He is running straight at me with a large knife in each hand!
Instantly, my gun is in my hand and I’m yelling, “Stop, Stop!”
but he has this look on his face.
He is running full out, his eyes wide and determined, his jaw
set. The long black military knives are in each hand.
He knows I have no choice but to shoot him. Suicide by cop!
I’m yelling at the top of my lungs, “Stop!” but I can’t hear
anything; auditory exclusion has set in.
Nothing else exists except this man running at me, trying to
I am a retired police officer from Alberta. I spent 25 years with Lethbridge Police Service and 2 years with the RCMP as an Auxiliary Special in BC. I have been involved in all aspects of policing including street patrol; Community Liaison; working in the Criminal Investigation Division doing warrants and the Break and Enter detail for the Police Service. I have always enjoyed the street. I loved the action, the people, the situations and the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. Slapping the cuffs on a bad guy is one of the best feelings in the world.
There is a quote that I put in the front of the notebooks I used in my policing career as a reminder to do what I can to help people. Whenever I took out my notebook I saw it. It is variant of an Edward Everette Hale’s quote and reads:
I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
Before I was policing, I was in the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves as an enlisted man in the infantry and then as an Lieutenant in a tank squadron.
Often one significant event or action can change the course of your life. Sometimes it is obvious, sometimes not.
Driving home from the Armory one night, dressed in my military uniform, my car started on fire. I pulled off Highway 427, and I quickly checked under the hood, found the engine in flames, and ran the half mile for a fire extinguisher. When I returned to my car, I found the Fire Department putting out the flames. A young cop from the Toronto Police Service, 22 Division of was also at the scene. While on route to my home, a call came in about a break and enter underway at the West Mall. The cop noted my military uniform and decided I could ride along. That event got me interested in policing. I knew; that’s what I wanted to do!
The next few years saw me moved with family to Kelowna, BC, Canada where I experienced other jobs and entrepreneurial endeavors. It is here I met my wife of 40 years. A construction career evolved, taking us to Calgary, AB and eventually back to the Okanagan Valley.
A series of doors proceeded to open and close in my life and ultimately led me to take a leap of faith that resulted in my successful entrance to the Law Enforcement Program at Lethbridge Community College, AB, Canada. I was hired to the Lethbridge Police Force a month before I even competed the program! The Lethbridge Police Force changed its name to the Lethbridge Police Service then to the Lethbridge Regional Police Service and now it’s back to the Lethbridge Police Service.
I have retired from policing and currently write on policing, police stories and safety. I do presentations on safety and policing. I have a company that also does safety audits and I am a writer of safety programs.
I currently live near Coaldale, AB
Randy Ward Author
I started writing out of tragedy. In policing there is always tragedy and if you don’t get it out, it will destroy you. Some cops deal with the emotions by exercising, some cops party and drink, some just stuff it down, but I learned a long time ago, you must deal with inner conflicts or it will eat you up. Tragedy is a great motivator, it doesn’t allow you to do nothing without consequences.
I have always written in some form or another. Mostly technical reports. First doing reports in the military, then police incident reports. I started writing for my wellbeing when a police officer friend of mine was killed by a drunk driver when he had another vehicle pulled off to the side of the road. The drunk driver plowed his grain truck into him, killing him instantly. I had this overwhelming need to write about the funeral and my feelings so “The Partner” story came into being.
Since that time whenever I experienced some great event or tragedy I wrote about it. Mostly to get it out of my thoughts. I tied and continue to try and write daily, although I don’t seem to keep up as much as I want.
My belief is everyone should write. There are certain areas of the brain that only get activated by writing. So, activate your brain, write. It makes no difference what you write about, just write.
Right now, I write about things and events that have happened to me. Most of my writing is about what it’s like to be a beat cop. I could write about my time in CID (Criminal Investigation Division) but the streets are where my passion was and is. THE STREETS ARE WHERE THE ACTION IS!
Mostly, I write in the present tense to engage the reader. To make you feel the same emotions that I felt when I fought for my life or tried to engage with a suicidal person intent on killing himself in the most violent ways.
My first solo book is called: YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS SH#T UP: POLICING THROUGH STORIES and is available through Amazon. (The link is attached!) The book description is as follows: Forty-three short stories- A man soaks himself in gasoline and starts to light himself on fire; A bank robber and future murderer runs at you with two large military knifes; you fight for your life at a traffic stop with three criminals; a suicidal man sits on a ledge 150 meters above the ground. What would you do? Find out what happened! Randy Ward’s true police stories take you into the heart-pounding world of policing. The stories captivate you, allow you to experience the terror, violence, heartbreak, humour and sadness of policing. His accounts will inspire you, and make you laugh, cry, and shake your head in disbelief at what cops experience. These true-life events tell of shootings, stabbings, assaults, tragedies and the thrilling and funny experiences of a beat cop. His stories admit you into the unique sub-culture of policing and will allow you to understand why cops around the world say, “YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS SH#T UP!”
I am also working on volume two of this series which continues with true short stories about incidents, events, tragedies and funny crap that happened to me as a cop.
Another book that I am working on involves all the ride-alongs I’ve taken with me over the years as a cop. I hope to present their perspective about the events and things they saw on their ride-along.
My first fictional book is a thrilling account that starts with a true event of me arresting a multiple bank robber and future murderer. The story continues to a fictional event of revenge against me. This book is scheduled to be out by the end of 2018.
My hope is that my writing gives you a glimpse of policing, to admit you in the unique sub-culture of being a cop, to allow you to completely experience it and understand it to a degree. I hope my writing gives you that look, that peek into true policing.
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