Mysterious Ways - By Brian Law

The police sergeant pulled his cruiser into its assigned parking slot at the Hollywood Division, shut-off the engine, began making a few entries onto his clipboard and remarked, “So, Dudley, this is it. You’ve just completed your training period with the L.A.P.D. You got anything to add before I go in and complete my training report on you, son?” the sergeant said, still making some last entries. 

“No, sergeant,” Dudley replied, “I think you have a good idea of what kind of police officer I’ll make. You know how I think and act. So, no, I think I’ll just leave it at that.” 

The training officer put down his clipboard and looked over at Dudley and asked in a serious voice, “So you stand by all that stuff about God putting you here to do his will? You don’t want to back off from some of that?” 

“No, sergeant,” Dudley responded just as seriously, “I am merely an instrument of the Lord Almighty. This baton, this spray, this taser, this pistol, they have been put into my hands to do his bidding. That’s what I’ve told you from the first day and it still stands today.” 

The sergeant paused and then asked, “But you’ll follow Department Protocols, right?” 

“There are laws that come from a higher authority, sergeant, and I am bound to follow those laws first. The Ten Commandments are my Protocols, sergeant,” came Dudley’s reply. 

“Right,” the sergeant interjected, “but are you going to pull that weapon on someone just because they stole something or used the Lord’s name in vain?” 

Dudley smiled for the first time today as he replied confidently, “The Lord works in mysterious ways, sergeant. I am merely his instrument. But I am not a foolish or violent person, either, and the Lord knows that. That’s why I’ve been chosen.” 

The sergeant nodded, took a deep breath, and said, “Well, that’s good to know, Dudley. Why don’t you pack it in and I’ll go talk to the Captain about your training. Don’t worry, you passed with flying colors, son.” He held out his hand and Dudley shook it enthusiastically. “But I want you to do me a small favor, Dudley?” his training officer added 

“Sure, sergeant,” Dudley responded, “anything you want.” 

“Don’t tell anyone else what you have told me, okay? You know, about being God’s instrument and all that. Just keep all that under your cap. Do me that favor, will you? I think you’ll find out you will be a lot more effective if you do,” the sergeant said, again in a very serious voice. 

Dudley nodded and the two of them went their separate ways. The sergeant smiled as he watched Dudley walk away knowing he’d keep his promise. Then the sergeant knocked on the Captain’s door. “A moment of your time, sir?” he requested. 

Looking up, the Captain motioned him in and asked, “What’s up, sergeant?” 

“Well, sir, it’s about trainee Dudley. He’s just finished his training and I wanted to talk to you about him if I may?” the sergeant replied. 

The Captain put down his pen and indicated for the sergeant to go ahead. Clearing his throat, the sergeant started, “Dudley is going to make a fine officer, sir. He’s cool-headed, smart, patient, and instills confidence in others. But I wanted to make just one request of you, sir?” 

“Sure, sergeant. You’re my best trainer so I take your requests very seriously. What is it?” the Captain asked. 

The sergeant shifted in his chair and then asked, “I request that you partner Dudley up with Clancy, sir. I think they’d make a good pair.” 

The Captain leaned back in his chair, his arms behind his head, as he asked, “I’d heard rumors that you and Clancy had issues, sergeant. Any truth to that?” 

“No, sir, none at all. I have the greatest respect for Officer Clancy. Otherwise I wouldn’t make this request, sir,” came the sergeant’s reply. 

“Okay, then, sergeant. I’ll make that happen on the strength of your recommendation. Dudley will be partnered up with Clancy as of Monday morning. Anything else, sergeant?” the Captain inquired. 

“No, sir,” the sergeant replied as he got up out of his chair and headed for his locker. He smiled again for the second time today as he thought about just how long it would take Clancy to start bragging to Dudley about how he was screwing the sergeant’s wife. And about just how long it would take patrolman Dudley to dutifully administer God’s wrath for this grievous violation of the Seventh Commandment. 

He gave it a week at the outside. 


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