By Richard Hughes
Copyright 2012 Richard Hughes
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Sammy Johnson was shot coming out of a filthy alley sometime after midnight. By the time I got there the patrols had secured the scene and forensics were at work. No bystanders of course. Not a witness in sight.
No matter how many of these you work, they don’t get easy. The calluses you grow don’t keep it all out. Mostly we fend the feelings off with tough-guy antics and humour black as night. But no defence is perfect. And if you ever get to the stage where it seems natural, you’re too far gone. It’s a funny thing about this work – you watch over each other with a care and depth of feeling few people would understand. At the same time you watch for the mental stress fractures that say someone is all used up, all done, and has to come off the street before becoming a public menace. Of course, you’ll probably have to drag him away, because he won’t just walk. A little study in duality for the student of human nature.