This story, which I wrote back in 2003, was inspired by, and is very loosely based on, the episode of “Third Watch” entitled “The Price of Nobility,” written by Edward Allen Bernero and Brooke Kennedy. [Amy Carlson told her mother NOT to watch that episode.] “Another World” is the property of Procter and Gamble Productions. “Third Watch” is the property of Warner Brothers.
The minute the 23rd Precinct got the report that a car bomb had been planted on Avenue M, Josie raced out the door. She had every intention of finding and defusing that bomb.
“Oh, no!” Joe shouted, getting up and running after Josie, praying all the while that the bomb squad would get there first.
But when Joe and Josie arrived, the bomb squad was not there. Josie approached the first car, and began her search.
“Sinclair! What the Hell do you think you’re doing?” Joe demanded.
“Looking for the bomb,” Josie said. “I’m going to find it if I have to check out every car on this block.”
“Are you out of your mind?” Joe asked. “Let the bomb squad handle this.”
“I know what I’m doing,” Josie insisted.
Joe knew that it was no use talking when Josie was being stubborn. He picked her and slung her over his shoulder.
“Put me down!” Josie yelled.
And then the car blew up.
Joe set Josie on her feet .
“Do you realize you were almost killed?”
Josie, not ready to admit that she’d been in any real danger, argued, “I could have found that bomb before it went off.”
“We’re going back to the 2-3,” Joe said, “and then you and I are going to have a talk.”
“Talk?” Josie thought. “You mean a lecture.”
Joe was shaken by what had happened. What if he hadn’t been able to get Josie away from the car in time? And how could he make sure Josie wouldn’t jeopardize herself again?
And then, Joe had an idea. It was so crazy, it just might work. He’d try it, anyway.When they returned to the 2-3, Josie expected to be escorted into Joe’s office. She got a surprise.
“Sit at your desk,” Joe said, “and wait for me.” He left the squad room.
Josie wondered what Joe was going to do. And then he came back, pushing a chalkboard.
“Everybody, listen up!” Joe said. “Josie, come here.”
Josie got up and walked over to Joe. Every officer in the squad room looked at them and wondered what was going on. Briefly, Joe filled them in on what had happened. A few officers gasped, and some of them whistled.
“Now Josie,” Joe said, “I am going to make an example of you.”
“What do you mean, you’re going to make an example of me?” Josie asked.
Joe handed her a piece of chalk and said, “You will write, two hundred times,
‘I must not place myself in unnecessary danger’. It’s for your own good.”
“What!?” Josie gasped.
“You heard me,” Joe said sternly. “Now start writing.”
“I have to write sentences like a naughty schoolgirl?” Josie asked. She thought, “That’s ridiculous.”
Josie saw that there was no way out of it. Her face grew hot with embarrassment as she stood there writing her punishment sentences. Some of her brother and sister officers watched her with amusement, some with sympathy.
After what seemed like a long time, Josie said, with a sigh of relief, “I’m finished.”
“Good,” Joe said. “Now come here.”
Josie went over to Joe, and looked at him reproachfully. “That was humiliating.”
“I figured it would be,” Joe said, “and believe me, Josie, I hated doing it to you.” He took her in his arms and stroked her hair. “But I would much rather humiliate you for a little while, than have to eulogize you.”