Leg Work

7 MAY 24, 0830
TRACEN Cape May, NJ – CGPD Station

Alright,” Roe said, he was sitting at the desk he had taken in the CGIS office. The other desk was occupied by the yeoman and there was a chair alongside his desk which was against the wall for Reeves to sit at. “You can use the conference room for today… as nobody else has it booked to work out of,” he told her. “The case is pretty simple… or at least the basis is. There has been a recent outbreak of vehicles being vandalized on base housing which is outside of the secure area. That’s all I have, you need to work with PD to get us a list of complainants and any existing evidence. Then I want you to come up with an approach and pitch it to me in no more than two hours,” he said, forwarding her the case info via email and then looking at her.

Erin dressed in a simple dark female business suit stood in front of the desk hands folded and face focused. She nodded at her boss words. “Understood. Two hours. Unless there is anything else I can get to it right away.” She said. In her mind, she was already working on the case. It likely was going to involve some legwork and talking to complainants. She refrained however from voicing her idea on how to approach the case right now as Roe was sending her everything via email anyway and there might be something there he didn’t say.

“Nope, just this case,” he told her. “Whenever you’re ready you know where I’ll be, if I decide to step out I’ll let you know. If you have any questions or need help with anything me and yeoman will be right here.

“Of course.” Erin said and taking her cue, turned around and left.

Erin claimed the conference room for herself since no one booked it. She took the seat on the far side with a cup of coffee next to the laptop. She brought up the police file on the case but after scrolling through it, she realized how thin it was. No suspect list, no witnesses, no person of interest, none evidence. Nothing to get hold onto and nothing to start with. Apart from the list of complaints. 

So, Erin took a moment to view the map putting pins for each reported vandalism. While this approach visualized things better, it provided no new trails to follow. At least none that she could see. Leaning back in her chair, Erin stretched her legs and then picked the cup of coffee. Taking a sip and putting the cup back, she decided to focus on something else.

She picked the list of people who reported the vandalism and then reviewed brief statements they gave. All of the reports were pretty much generic and statements were bland and lacked anything to work with, so no wonder that the local police was more than happy to kick it their way. Erin winced. There was really not much to go about with this.

Erin entered Roe’s office again with her laptop tugged under her arm. Closing the door, she turned to face him and stood across the desk. “There is basically no information or I should say no useful information regarding the case. As far as I can see, the best approach is to talk to complainants because the written reports are dry and lack context. That would also allow seeing the place. There might be something why cars are vandalized in this area, something that you can’t find on google maps.” She proposed.

Roe turned and looked at her and then shook his head, “Sorry start over?” he asked, not catching the first part of her statement because he was working on something when she’d entered the room.

Erin inhaled and spoke again. “The police report has almost no useful information and whatever is there is too dry. I suggest going and checking the area ourselves and seeing the terrain, maybe there is something missing from the reports. We could also talk to the people around and maybe we could find witnesses.”

“I would agree with that,” Roe said, “did you have any other thoughts of what could be done from the office before we left?” he asked. “To be clear, we’ll do it your way unless I see a problem that will hurt the investigation.”

“I checked and made notes on the public places in the area. I checked the google map for anything out of ordinary. I checked vehicles but I found nothing in common, at least nothing that would jump right away from their DMV records.” She replied and shrugged softly. “I am not sure what else we could do from here.”

“Probably nothing, but it’s your first day so we’re going to take some time to plan and talk the plan over before I turn you out into the public, fair?” Kevin asked.

Erin simply nodded. “Yes, sir.”

“Another thing that you weren’t here for… a conversation I had with the team. Most of these cases are complete nonsense and it is the Police Department who is chronically understaffed and I’m starting to gather lacking competent leadership. We are here to do a job whether we agree with it or not and by helping them sort out their internal nonsense is only going to win us friends. So while half the cases we are going to handle will likely amount to nothing… we do it right and with a smile.”

“Be nice…” Erin nodded going back in her mind to an old movie she watched recently with an actor that was long gone in the lead role. Her lips twitched slightly as she added lightly. “Got it. I guess you are driving, sir?” 

“We will take my car but you can drive if you’d like,” he shrugged. “I’m not a control freak behind the wheel just the shield,” he smirked. “Shall we?”

Erin nodded ready to follow Roe. “Yes sir.”

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