“Shots fired,” is all he hears on the radio. “Oh my God,” is all Kevin can think about as he sits straight up in his chair. This was just a routine traffic stop what happened here. There was no signs of this. The tag came back clear and the driver’s license didn’t show any confirmed hits when it was run. “Shots fired, officer needs help!” Kevin shouts over the radio, “West Main and Central!” As the radio comes to life with traffic he tries to gather his nerves and keep them suppressed. He can’t break, not now. Calmly Kevin begins relaying information to units as they respond to the call to aid. He hears his partner in the background start assisting the traffic as well. She is getting EMS enroute and having them stage up down the block just in case they are needed, but they have to wait until everything is under control before they can get in to help, will it be too late? Time moves so slow on a call like this, a million things go through your mind as you wait for the officers to get on scene, and at this point he was running it all in his head again. What did I miss? How did I not know this was going to happen? He looks over the drivers license info again. There is nothing there, he has a clear driving history, no violations at all, we ran him through the bureau computer and nothing. What did I miss? “Did you run that DL too?” he asks Brenda. “No, but give me a second and I will.” “10-4 unit 7, he is at the corner.” he advises an officer enroute. “Kevin, I just ran it there is nothing there, he is clean.” “Then what did we miss Brenda, how did this get out of hand like this?” he asks from his chair. Kevin reaches for the radio console, “Unit 10, status.” Please, answer me, please be alive he prays. “I’m ok dispatch, I am secure behind my cruiser.” he says over the radio speakers. “That’s 10-4, can you tell where the suspect is?” “The suspects left in the car with the tag information I gave you on the stop. It was a black pickup truck, last seen heading south dispatch.” Suspects? Two people were in that truck. That’s what we missed, but it wasn’t us. He only ran one license, he didn’t ask for the other ones ID. That’s why we didn’t know. Kevin breathes a sigh of relief, it's not my fault he thinks as he sinks into his chair a little more relaxed, and begins updating the units as they get closer to the scene. He also feels bad for for feeling relief for it not being his fault. “Unit 10, are you hurt” he asks. “Negative dispatch. I’m ok.” The officer on the other end tells him. What is his name Kevin asks himself. He just started the other day. Patrick he finally remembers. I have only heard him on the radio or phone, I don’t even know what he looks like. We have talked about his family and his new baby boy Jason I think. This could have been a whole lot worse than this, a family could have lost a member today, a wife a husband, a child a father. This could have been different Kevin keeps thinking to himself. He hears his partner start checking units on scene and it shakes him out of his funk for a little bit anyway. The units clear the scene and his partner sends in the EMS unit to make sure the officer is not injured anywhere. Kevin stands up out of his chair and lets his partner know he is going to step outside and get some air for a minute as he grabs a portable radio to take so he can listen if it all breaks loose while he gathers his thoughts. As he opens the front door, the sun beats down on his face and he feels the heat in his cheeks. Swiftly walking to the side of the building where no one will be able to see him and out of view he falls to his knees. He can feel his chest pounding from his heart beating and he is breathing heavily. His nerves that were once calm are now all over the place. He can’t hold his hand still because his adrenaline is high, it’s coming down but it’s going to take some time. Until then he will have to deal with the after effects. A few deep breathes and he stands to his feet again and begins to compose himself. He takes his phone out of his pocket and sees a text message from his wife. “When you come home bring milk.” it says oblivious to what just happened. All he knows to do is answer back and let her know he got the message and he will pick some up. He hits send and puts the phone back in his pocket. Things are getting back to normal now as he closes his eyes and listens. He hears the birds and the sounds of spring in the air, how beautiful he thinks to himself. Taking in the tranquil atmosphere he begins to take in the calmness and begins the healing process for himself. He begins thinking about how he got started doing this job to begin with. It was springtime just like this ten years ago when he started training, he had let his chief at the fire department he volunteered for talk him into doing the job. He told him he would be great at it, and it wouldn’t be that hard either. Famous words of someone who didn’t know what all the job was about. He remembered the three hour talk with the director who played several tapes from past calls and they talked about whether the job was a good fit or not. There was some scenarios run through that day too, things that he hoped he would never have to deal with. In the end it was agreed he would take a couple days to think about it and get back with him. That was ten years ago, and thousands of phone calls later. Now he stood leaned against the wall of the center working through the panic he just felt from that call. The radio in his hand comes to life as EMS confirms no injuries. “Thank God,” he says to himself in relief. As he walks in he sees his partner is on the phone taking information for another call. He makes his way to his chair and sits down and prepares himself for the rest of the shift as a unit comes over the radio, and he picks up just as if nothing happened.