The job I have requires me to carry a gun and a badge.
I'm not a cop, or a badass, but I work with some who are.
Sometimes we go out and serve warrants.
And most of the time, things are pretty calm.
The warrants are generally for felons I know personally. They've either committed a new crime or have absconded from supervision.
To be honest, it's not very dramatic stuff. We're systematic and careful. Reality T.V would find us boring.
The other day my partner and I were pulling up to a house when I saw a young man standing in the next door vacant lot.
I recognized him as one of the people I had a warrant for.
We parked the car, and the young man started walking away, toward a group of other young men hanging out less than a block away.
Moving toward him, I called his name. He turned and we asked him to come back with us to the car.
All the usual stuff happened then, hands on the car, fast search, handcuffs.
We were done and driving away in less than a minute.
We found this on him.
But from a distance it looks exactly like the real thing.
This young man had it stuffed down the front of his pants.
Had it been in his hand, we would have drawn our weapons. Real ones.
Any threatening movement, and he would have been shot.
The distance was less than ten feet. There's a strong possibility he would have died.
Because of something as stupid as a pellet gun.
I am extremely grateful things worked out the way they did.
People make mistakes, it's part of the learning experience.
But some don't need to happen. Ever.