The Tides of Brewster Harbor; Episode 22, A Chat With the Department

Niles not only administered the necessary business of the daily preparation, but spent a couple hours each day with Tom and Sid in the patrol car. Gradually they were taking shape and looking like police officers.

After a month, Niles, again, called for a 7:30 AM meeting.

Niles walked to the office. The sun had not yet rose over the buildings east of the town hall. He noticed a light on in the office. He walked in to find Tom and Sid already seated. He looked at his watch, 7:24. He smiled and sat in his chair behind the desk.

“Officers Potier and Shulman,” Niles said. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with both of you and give you some training. I’m impressed with your progress. I’ve made the decision to keep both of you. In fact, I think you both have the potential to become fine officers. I’ll go so far as to say both of you are already good officers.”

“Thanks, Chief,” they said.

“There a couple of things that need some attention,” Niles said. “I’ve had some folks in town tell me the fishermen really race down the hills when coming into the main part of town. Let’s be reasonable and for a week just give warnings unless they are way over the limit.”

“Sure, we can do that,” Tom said.

Sid nodded.

“We don’t write many tickets,” Niles said. “It’s good if we don’t have to write any, but the problem may be that these guys are friends and family, but they have to respect your job and the law. When they come into town at 50 miles per hour they are endangering lives and they are disrespecting your person, profession, and everyone. You pay market value for their products. You respect them and what they do. They will never respect you unless you do your job.”

“You’re right, Chief,” Sid said.

Tom bobbed his head.

“Here’s a little piece of advice my dad passed on to me years ago,” Niles said. “When a young person talks to you, squat down to their level. It means something they’ll never forget.”

“Good idea, Chief,” Sid said.

“Can I get an exemption on that, since most of them are my size to begin with?” Tom smiled.

Niles smiled.

“Another thing,” Niles said. “I’ve put off doing anything to this place until I felt you guys were enough of police officers to trust you with input. This office is like a home away from home. You spend a lot of time here. I got a coffee maker, is there anything else you’d like to see. Remember it’s still a police station. Give it some thought.”

“I’d like to see a sign outside our office,” Sid said. “I’m proud of where I work, but if people didn’t know better they’d think we were just going into the town hall to take a leak.”

“I’ll get on that today,” Niles said.

“This may sound like too much,” Tom said, “but would it be asking too much to get a small TV?”

“That’s a good idea,” Niles said.

“If you have something in mind, give me a price and I’ll get the money for you to get it,” Niles said.

“I called our state rep,” Niles said. “We’re due a computer and a new radio system. All paid by the state.”

“You’re really up on this stuff, aren’t you, Chief?” Tom said.

“It’s just a matter of doing your job. You see, men, when disaster or a terrible crime is committed we have to be ready. The last big expenditure this department had was replacing the tires on the cars. I want you guys to have the best equipment we can afford. A lot of departments run on a shoe string, but this one ain’t even got the shoes.”

Niles talked with them another hour over a pot of coffee.

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