Late-breaking news reports exploded that afternoon on every major television network. Residents cheered like a Rose Bowl parade as John Hart threw his arms in the air and drank in the stupendous praise. Captain Randall was then escorted out to the street, handcuffed and ashamed. His eyes dripped with tears as he pleaded, “I’m sorry! I shouldn’t have done it!” According to the Channel 49 news report, who broke the news a half-hour ago on social media, thirty-nine cops got arrested, all charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, grand larceny and countless other acts of corruption. While being dragged into paddywagons, the 14th cops yelled to the cameras that they were framed.
Popular news anchor, Tricia White was reporting live from the State Police Department looking for answers to these unimaginable accusations. John Hart stood proudly on top of the stairs and gave a brief statement to his millions of viewers about how his special operation had just begun.
“I was working undercover with the Pagnucci organization for four years,” he opened. “And daily, I remember being harassed by these...traitors to the badge. I prayed to God that it wouldn’t end this way. I hoped for these once fine officers to wise up and realize the importance of their oaths. But in the aftermath of Pagnucci’s murder, I did not doubt whatsoever that it was Captain Randall who ordered the hit.”
“So, what you’re saying is dozens of officers got arrested over a hunch?”
Tricia White pressed the detective.
“I didn’t say that. In my mind, there was no doubt which group was responsible. However, I still conducted a thorough investigation. And thanks to a couple of key witnesses, I was able to gather enough evidence to link the
14th precinct to this hennas crime, and several other criminal acts that have accumulated over the years. I can’t even begin to get into those right now.”
“But how can you green-light such a ground-breaking operation so soon? Have you been investigating the precinct from the start? If so, then for what reason?”
“I’ve always had my suspicions on this gang, Ms. White. Once I got confirmation that my assumptions were correct, the rest was easy. Luckily my team was able to work with the mayor’s office and his ingenious task force to quickly organize a tactical operation to apprehend these suspects before they had a chance to continue their wave of terror.”
“Hold it right there Mr. Hart. If these cops are guilty of such horrific crimes, then why did they return to work the next day? Knowing the consequences would be fatal to their careers if they got caught, don’t you think they would’ve
gone somewhere far away and out of the public eye until the heat cooled down?”
“If you paid attention to what you just said Ms. White, you’d realize that you just answered your question. Being on the job was their cover. No mafia
in the world would ever expect on being attacked by an army of dirty officers, especially the same officers they’ve done so much business with.”
John rubbed the inner corners of his eyes and started to sniffle, acting as if the entire situation was too emotional to bear. Reporters were eating it up, becoming teary-eyed. Cameramen zoomed in on his face. His voice cracked. “And now that the poison has been extracted, residents who’ve lived in that unsafe region for so many years can finally make their neighborhood a happier and safer place to live once again, by rebuilding a working relationship with
the police. I am eternally grateful that my team and I were able to contribute to the lower east side community and the welfare of our environment. Now if you will all excuse me; I have mountains of paperwork waiting for me in my office. Thank you for your time!”
Not satisfied with Hart’s hokey soliloquy, Tricia White and her crew trotted up the stairs after him, demanding more proof and reason behind his miraculous investigation. Annoyed at the pestering reporter, John grabbed the first officer closest and whispered, “Get rid of this broad.” A wall of navy uniforms blocked
the entranceway. Tricia and her team were told to clear out or else they’ll be escorted off the block.
Rounds of applause rang through the lobby as soon as John stepped through
the doors, handshakes, and hugs handed out from numerous officers, praising
the success of his operation. John played along and acted modest, letting his co- workers know that he was just doing his job. Assistant Deputy Superintendent Holly Jacobs grabbed John by the hand and gazed at him with sultry eyes while requesting a private meeting in her officer later on this evening.
Smiling in appreciation was Saxon Davis, embracing John like a proud father with a grand hug, repeatedly shouting, “My boy! My boy!” John tapped the old man’s back and gave him the fakest smile he could muster.
“Congratulations son. This will go down as one of the greatest sting operations in the history of this department. Within half a decade, you’ve managed to accomplish near-impossible tasks that the most brilliant and skillful officers couldn’t come close to completing.”
“It’s not impossible anymore, sir,” John joked.
“That’s right!” Saxon laughed. “And now so many officers, even captains, and commanders, present and future, can follow your outline of law enforcement brilliance for years to come. This is a great day for the people in our fair city...
as well as a sad one. It breaks my heart to see our fellow brothers and sisters in blue fall victim to corruption, forgetting what the badge always stood for. I’m just grateful that you stopped this regime before they performed an attack on a larger scale. I’m proud of you, son.”
John was thinking, “(Oh, brother!)” But he said, “Thank you, sir.”
“If you have a moment, I’d like to talk to you in my office.”
John hoped for this discussion to end quickly as he walked into his boss’s office. Saxon can be long-winded at times, treating their meetings more like father-son talks. John wasn’t in the mood to listen to another one of his life lessons or boring anecdotes. He had business to take care of with his regime. Saxon sat on the couch rather than behind his desk and asked John to sit next to him. What was on the old man’s mind, besides the several seeds the conniving detective had planted in there already. “What I am about to tell you is strictly confidential,” said Saxon. “These words do not leave this office. Agreed?” John nodded. “I’ve decided to retire.”
“(This is the best news I’ve heard all day!) Surely you can’t be serious? You have plenty of years ahead of you, sir. I mean...I-I... I just can’t believe what I’m hearing!”
“Johnny, I’ve given this a lot of thought. My decision became certain once I saw what you’ve done today. My weak ol’ bones can’t handle big operations like this anymore. I should’ve stepped down years ago…after my wife passed on.”
“(Got that right, old fool.)”
“I guess my real concern was who would I leave in charge after I’m gone. The State Police Department is my family and I can’t just let some politician call the shots. I needed someone who knows the streets and won’t crack under pressure. And on this day my search has come to an end, knowing I can retire now with peace of mind and a clear conscience because I’m handing over the reins to the greatest officer I’ve ever had the privilege to see in action.”
“(This is too easy.) What are you trying to say, sir?”
“Johnny! As bright as you are, you mean to tell me that you can’t read between the lines? I want to make you the new deputy superintendent! I want you to have my job!”
“Me?! No-no-no-no – I, uhh, this is too sudden! I don’t think I’m ready for this! (Leave your badge on the table and get the hell out of my office!) Besides, isn’t Holly next in line for your position?”
“Yes…technically. Holly’s a great officer, but I’m afraid the guys won’t take her seriously. You see how she looks.”
“(Heh, I’m gonna see more than that tonight.)”
“Besides, I can recommend anybody I want, just as long as I can convince Teasley that I’m making the right call. The position of deputy superintendent demands respect from their officers and we both know there’s no chance that Holly can match up to your accomplishments. No officer comes close to having a record like yours, so those boys will stand at attention the moment you sniff your nose. So, what do you say?”
Ecstatic that his plan was proceeding perfectly, John hammed up the
moment with a dramatic five-minute pause, finding it difficult to grasp the right
words of gratitude. Quivering chin. Sniffling nose. Holding his head up while letting out an extended sigh. “(I can’t believe how gullible this old fool is! I should make him strip to his underwear and tie a curtain around his neck!)” But finally, he gave Saxon Davis the obvious answer. “It’ll be an honor, sir.”