Bear’s Lesson

I want to tell you about the Bear.  He was, and to me still is, all that is pure and admirable about being a cop.  I was assigned to him during the summer of ’69, and my five months with him left me so in awe, so touched and troubled, that I still often think of him.

 The bear flew to the scene of an incident like an avenging angel.  His small thick hands grasped the wheel so tightly in anger that I actually feared for the life of the unknown suspect at the other end of the ride.  No red lights or siren; just a gut-wrenching wide-open acceleration born of Bear’s fury.  I was nervous with this field training officer, who was known to all as Bear – or THE Bear to those who were perpetually in wonder of him, as I certainly was.  I stole a glance at him as we throttled around the corner, a block away from our assigned location, and involuntarily shivered at the sight.  A 220-pound, five feet, eight-inch body swathed in blue material, harnessed by a gunbelt partially obscured in fat, topped by an undersized head sporting a marine-style crewcut.  A bear indeed, with an animal-like anger to match.  He scared me then, for he looked so formidable.  But this was before I came to know him.  And it was before his final bout with evil. 



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