Another Day, Another Death

Following the work of the homicide detectives in an American city.

Tackling cases that they consider run of the mill as well as more complex cases, that requires involving the entire unit.

One such case will bring them all face to face with the dangers of being a police officer as members of the unit become targets of a gunman.

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12. Critical Assessment

"Moving on from the case report for the time being, basically I want to find out what time both of you arrived on the scene."

 

Harry asked them as he switched topics from their case to things connected to his conversation with Hodges.

 

"We both got there at the same time, Gerry picked me up from my house and we arrived at the crime scene just turned 0-five hundred," Frank told him.

 

Well just out of curiosity what time did you get the call.

 

"4:25am." Frank answered not having a clue what this conversation was all about.

 

Gerry same for you.

 

"Well, give or take a minute or two yeah, I suppose it was that time. Why, what's that got to do with anything sarge?"

 

"Well, I'll explain detective, if you'll indulge me, Gerry do you mind telling me what time you went to bed."

 

"Well, I err, yeah, I did go to bed early knowing we were on the early call out duty this week.

 

"What exactly do you consider early considering you knew could be on call anytime between midnight and 7am."

 

Gerry looked at Harry confused by his sudden interest in his sleeping habits and looked to Frank to see if he knew what was going on. Only to see the blank expression he imagined was on his own face.

 

"Come on detective I'm waiting for an answer."

 

"Ok, I went to bed just turned 1am."

 

"An hour after you knew you could get the call to go to a crime scene and that you would have no idea what time you'd likely see your bed again."

 

"Would you consider that the responsible thing to do."

 

"Well, no I guess not, but you know me, I can still be good to go even with that little amount of sleep."

 

"You really think so do you?" Harry asked Gerry then moving on without giving him the opportunity to answer.

 

"Frank how about you what time were you in bed by."

 

"Well, I was a little earlier than usual going to bed it was lights out at twenty-one: thirty hours."

 

"9:30pm you were in bed by 9:30." Gerry said in an unusually high pitched voice having been taken by surprise by that.

 

"Yes and asleep before twenty-two hundred hours."

 

"What, may I ask you, were you doing at that time, maybe out with Sean again." Harry asked Gerry.

 

"No, actually I was indoors, I was just watching tv, well, no, see, actually the tv was only on in the background while I was actually doing some police work."

 

Gerry said in the hope he would get back on Harrys' good side after whatever it was he thought he'd done wrong.

 

"Yeah, I finished off some of the reports on the Hall and the McNee cases."

 

"Refresh my memory detective which cases are those."

 

"Oh the Hall one; the Vic, err, the victim, Alfred Hall was hit by a drunk driver and McNee was the DB, sorry dead body found in his home. We got his neighbour for it, on that one."

 

"I know what a DB stands for Gerry and I know Vic is short for victim you don't have to spell out what the abbreviations are, I think I've been on the job long enough to have picked up the short hand."

 

"Err oh yeah right yeah of course you have Sergeant, Gerry said, calling him by rank and attempting to hide his nervousness at suddenly finding himself the center of attention."

 

"He had been completely caught off guard by Harry, he never expected when he walked in to be grilled about his sleeping habits of all things."

 

"He hadn't felt this nervous since getting busted for smoking weed in high school and being called in to explain himself by the principle."

 

"Look Harry, he reverted back to calling him by name, hoping it was showing him being casual and hiding his fear."

 

"What exactly is this all about?"

 

"It's about professionalism and your decreasing relationship with the word."

 

"That stung Gerry and he had to bite his tongue from getting angry and lashing out and saying something he'd regret, instead he just sat and listened as Harry went on to spell out exactly what he'd meant."

 

Even Frank was a little taken aback, sure he'd been telling his partner for a few weeks to get his act together and start behaving more like a grown up than a teenager more interested in hanging out in bars and going home with the random women he met.

 

After the professionalism comment Harry continued his attack on Gerry.

 

"That may have sounded harsh, but you need it detective you need some kind of kick up the ass, you've gotten lazy and I've allowed it to go on too long."

 

"What happened to the young detective I met so eager to get into homicide, huh where did he go or are you him and your fire has just been extinguished."

 

"Because from what I've seen lately, you are happy to coast leaving the lion's share of the workload to your partner."

 

"That can end here today or you can keep it up and see where it gets you."

 

"You know what I mean, you can try and get back to being that detective who impressed me enough to recommend him for a position in this unit or you can find yourself on a desk somewhere with plenty of time to read about detective work in that novel in your desk draw."

 

"It's up to you Gerry which path you take, I'm going to give you some time to decide, but right now I need you to leave so I can talk to your partner."

 

Gerry wasn't happy feeling he'd been ambushed and his partner hadn't stuck up for him enough, at least not as much as he would've done if the situation were reversed.

 

He got up and stormed out deliberately slamming the office door shut behind him.

 

"Very mature," Harry muttered under his breath.

 

"Before you ask what that was about, I'll tell you, Harry told him, but first I'll need your word that you'll keep this between us for the time being."

 

"Yes of course sergeant," Frank answered.

 

"Good now can you please drop the good soldier thing and relax, take a seat."

 

Frank did as he was asked this time, being as this was part of the meeting would be less formal. He listened as Harry began to talk.

 

"You know the annual evaluations are coming up and our lieutenant wants to make his mark on the unit."

 

"What does that mean Harry? Frank asked being more informal."

 

"Well, in the good news column, thanks to Hodges, John is retiring, he'll be gone in six weeks."

 

"I thought he applied to stay on beyond retirement age."

 

"He did, but he tried to make out he'd had a change of heart when he told me he was going, he had put his papers in to human resources he gave me an it's time to pull the pin speech, like it was his idea."

