Every cop, young or old, goes through it. Whenever cops sit and talk, really talk, sooner or later someone will speak up about it.
It doesn’t matter where you work, tough area, ghetto, or high class residential. It’s the same, with very minor variations.
You’re working, usually it’s late at night. Whatever, you suddenly find yourself confronted with a victim and a perpetrator. He is usually much much bigger than you. Sometimes he’s someone you know and have had to arrest on a previous occasion. Sometimes it is that person, that one person, that for one reason or another you fear.
The victim is often someone you know and love. Someone that is very special. Other times, it’s a stranger.
Something happens; first usually you are confronted with a chase. You must catch this person. That is the only way you can help or save the victim. But no matter what happens you cannot seem to run fast enough. He’ll turn and laugh at you. He flips you the finger. Your shoes weigh pounds. You cannot make any headway. Your heart begins to pound and you feel that it will burst from your chest. He gets farther and farther away. He stops and stands. But no matter how hard you run and push yourself but you get no closer.
Somehow you get close enough. The victim is screaming and crying for help. You have no choice. You draw your weapon and start to fire. You fire and fire. You see the slugs striking the perp. You can see the bullet holes. No blood. You also see no change in the culprit. Sometimes your gun doesn’t fire. Or isn’t in your holster. He doesn’t stop. He laughs at you. As he laughs he seems to get bigger, huge. You cannot stop him. He draws a weapon. Sometimes a gun, sometimes a knife.
Your gun is empty and you don’t have any more ammunition. You look down and you’re not even in uniform anymore. The guy starts walking toward you. You know he is going to hurt you very very badly. You are scared.
He reaches out for you, grabs you, and you wake up screaming. Or maybe someone else wakes you up wanting to know if you are all right. You shake a little, give them a hug, and tell them everything is okay, it was just a dream, go back to sleep. It’s usually several hours before you can go back to sleep. Each time it happens, and it will happen over and over, you fall asleep a little faster.