This is a guest post from a friend of many years who wishes to remain anonymous. He was a city police officer in a San Francisco suburb from the mid-70’s until 2005. I’ve modified a few words but these are mostly his:
I think about this because my last night on the street was ten years ago tonight. The City of ******* offered a 401(a) plan, which was a huge income tax advantage, obtainable by retiring in January, not December. Hence working the night shift that ended at 0500 on 1/1/2005 was a major money night for me.
At about fifteen minutes before quitting time, we got a call of a gang member with a sawed-off shotgun in the courtyard of the Camelot Apartments. I still remember the thought, “Fifteen minutes from retirement and now this!!!!!” Coming from Beat One, I was the third to arrive. Fortunately, the crook took one look at us and set down the gun, which prevented things from getting really ugly, especially for him because the gun was not loaded and he had no ammunition in possession.
I measured the gun. It was 1/4” too long in barrel and in overall length to be an illegal weapon.
One of the other officers there told me they had the situation and I should head to the station and call it a career, which I did.