One full time, the other part time, and no coverage over night, Hence my McJob.
The pay isn't all that great and my boss knows I'm here only for a finite period because the second I'm hired by a Class 1 railroad, I'm outta' here as the saying goes.
Not that I don't take my job any less serious. It's a pretty simple, no-brainer kind of job and it's bought me back to when I was a twenty two year-old rookie walking a beat. That was the best two years I had on the job. That was my beat, and nothing better happen on my beat without me knowing about it. I knew everyone and everything in a ten city block area. If something happened, I had a pretty good idea who did it and where to find them, and they'd rue the day I found them.
I liked that, it was the closest to being a real flatfoot cop from the old days as you can get. I still have squirreled away somewhere my old brass police callbox key. What I'm doing now is kind of like that too. There's a few businesses I check several times a night and now I know all the owners and employees. I know who and what should be there and shouldn't. I make sure the girls from the diner get to their cars at night after they close up, I know when the paper delivery guys get in...
And I know where to get a free cup of coffee.
It's My Beat.
So, I was off on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the owner of the Deli-Mart told me that his Pepsi Cola machine was broken into on Tuesday night. The week before his son's place, the diner, had several bricks stolen, also on my night off.
I'm taking this personal. It's my beat. Even though it was my night off, I feel like it's a slap in the face. I'm going to find out who's doing this. They've got to be local and I'll find them.
I'm not going into any vigilante mode or anything like that, they certainly don't pay me even close enough for me to get that involved. But I do want to let whoever is doing this they'd better knock the shit off on my beat or they'll rue the day they crossed me.
it's my beat, and I'm going to protect it.
Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden