I’m not a person who can keep a case at arm’s length. Each one affects me. During every investigation I think about the fear the victim felt in his or her last moments; the pain of the family who will never see their loved one again; and the life that was cut too short. I care about each and every single case that hits my desk. But I have to admit, there are a few that I can’t help but care about more: the ones that hit close to home.
A case like this landed at the twelfth precinct recently. Two of our people were wrapped up in a string of murders that were as gruesome as they were perplexing. And I’ll admit I felt it more. The idea that Lanie and Espo were in trouble added fuel to my fire. The stakes were higher; the pressure was greater; the danger all the more real. This is the kind of thing they can’t prepare you for when you’re a recruit.
I know saying these murders were more important than others sounds an awful lot like picking favorites. And that’s a fair assessment, but the truth is, it’s unavoidable. Cops aren’t robots (yet), so we can’t just look at every case with a clinical, unbiased eye. That doesn’t mean we’re compromised in any way, it just means we’re human.
Truthfully, working a case that’s personal helps us with every other case we get. We see what it’s like to sit on the other side of the interrogation table, and be the one answering questions, not asking them. It’s a lesson cops hate to have to learn, but it does make us better. We are here to protect and serve, but it also helps to empathize and understand.