Chicago Warriors: The Tactical Team

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"What's up Mac?" "Follow me," he said as he headed for the Watch Commander's (WC) office.

All three shifts were commanded by a WC; this officer generally holds the rank of lieutenant or captain. It is his responsibility to carry out the District Commander's (DC) policies and personnel assignments.

His recommendations to the DC are almost always implemented. Our WC was Capt. Steele. Steele had risen through the ranks based mostly on his academic credentials; it seemed as though he was always attending schools and in-services. He had already earned his Master's Degree and was presently working on a law degree. He was most certainly a "rising star" in the department.
Mac pounded on the door.

"Come on in," Steele shouted.

"Captain, Pete Shannon's here per your request," Mac said.
"Where's O'Hara?"

"He's getting a tire looked at on our car out in the garage," I answered. "Want me to get him?"

"No, you can tell him what went on in here when we're through," Steele said.

Capt. Steele took off his glasses and stood behind his desk. He was a big man, probably 6'3", and still had all of his thick, dark hair, that he wore in a contemporary cut. Word was that when he was a young cop on the street, he was a tough-talking, rough and tumble kind of guy that loved mixing it up with the street thugs. After a few years when he started getting promoted he put on some pounds and gravitated toward the admin type assignments, probably to allow him to continue down the academic path. His waist line was now beginning to challenge the ability of the buttons on his uniform shirt to do their job.

"Shannon, we've got a potential problem on our hands here at The Lawn. There's a crew of home invaders operating next door in 22."

He was referring to the 22nd District, also known as Morgan Park. It bordered on our eastern side and had a great mix of affluent neighborhoods, one being my own, beautiful parks, and some great shopping. The dark side was that there were areas in 22 that were infested with the most ruthless ex-cons, dealers, junkies, and other criminal types that Chicago has ever known.

"They've already hit three homes in the Beverly neighborhood," the Captain said. "They're armed and dangerous. During their last robbery on Longwood Drive, they shot the homeowner because he wasn't responding fast enough for them."

Steele lifted a folder off of his desk. "Shannon you and your partner O'Hara are good cops; I know that you have been working that sector car for the last year, and you guys have made some great arrests."

"Thanks Captain,"

"I've got a personnel problem coming up, and I asked Mac for some recommendations on how to resolve them." Steele opened the folder, "You and Joe have been here at ‘The Lawn' for almost five years-always working together. You know how each other work, you're mature and you're smart." Steele sat back down now, placing the open folder on his desk.

Mac spoke up, "Pete, we're losing two of our Tac guys-Smith and Baxter. Smith is being promoted to sergeant, and Baxter is being transferred to the Transit Unit downtown."

Mac shuffled over toward Steele's desk. "We think that this home invasion crew is going to be making its way into our area very soon, things are getting too hot for them in Morgan Park. We need to replace Smith and Baxter ASAP with two guys that can handle that type of action. The captain and I think that you and Joe are the guys."
"Great! Me and Joe in plain clothes...when would that happen?"

"End of period is next week, the 28th, that's when the promotion and transfer become effective," Steele said. "We need you guys right away. What do you think? Want to get out of uniform for a while and concentrate on the big cases?"

"I'm in Captain; I'm almost certain that Joe will agree as well."

"I know this is last minute, but until this home invasion thing came up I was going to take my time finding replacements. It probably still would have been you and O'Hara, but now we need to get you in place as soon as we can." Steele closed the folder. "I need an answer by the end of watch-let Mac know."

"Will do sir, and thanks for the confidence in both of us."

I meant it-to be considered for this type of assignment was huge for a street cop. It gave us the opportunity to make some important arrests and build our credibility within the department.

"No problem," Steele said. "But listen Shannon, I'm not lying when I say this pair of robbers is dangerous. They're bad actors that won't hesitate to shoot either their victims or the cops-you guys need to be on your toes."

"I hear you sir. I'll let Joe know and you'll have your answer shortly. And Captain Steele, thanks for this opportunity."

Steele smiled and said, "Pete, I don't know if I'm doing you a favor or not, giving you this assignment. I hope that you guys are up to the task."

"We won't let you down sir." I shook his hand and walked out the door with Mac.

"Holy cow Mac! Me and Joe on the Tac Team...I'm psyched!"
"You guys earned it Pete; you're both good cops, but remember what the Captain said, these guys are ruthless killers. Their last job they shot the homeowner even though he was cooperative. That type of thug won't think twice about dropping the hammer on you."

"I agree. Joe and I will have to use all of our street smarts to lock these guys up."

Mac walked up the steps to resume his position at the front desk. "Let me know what you guys decide sometime tonight so that I can get back to Steele. In the meantime, here's the folder on the last three jobs these guys pulled."

"Okay Mac." I took the folder and headed toward the garage. "Hey Mac...thanks brother for thinking of us."
He looked at me like I remember my Dad used to whenever he was concerned about me.

"Pete, I'm praying for you and Joe every day. You two guys are more than just two cops working for me; you are like my own boys. May God bless you both."
"Amen Mac."

I headed down the steps, my eyes tearing up. I hadn't thought about my Dad in some time. Those few words with Mac had brought back some memories....

Next:  Leaving Home

Previous: The Business Trip

John Wills spent 2 years in the U.S. Army before serving 12 years with the Chicago Police Department (CPD). He left the CPD to become an FBI Special Agent, working organized crime, violent crime, and drugs.  John Wills is an author of Chicago Warriors: Midnight Battles in the Windy City published by

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