I got a call last night for a 911 hangup, dispatcher reports sounds like a child on the other end of the line. These calls can either make your blood run cold (when it is a valid crime scene) or more times than not end up being absolutely nothing (in which case you as a cop need to be a teacher and explain to a child the importance of 911) Both scenarios play through in your mind as you drive to the call, and even though some cops bitch about taking a "false alarm" I would rather field 100 false alarms where a child is involved any day.

Well, I call off on scene, and talk to the mom, who was on the back porch grilling dinner,(as Im talking to her both children are saying that they didnt call nobody) I haven't told them yet why I was there so I know Im at the right place.

Mom tells me she knows for sure it wasn't her kids who called because they were with her the whole time except when she sent them in to get some more hot dogs from the fridge. (I could actually see the look of the lightbulb coming on over her head, she calls the oldest boy <maybe 5 years old> inside) He walks in takes one look at me and goes to pieces and tells us that he knew about it but it was the younger boy who called. Mom goes and retrieves the younger boy, telling him that the policeman wants to talk to him. He is on the back porch and at first wayyyyy to afraid to come in, (his older brother who just got his lecture, yells over to the little one, "the policeman just wants to give you some candy" I would like to think he was being helpful, but I figgure he was trying to get payback from his brother for what he went through because of his brothers boneheaded actions.

Finally the little one walks in sheepishly, peeks over at him and I ask if he has something he wants to tell me. He walks over silently picks up a seashell that he colored and handed it to me, he starts crying and blurts out I am soooo sorry, I didn't know anyone was going to come here, I WILL NEVER DO IT AGAIN I promise!!!!

I gave him the tinyiest of lectures, and then told him that I loved the seashell, but it was his and I was going to give it back to him. He wouldn't take it back. He said he wanted me to remember that he was going to be good every time I looked at it.

I still have the shell, but every time I look at it I remember that no matter how pissy of a night I'm having, no matter how many calls I have fielded during the shift, that there are good little kids who still look up to us and can learn from their mistakes. And then I remember that the shell means that Nikky is going to be good from now on.