I continued my FTO duties on swing-shift as “Rookie Officer Smith” was assigned to the graveyard shift (2300 hours to 0700 hours). I kept tabs on her progress from other officers and bosses. She successfully completed her first probationary year. She later went on to qualify as our first female SWAT officer and also as a valuable member of our department’s Police Olympic Shooting Team. She worked as a gang officer and taught major disaster preparedness.
NOTE: She had prior medical nursing background in her pre-law enforcement days. She also was raising a young daughter as a single parent.
These facts reminded me of my late sister who also was a single parent and a highly qualified RN who ran an ER in a big city. Both Lynn and sister Dee had the inner strength that I admired. Needless to say, I was very proud of Officer Smith’s accomplishments and I had no doubt that her future in law enforcement was very promising.
Officer Smith later married one of our fellow patrol and SWAT officer and I was honored to be the “Best Man” at their wedding. I soon thereafter left the department to pursue life as a DEA agent and later on to another very rough and tumbled city police agency.
Over two decades later, I found myself as a detective with a sheriff’s department (west side of the Cascades) up in Washington State. I got out of Dodge after the Rodney King riots due to quality of life issues for my young son. I lost touch with Officer Smith and I sometimes would wonder how she faired in her police career.
God always has a perfect plan for us even when we are oblivious to it. (Think of the book of Job)
I was fast approaching my fourth decade in law enforcement as a “police gypsy” when lo and behold, I returned to my precinct office one afternoon. I shared the small office with a fellow (to remain nameless) detective, who was the personification of the cartoon character “Pig Pen” from Peanuts. “Hey, Pitocco, do you know a Lynn Forrester? (this was her last married name for Officer Smith) She left a message for you to call her”, He then searched through the rubble on his desk and he finally handed me a crumpled piece of coffee-stained paper with her scrawled telephone number written over one of his notes. Well, kind readers, I returned her call and as it has been said before, “the rest was history”.
NOTE: We caught-up on our lives since our two-officer Patrol unit days. We shared our mutual heartbreaks, betrayals, rejections, and abandonments. More importantly, we shared our faith.
Roughly five years later, Lynn Forrester (AKA: Smith) became my true life and permanent partner in the eyes of God as we were happily joined in Holy Matrimony as witnessed by our church family. My son was my “Best Man” by the way! Never can be too careful.
NOTE: Those of you who read me under my nom de plume, “The Gumshoe”, will find that “Tales from the Nightingale” posted on this website is none other than my loving wife who I call “Linnie”. She now graces my life in more ways than I can describe. Our lives are now the start of a new watch and I drive “shotgun” with her behind the wheel.
Well, that’s my story and I am definitely sticking to it. Till next time kind readers. Remember to love the ones who love you and to even love the ones who don’t.