"Stacks!', A Short Story
It was a hot June afternoon in 1976 and the Captain of the Patrol Division, Jim Strickland, called a couple of guys in off the shift in to serve a fugitive warrant that had been sworn out by Detective Hardin. Terrance "Terry" Stacks was wanted on a burglary out of Charlotte, NC.
Information had been developed by Captain Strickland that Stacks was staying with friends at 107 Rickenbacker Street in Lancaster, S. C. When the good looking blond investigator from Charlotte showed up, Strickland made himself instrumental in the upcoming arrest.
"Sgt. Brockman, I want you to take Tidwell with you and cover the front of the house,' Strickland said. "Detective Hardin and his partner will walk in from Elm to cover the back."
Detective Becky Stanford cleared her throat and Strickland introduced her.
"Guys, I don't think Stacks is particularly dangerous, but he might run." She passed around a mug shot of the guy and gave them his description.
"Any questions," Strickland was back in charge.
"Who's going to knock on the door?" Tidwell asked.
"Don't you worry." Strickland said, puffing out his chest. "I'll take care of it. Just take your positions at each corner of the house."
Brockman and Tidwell exchanged a glance. It was well know that Strickland earned his rank by keeping his nose strictly up the new Chief's posterior, not by outstanding and courageous police work.
"Becky, you're with me, everyone check your WT's before you get out of your cars." Strickland said.
"Thanks," Stanford said. "I prefer Detective or Officer Stanford."
"Right," he replied but thought: "Lesbo bitch".
"I like this girl," Tidwell whispered to Hardin who nodded.
"Okay, off of Chesterfield Avenue," Strickland said trying to regain control of the room. "it's the third house on the right, white single story with blue shutters and an old Firebird under the carport. Let me know when you're in position."
"Command four, we're here," Hardin's voice crackled over the radio in Strickland's cruiser.
"Go," Strickland told Brockman and Tidwell. They roared off the curb on Chesterfield and then thirty yards up the steep drive at 107 Rickenbacker. Brockman hurried to the left side of the house and Tidwell took up a position on the right.
"Where's our glorious Captain?" Tillman asked.
As if in answer, they heard the four barrel of the heavy police cruiser cut in and Strickland slid the car to a stop down at the street end of the driveway. He jumped out with his megaphone and kneeled behind the front wheel. Detective Stanford popped her door open, rolled her green eyes, and walked around to stand with Strickland.
Strickland pulled the trigger on the megaphone and a shrill screech filled the air. He adjusted one of the knobs on the top and tried again.
"STACKS!" he said. "THIS IS CAPTAIN J. M. STRICKLAND OF THE LANCASTER POLICE DEPARTMENT. YOUR HOUSE IS SURROUNDED AND WE HAVE A WARRANT FOR YOUR ARREST. COME OUT THE FRONT DOOR WITH YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR."
"Bet that scarred the crap out of him," Tillman said to his sergeant.
Everyone's attention was riveted on the house. Nothing happened. There was no noise coming from the residence, no movement at the curtained windows.
Strickland began to repeat the message but he had not turned the squelch down enough and again feedback caused it to squeal.
"You reckon Stacks could shoot the Captain from here?" Tillman said.
"One can dream," Brockman said under his breath. Hardin whistled and Brockman looked around the corner at him.
"House is abandoned," Hardin said. "no power meter and I don't see any furniture in the back windows."
"You gonna tell the Captain?"
"Nah, let's see what he does next."
"STACKS!" Strickland, face beet red, was on the megaphone again. "THIS IS YOUR FINAL WARNING! COME OUT NOW WITH YOUR HANDS OVER YOUR HEAD! COME OUT NOW, IN THE NAME OF THE LAW!"
Tillman repeated quietly in a great Inspector Cluseau impersonation: " Come out in the name of the lew!" Brockman laughed. They all waited. Nothing happened.
"STACKS!" Strickland screamed. "I'M GIVING YOU THREE MINUTES, AND THEN WE'RE COMING IN!"
Two minutes later and three houses down, Stacks walked out on his front porch with his hands in the air. He looked up the street at the police cars.
Detective Stanford saw him, tapped Strickland on the shoulder and pointed down the street. Stacks shrugged and went back in the house.
The arrest was made without incident after Detective Stanford, Brockman and Tidwell walked down to the right house and knocked on the door.
Note to all my brothers of the badge:
Hey, let's be careful out there.