This post came to me by email from Officer Michael Herb. He was Academy President of Class 196. You may have read about him in previous posts, if not, I encourage you to type in "Michael Herb" in the search tab on the top of this blog and check him out. He has been with HPD about one and a half years now and is loving every minute. Thanks for the story Mike. To everyone else enjoy. After all, it's the little things along with the excitement that make this career so well rounded.
Every HPD Officer has been asked at some point in their career: “Why did you join HPD?” And I think that it is safe to say that we all have given the generic response of: “To help people,” at some time or another. Until recently I never really thought about what I meant by it. I felt like I gave that answer because that was the answer that people expect to hear. The reality was, however, that I did not know how exactly I was going to be helping people when I joined the department. On that note, I recently had a call that was by far the most rewarding call I have ever been on.
While working an extra day shift for a friend, I was dispatched out to a call to lift some fingerprints on a vehicle that was involved in a burglary of a motor vehicle the night before. When I arrived at the location I began to talk to a man who told me his suitcase had been stolen out of his truck the night before. He told me that he had already made a report over the phone so he was just wondering if I could possibly get some fingerprints off of his truck.
As much as I was hoping to be able to help him, there were simply no prints left on the vehicle. I dusted all over where the bag was taken from but there were no prints! When I had finished, I told the man the bad news and asked him what type of things were in his suitcase. That’s when he told me why he as so distraught. He told me that he was a doctor and there was nothing of monetary value in the bag, however, there were several medical records of his patients in the bag.
He told me he was very concerned for his patients. He accidentally left the bag in his vehicle and now feared that his patients would suffer from his mistake. I told him not to panic, there was still a chance that the bag would be found. I explained to him that often burglars are looking for the quick and easy item that is going to make them money. I said “If all you had in the bag was dirty clothes and medical records, the crook might have dumped the bag close by when he realized there was nothing valuable in the bag.”
I departed from the house and began riding through the neighborhood. I knew that finding the black bag could be like finding a needle in a hay stack, but it was worth a shot. After a short while, JACKPOT! It was my lucky day. Sitting in someone’s front lawn, hidden behind a parked car was the Dr.’s bag. I shoved everything back into the bag and headed back to his house.
I remember pulling up to his house and watching the Dr.’s wife grin from ear to ear and scream “You must have found the bag!” I told her “Luck was on my side today.” She then came running at me and asked “Is it ok if I hug you?” I laughed a little. The Dr. had a shocked look on his face. He checked the bag and made sure everything was there. Nothing was missing; all of the records were accounted for.
I remember leaving the house with this feeling of excitement and joy. I had never felt this good after any other call before. I began thinking to myself: “This is why I joined HPD.”