Saturday, September 5, 2015
Cheese it! It's the Cops! by Jamie Hill
I write about cops. I love to write about detectives, uniformed officers, even US Marshals, who are not cops, specifically, but they carry guns and badges so close enough. I enjoy putting myself in their heads to do their jobs and solve cases. It's like I'm right there in the squad room with them, figuring out the details alongside Danny and Jackie in true 'Blue Bloods' fashion. We talk about bad cop shop coffee and joke about the cop-eating-donuts stereotype. I'm comfortable writing about, and dare I say, thinking like a cop.
So why, then, does a jolt of fear zing through me when I'm driving down the road and a patrol car pulls up behind me? Feelings of guilt flood through my mind. Did I do something? Is he after me? Does he have any possible reason to pull me over?
It rarely happens, and I always breathe a sigh of relief when the officers pass me by. (They usually pass me because by that time I've slowed down to a crawl, way slower than the speed limit.)
I had a couple of speeding tickets in my teens, and paid minor fines. By the time I got married at nineteen, I was informed that I probably ought to lighten up that lead foot because further tickets wouldn't be cool. Being a new bride, I took the comment more seriously than I probably would today. (Sorry, dear.)
I've been pulled over twice in recent years. Once for using my cell phone while driving, which is illegal in my town. I was actually sitting at a red light and I checked messages on my phone, multi-tasker that I am. He spotted me and could tell what I was doing. The nice young officer gave me a warning, which I appreciated. I totally understand about no texting and driving and while I thought I was being innocent by just doing it at a red light, I was wrong, and I learned my lesson.
The other traffic stop occurred as I was heading to a drugstore, just ready to pull into the parking lot. A cop I hadn't even noticed whipped in behind me and flipped on his lights. I pulled into a stall and he came in at an angle behind me, as if trying to keep me from fleeing. (Very Blue Blood-ish!)
He sat in his car for a moment while I attempted to recall how fast I'd been driving. When he finally approached me he said, "I'm sorry, Ma'am. We'd been advised to keep an eye out for a white Explorer. I see you're driving an Expedition. My bad."
I simply looked at him. My bad. Seriously? He looked about twelve, and his language confirmed it. I really wanted to say something goofy back to him but I was so relieved that he wasn't after me that all I could do was nod and thank him profusely. I went into the store on shaky legs as he drove away. Sheesh!
I've given this some thought, and have decided a couple of things. One, because I write romantic suspense, I'm constantly plotting original ways to kill people or steal things, and cast suspicion on someone else. Maybe the guilt from these thoughts is showing on my face. All I can say is the same thing I tell my husband, "I'd never really do it, sweetheart. I just want to know how it might be done."
Second, while the odds are super great that none of these cops will ever read my work, in the deepest recesses of my mind I think one day someone might call me out on something that I had a cop do which he might not actually do that way. But how cool would that be, honestly, to have a cop pull me over and when he reaches my window say, "Hey Mrs. Hill. I pulled you over today because in your last book your detective carried a Glock handgun. I wanted to let you know that Magnums are now the choice of more police departments in the United States. Just thought you should know. Have a nice day." LOL!
Find my 'A Cop in the Family' Series as well as my 'Witness Security' books at most online booksellers and in bookstores by request. And find all my titles here:
Stay safe out there!
~ Jamie Hill