During my police career, I served many midnight to 8am shifts. Something about those hours makes people a little daffy at times. What can you expect when lunchtime is 3am in the morning?
About the same time almost every night, we were receiving a call about a prowler or suspicious activity or some such, a call that had come from the same apartment number in the same building. And when we went there, we would be told in detail by a little old lady about sounds of suspicious activity and the sighting of a scurrying little man. Each night we went, because we felt we should. Each night she would recount a somewhat similar story: A little man was antagonizing our little old lady.
At first, we tried to reassure her that the little man was only in her imagination. That was wholly unsuccessful. I enjoyed the psychology classes that I took at the police academy, and it occurred to me that perhaps I could use something I learned there.
The next time the call came in, my partner and I went to the same house, the same apartment, the same lady, with her same story. But this time, instead of trying to convince her that there was no little man there harassing her, I told her that I was going to put him in handcuffs and take him into custody.
I walked behind the sofa and, while my partner partially blocked her view. I made some jangling noises with the handcuffs, along with clicking sounds, as though I was putting a perpetrator in cuffs. I announced to my partner and to the potential victim that I indeed had captured the trouble-maker and was going to take him to the police station. My partner congratulated me, and while he again somewhat blocked the lady’s view of what I was doing, I stooped down low and walked out of the room and out of her apartment with the handcuffs dangling, the little man supposedly in custody. That was the last such call we ever got.
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