Police Work

I interned at a small town newspaper in the rural Midwest right out of college. One day while I was sitting in the newsroom a call came over the police scanner: A guy carrying a handgun had been chased by the cops into a home. The house was near our offices, so we arrived just as police pulled up and set up a perimeter, maybe 10 minutes after the call had come in. We spent another half-hour waiting for the SWAT team, then about another hour as they decided to shoot a gas canister in. When the smoke cleared and the suspect still wasn't there, they decided to go in. Half an hour later, they went in and found the gun on the floor and the back door of the home swinging open. They scheduled a hasty press conference in the alley behind the home, and we stood next to a dumpster while they urged caution and told us they would continue searching the neighborhood. We returned to the office to write the story and didn't hear until several hours later that they caught the guy. He'd been sitting at the bottom of the dumpster where they'd held the press conference. Two weeks later the police sent up a helicopter to look for an old man who'd gone missing at the mall. He was found a couple hours later sitting on a bench in the mall.

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