From useful addition to absolute necessity.

I made one of those ‘spur of the moment’ decisions allowed by our unique status last night.

I went down to a ‘suicidal male’ incident on the Swamp estate at the edge of Ruraltown. We get so many of these calls at the moment. PC Mickey ‘The Head’ Thompson and Sergeant ‘Irish’ Stew O’Sullivan spent a good hour talking to a man who had failed to secure a single job interview after thirty applications.

Yesterday, he suddenly managed to secure an interview at the food processing plant on the industrial estate, and the stress of the prospect of further failure had sent him over the edge.

Finally, with the danger passed and him sitting on the ground almost unable to comprehend what we were trying to say to him, the three of us made a momentous decision.

We stood in a small huddle thinking what to do. The crisis team wouldn’t come out to him and were insisting that we section him. We didn’t feel we had the justification. It was not one of those clear-cut jobs. Then it hit me. Let’s go to the job interview with him when we are ‘off duty’ today. Not actually in to the room you understand, but let’s get him up beforehand, take him to the factory and make sure his confidence is ‘up’ before he goes in.

Irish Stew and I looked at Thompson. His involvement was crucial to us. You need a senior PC to moderate crazy ideas at 2.00 am on a ten-hour night shift. ‘I’m in’ he said. ‘What could possibly go wrong?’

I know it is probably against every force policy ever written, I feel strangely unrestrained in this regard these days. Time is running out for us to be able to intervene in these kinds of way. Once we are a commercial business, and that is coming, the opportunity to change lives like this will be lost. This is an opportunity, free from any kind of financial or political restraint and we are damn well taking it.

So I have telephoned Bartek Kowalski at the ‘chicken factory’ as we call it, and I have explained what is happening. Kowlaski knows us because (to his huge relief) we locked up his daughter’s wife-beating boyfriend last year, but that’s another story. He tells me that three of the four applicants today will be accompanied by the Salvation Army, doing exactly the same thing as us!

It now occurs to me that if we hadn’t made this decision, our man would be the only one with no help on the day. Things have changed from this being a useful addition to it being an absolute necessity. We are going along in our civvies as three blokes who were there when a decent enough individual had a melt-down over a job interview.

When he is inside, we need to discuss what to do if he fails the test today. My thoughts are to hand him over to the Salvationists. We will do some networking with them today and find out what they are all about! The interview is at 3.30 pm. In the meantime, the Skipper thinks this man would be a good street pastor, once he has his head together. We need to make a few calls to them to find out if that is a possibility.

This post is dedicated to Paul McKeever 1956-2013. ‘He was good police’.