One of Gumshoe’s favorite movies is “Gladiator”.  The actor Russell Crowe played the fictional gladiator character,  Maximus Decimus Meridius.

Crowe’s portrayal of Maximus was based upon the real Roman Senator and General, Marcus Nonius Macrinus. One of the many memorable lines that Maximus uttered during the movie was “Brothers, what we do in life, echoes in eternity”.

Gumshoe loves that quote that is well worth reflecting upon especially when Gumshoe recalls moments in my law enforcement career.

The very first moment that a very naive rookie Gumshoe recalls is putting his black and white hack into “D” and stepping on the gas all by his lonesome.

The inner voice in Gumshoe’s mind confidently announced:

Adventures and challenges await!  All roads and all codes! Hook’em and book’em!

Sign me up!

Gumshoe also remembers a grizzled and as well as somewhat embittered police sergeant raining on Gumshoe’s battle cry’s by ordering Gumshoe “not to shoot anyone unless Gumshoe had permission”.


Gumshoe still ponders that strange order to this very day. Gumshoe did reflect upon it though for quite some time as Gumshoe cruised the Los Angeles basin back in the 70s.

Sign me up!

Gumshoe learned early on that he had the power to take someone’s freedom (via arrest); someone’s property (via impound or search warrant) as well as someone’s life if absolutely, positively necessary.

Sign me up!

Gumshoe also learned that these authorized powers came with an awesome responsibility along with accountability.

Sign me up!

Being a cop is one of the hardest jobs to get, i.e., start with the application process, an extensive background check, coupled with batteries of physical, mental, medical, emotional testing, interview panels, the successful completion of a certified police academy, the successful completion of a field training program with a veteran officer and finally culminating with a one-year probationary period where you can be fired without cause.

Sign me up!

Now for the good part folks.  Being a cop is also the easiest job to lose. An officer will always be second-guessed by departmental “armchair warriors”, and insulted by slimy defensive attorneys, not to mention being sued and possibly civilly held liable. Plus the added bonus of the possibility of a “PC“ progressive District Attorney who just decides criminally prosecute your butt depending upon the direction of the political winds a blowin.

Sign me up!

Good old Gladiator Maximus’s maxim rang true to good old street warrior Gumshoe, “Brothers,  what we do in this life echoes in eternity”.

God bless and keep all the guys and gals inside of the black and whites who wear the blue and the “gladiator“ shield.  They make a difference in this life. They all signed up to “Protect and Serve”!

Always remember to love the ones who love you and even try to love the ones who don’t.

Coram Deo!


Danny Pitocco
Danny Pitocco
RETIRED (as a Detective with the Snohomish County Sherriff’s Department, Washington State), Danny has over forty years of law enforcement experience across city, county, state and federal levels of government, including service as a Special Agent for the DEA, US Department of Justice. He’s a decorated law enforcement veteran, and recipient of the "Detective of the Year" award for Snohomish County, Danny is a certified composite artist and has testified as an expert witness in the field of narcotics and modus operandi of particular crimes in state and federal courts in California, and has given testimony before federal grand juries. Danny served four years of active duty in the US Marine Corps and loves Jesus as his personal savior.

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  1. Great Article Gum Shoe. I remember the day I was sworn in as a Syracuse Police Officer, May 6, 1970. There was a light snow falling and it was windy. Yes I said snow. Syracuse, NY has had snow as late as Mother’s Day. Anyway we were inside and my family was there. My dad was a Sgt. on the Department at the time. His words of advice, “Treat the people you are going to protect and the people on the street, the same way you would want to be treated if the circumstances were reversed”. Be respectful but don’t take any crap.
    There were times though, during my time on the job that was easier said than done.
    Having said that I wouldn’t have traded my 25 some years in Law Enforcement for any other job. Every day and night was a different experience.
    So Gum Shoe, Sign Me Up!!!!
    Semper Fi

    • Great antidote Officer Tom about the wise advice from the “Sarge”. Your absolutely correct my brother, our law enforcement careers were simultaneously the best of times and sometimes the worst of times—and neither of us would change a thing. Thanks for your insightful comment Tom.

  2. Yup, law enforcement is surely one of those careers one might reconsider if there was a way of knowing in advance what you were really getting into and what it truly entailed. Then again, I think that most who applied would still do so……a desire to serve….craving the adrenaline rush…..wanting to help people…..wear the badge…..the feeling of being a member of a ‘band of brothers’ who are in it for similar reasons, and no doubt a number of other motivations. It is also most definitely one of those careers that few are qualified for and fewer yet perform well! Thank you for another insightful account big brother. You are one who honored the badge, fulfilled your oath, served and protected and did it well.

    • It was an “E-ticket” ride all the way my dear brother. I know that you’ll know that analogy back when D-land was fun for families. Thanks for your comment “Thomas”.

  3. Well Ken, to tell you the truth, some of us were young and dumb and didn’t know what we were getting done into. However, God will definitely put you where you ought to be and give you His guidance while he has a good chuckle. Thanks for your comment buddy.

  4. Rather makes one wonder why anyone in their right mind would want that job. All that to get hired, trained, vetted, and be on probation just for the right to be sued, defamed, spit upon, insulted, slandered, and shot at even when not on duty. Must be those big bucks they get paid. Sign me up.