 

"Only I already knew that was bullshiii...," Harry said, trailing off before he finished uttering the word. Almost breaking his own rule about swearing in the squad room."

 

"The lieutenant made him put in his papers, I don't know what he's got on John, but he made it clear it to me that John knew there was no way he would let him stay on."

 

"I'd like to know what Hodges used, but he won't tell me, I just have to hope it won't blow back in our faces."

 

"Whatever it was let's be honest it is about time, he should've been shown the door years ago."

 

"I'm surprised you didn't at least try and get rid when you made sergeant."

 

"I did try, but he had friends higher up the chain of command who dissuaded me from pushing him out the door. I guess those friends are all gone now."

 

"That's not why I held you back that was just the good news I've been happy to share with you, and well everybody."

 

"Anyway when you came to my office earlier I was on the phone with Hodges that conversation was about his vision for the future of this unit he made it clear he sees Johns' departure and the yearly evals as a chance to clean house."

 

"Clean house, what does... Harry interrupted him to say."

 

"It means Hodges wants rid of the ones he considers to be dead wood, he put forward his case on who he thinks they are, he's giving me time to put up a defense as to why they should stay."

 

"I take it you're telling me this is because Gerry is one of the ones he wants gone," Frank asked.

 

"Yes he is, which is why I need you to write a report on Gerry to highlight his good points and how well you two work together I also need you to detail how you feel Gerry could improve."

 

Frank was shocked to hear what he was being asked to do, although he had done evaluations when he had risen to a supervising role when he was in the military police.

 

He didn't expect to be doing it here when he wasn't even a sergeant.

 

"Obviously I'll be writing something to justify keeping him in the unit, but as his partner I want your honest opinion on your whole time working together."

 

"Can I ask who he wants gone other than Gerry," Frank asked.

 

"If Hodges has his way then Gerry along with Sean, Lucy and Mark will be gone, don't know where they'll end up."

 

"Meaning Ben, Grace, myself and of course you, will be the only ones left."

 

"Not exactly, Ben will be promoted to sergeant and take the position in missing persons and on top of that, Hodges mentioned that I might be in the running to make lieutenant, possibly taking command of Robbery."

 

"Leaving just myself and Grace in Homicide, wow that could be quite a turn over in personnel, but I think if you look at it objectively that's probably about right, Frank responded."

 

"Ok, do you want to tell me why you think that."

 

"Ok you want me to go over my reasoning for them all."

 

"Yes if you don't mind," Harry asked him.

 

"Starting with my partner, well Gerry has been preoccupied by his life out of work, him and Sean are like two peas in a pod more concerned with having a good time chatting up women and having a laugh."

 

"Mark, there are clearly days when he doesn't want to be here anymore and then there are days he's on fire and could clear cases in his sleep, sadly there have been more of the first recently."

 

"I don't know why and honestly I don't much care either way."

 

"Lucy is good depending on the type of case anything involving dead women or kids she's all over them the rest the petty stuff she isn't as bothered to put the work in her and Sean are a terrible partnership when Sean was partners with Bill he had a guiding hand now they're like two kids fitting closing cases in between having a good time."

 

"Ben has lost his fire so it's probably just as well he'll be gone soon."

 

Harry was left speechless momentarily, until he said.

 

"Wow, Frank have you been giving that a lot of thought or is that off the top of your head."

 

"Just observations from working alongside them."

 

"Well, ok then you've got a month to write that report for me," Harry said to him.

 

"Actually, "I think I'll pass on writing that thing about Gerry." 

 

Harry was surprised at that.

 

"At least for now, if I see any improvement after you put a rocket up his ass I'll reconsider, but sad to say lately the best thing about Gerry being my partner is that he drives me home from work sometimes when it's raining so I don't have to walk or get the bus."

 

"What about you Frank, you've stood in as acting sergeant a few times in my absence, it's not to late to take the sergeants' exam."

 

"If you pass you could put your name forward for my seat if I go."

 

"Actually, I might consider that Harry, but straight to the sergeants desk in homicide seems like it would be too quick."

 

"Not really I got it that way so did the guy who sat in this chair before me."

 

"You've been here a while now, long enough to know the unit, how it works clearly you have an opinion about what makes a good homicide cop, so think about it seriously."

 

"You'd have my backing that's for sure," Harry told him.

 

"I'll think about it Harry, thanks," Frank said as he got up to leave.

 

Back sitting at his desk Gerry was feeling pissed off with Harry and Frank as well, what the hell was that about? I may not be as anal about it as Frank but I do get my paper work done. He thought.

 

As he sat down to start writing his preliminary report a thought occurred to him, it's about the evaluations, how did I not think about them. After all I've got my self assessment form sitting on my coffee table at home.

 

You know what, he thought fuck both those guys, I'm good at this job, still I knew it would come to an end one day, and if it comes to an end here then likely that means my time on the job altogether is over as I'm not going back into uniform.

 

That would be a backward step, which he wasn't prepared for that, he had a second career in the making to fall back on if he did find himself out the door here.

 

After he'd shaken hands with Frank before he left, Harry sat back down and he was tempted to call Gerry back in realisation he had gone harder on him than he intended.

 

It dawned on him that as he was getting angrier and had taken that out on Gerry, all because he feared that he might be getting played by Hodges. The lieutenant position he had told him was out there waiting for him was probably bullshit.

 

He knew that if there was one, if any cop was moving up or being moved down or even off the job altogether and he was among the front runners, he would've heard about it by now.

 

You don't get to be on the job as long as he has been without making friends in the department who would put him forward for a promotion, or enemies who would be more than happy to tell him if he was being passed over.

 

Which meant in all likelihood Hodges was lying and wanted him gone as well.

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