This morning, the alarm went off at work, and I am the first number in the respond list. It was a few minutes to six, on my day off and I just went to bed three hours ago, so it was not the best way to wake up.
I drove over to work to meet with the police and got there before they did so I sat outside in my car with the hazards on at the entrance drive, well away from the building.
The state trooper pulled up alongside me, I identified myself and he followed me to the building. The light over the front door was off and it was usually on so when I got out of the car I told the trooper as he was exiting his vehicle.
I am a short guy at 5' 7″ and when the trooper got out of his car and stood next to me I could clearly see over his head. This man however, had the aura of a nine foot man. He immediately went into major “police” mode.
He told me to unlock the door and to immediately step aside in case anyone was in the building. For what ever reason, the lock refused to unlock. It gives trouble in cold weather and it was very cold at that hour.
“Well there goes the element of surprise” I said as he rolled his eyes. I told him to follow me to the side entrance. I unlocked the door and the officer drew his weapon and entered the place SWAT style and I followed not too far behind and hit the master switch to turn on all the interior lights.
As I walked in behind him, he with his gun pointing in front of him, in a slightly crouched stance, I realized that I was now much taller than he was, and if there was any gun exchange, this guy was by no means blocking any bullets, so I immediately crouched myself and stayed by the door.
The building is an odd design so he called me over to guide him through it. I immediately thought “Dude, can't you just follow the walls? You'll figure it out”. I have never been nervous to respond to alarms in the past, but recently a couple of buildings in town were broken into and they caught the person, a heroin addict. But I figured there must be many more addicts out there, right?
As we went through the building, room by room, the officer was clearly blown away by the decor and kept saying “wow” over and over and over. After checking each room he would say “clear” and we would move on the the next area, with new each part he would say “wow”. All I could think was why of all nights when I don't feel right about the alarm going off they had to send a guy shorter than me who was walking through the building in a crouched position making me a clear target behind him. I am accustomed to the troopers being over six feet and built like a brick wall, walking in front of me, shielding me.
I thought that this short officer was clearly over compensating for his Height, then I thought that the big troopers usually just stroll through the building with their hand on the gun. The gun is never drawn, and that is probably where they would get killed if there was a person in the building and they drew their gun on him. The short guy was prepared. He wasn't taking any chances. He didn't have his guard down. He was on the look out.
After the thorough search of the building where he looked in every cupboard and closet, he declared the building clear, took my info and went outside. I shut off the lights, locked up and left the alarm off until a tech could come and fix what ever sensor was faulty. When I turned around, the officer was waiting to escort me back to my car. I never had a man escort me safely to my car, wait for me to get in and then wait for me to drive away safely. I am usually the one doing that. It felt like we were on a date, one with him walking around with his gun drawn and me hoping I wouldn't get a gun shot to the chest.