Characters: Dee, Ryo.
Setting: After Vol. 7.
Summary: There’s nothing at all simple about police work.
Word Count: 1152
Content Notes: Some swearing.
Written For: Challenge 128: Simple at beattheblackdog.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Being a cop is a tough job; it’s not simply a case of arresting the bad guys and putting them behind bars. Maybe it was once upon a time, long ago during the early days of law enforcement, but times have changed. Dee isn’t convinced all of those changes have been for the best.
Paperwork, for instance; there are reports to be written for every case, endless forms to fill in, witness and victim statements to type up, on those occasions when they have a living victim capable of making a statement… There’s so much red tape keeping cops in their station houses that it’s a constant battle just to get out on the street to investigate the crimes that have taken place.
When they do get to the investigating part of their job, there’s evidence to be collected, tagged, logged and filed, possible witnesses to be tracked down and questioned, or whole streets to be canvassed in the hopes that someone somewhere might have seen or heard something that could give them a clue to the identity of the guilty party. Trouble is, the average Joe on the street doesn’t make for a very reliable witness. Civilians aren’t trained to observe and remember. People get confused; what they remember seeing isn’t necessarily what they actually saw, and that’s just the ones who are genuinely trying to help. There are others who deliberately lie, and some who want to feel important so they make up a story about seeing something even though they didn’t. It’s left to the detectives to sift out any potential grains of truth from what they’re told.
Police sketch artists produce the best picture they can from descriptions given to them by witnesses, and then the cops get to show the sketches around, trying to find someone who might know this or that person of interest. Books full of mugshots are pored over, potential suspects have to be rounded up and questioned, line-ups staged, alibis checked, fingerprints taken if they’re not already on file, and then compared to any found at the scene…
It’s a similar situation with any weapons the suspects happen to have in their possession. In stabbings, any knives have to be tested for traces of blood. If it’s a shooting, ballistics get to test fire any guns of the right calibre to see if the bullets match. If they don’t, off goes the suspect again and the cops are back to square one, going back over the evidence, returning to the crime scene, asking more questions, and wearing out their shoes. It’s tedious and tiring, but still less so than the paperwork because at least it feels like they’re actually doing something constructive.
But even when the cops know for sure who committed the crime, that’s not the end of it. They have to track down the criminal, who might well have gone into hiding, aware tht the police are looking for him, and if they’re lucky enough to find him, chances are he’ll resist arrest. So then they either get attacked or have to chase the idiot. Dee generally prefers the second option. Running is usually less dangerous than having someone start shooting, or slashing at you with a knife or a broken bottle, or swinging a baseball bat, or even just wading in with fists and feet… There are a lot of ways to get injured on the job.
If things go their way, and more often than not they don’t, they get their man, or woman in some cases, read them their rights, and haul their ass back to the precinct. There they get to book and question the scumbag, and if they’re really lucky, get a confession. Better yet are the rare occasions when they have enough evidence against the perp that a confession isn’t needed in order to charge them. While a confession might be the proverbial icing on the cake, if they already have proof the suspect committed the crime then not getting one isn’t a problem. After that it’s mugshots, fingerprints… the whole nine yards. Oh yeah, and somewhere in all the arresting and questioning and so forth the suspect will probably demand a lawyer, because even the worst scumbag known to man apparently deserves a defence. That sucks, but it’s the law, so what’s an honest, law abiding cop to do?
Arraignment follows, and the criminal is either granted bail or gets to languish in jail, case pending. Naturally, then it takes months for the case to come to trial, and in the meantime the dirtbag, or the accused as the courts prefer to call them, may have skipped bail, and even if they haven’t, they still might get off if their lawyer is good enough, or for any one of perhaps a dozen other reasons. If they do get off, they can’t be tried for the same crime a second time and again you’re back to square one. Dee has been there way too many times, frustrated, knowing some murdering bastard is guilty as hell and having to sit on his hands and watch as the smug sonofabitch walks out of court a free man, knowing that it’s likely only a matter of time before he commits another crime, maybe kills someone else.
Police work isn’t simple, it’s complicated and exhausting and dangerous, and there’s too much overtime. What keeps cops going are those rare occasions when everything just falls into place; they catch their guy or gal in the act, and from that moment on it’s like dominoes falling one after another until the jury comes back with a guilty verdict. Then it’s off to jail, do not pass ‘Go’, do not collect two hundred dollars.
“Slam dunk!” Dee crows, exultant, punching the air as he and Ryo leave the courthouse. “I hope that bastard rots in jail, and I hope it takes a very long time.”
Ryo isn’t generally a vindictive sort of guy, but in this case he agrees with his partner; some criminals deserve everything they get and more, and Sykes is not going to win friends where he’s going, not after the other inmates find out what he’s been convicted of. There are some things even the most hardened criminals won’t stand for, and anything involving any kind of harm being done to young children is at the top of the list. “They might have to stick him in solitary for his own safety.”
Dee pulls a face. “Yeah, maybe, but hopefully not right away. He should get a taste of his own medicine first.” If there’s any justice in the world, he will.
What they do for a living is physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging, but Dee can’t help thinking that if catching the bad guys was always simple and straightforward, the successes wouldn’t be anywhere near as satisfying. He just wishes they had more days like this one.