Deer Run Trail, By David R LewisNodaway Trail, by David R LewisOn the Calico Trail, by David R LewisOn the Payback Trail, by David R LewisOn the Ogallala Trail, by David R LewisOn the Killdeer Trail, by David R LewisOn the Cutthroat Trail, by David R LewisEndless Journey Toward an Unknown Destination, by David R LewisIncidents Among the Savages, by David R LewisFear of the Father:  Call Me Crockett, by David R Lewis

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His name was Crusher and he was a policeman.  At the time, so was I – fresh out of the Police Training Institute, 160 hours of basic instruction under my Sam Browne Belt, 21 years old, and so green I squeaked when I walked.  Crusher was an 8-year veteran with a bad attitude.  I don’t know what made him the way he was – maybe he spent too much time standing in line at the DMV – but he was full to the brim with anger and frustration fed by an I.Q. only slightly above room temperature.  My upcoming assignment to the 3-11 shift would not take effect for a few weeks, so I was left on the day trick and partnered with Crusher as I awaited my new assignment.  As green as I was, it only took hours to figure out that Crusher had no business being a cop.

It’s tough to fire a cop.  Being a police officer is usually a civil-service position.  Back in those days, that translated to lousy pay but great benefits:  health insurance, life insurance, pension, sick leave, personal leave, paid holidays, over 30 days a year vacation for the old-timers, our own Police Park and pool, our own credit union, a uniform allowance, legal assistance if necessary from the Policeman’s Benevolent and Protective Association, and a free gun.  If you were a rookie and still in the year’s probationary period, you could get fired for sneezing if they wanted to get rid of you, but once you were a full-fledged cop, you had to do something really stupid for the powers that be to shuffle you off.  Crusher was firmly ensconced.

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