"Draw Down" means to draw your visual focus from your target back down to the front sights on the gun to ensure proper aim. I had never 'drawn down' on anything but a paper target; until Friday, that is.
My partner was out sick so I was riding with another training officer. We were responding to a minor traffic accident on 16th street and Thomas when a van pulled up along side us. The driver identified himself as a detective and told us that a guy standing at the bus stop directly behind us just displayed two guns in his front waist band.
We immediately made a u-turn, drove up onto the sidewalk and up to the suspect. Both doors of our patrol car flew open and our guns were drawn. I yelled 'Police -put your hands up -NOW!! the guy put his hands up and started yelling, "I didn't do anything." I ordered him to turn around and face away from us. He complied but kept turning his head back to look at us. As he turned his head, one of his arms dropped down to about neck level. I shouted at him to keep both hands up over his head; which he did. Again, one of his hands started dropping down as he tried to turn to see us behind him. If his hand had dropped a few more inches, we would have shot him. We know there were two guns in his waistband in front of his stomach and we were not about to let him get ahold of one of them. I covered my partner as he rushed the suspect and got control of his arms. I then approached and handcuffed him as we both started searching him. We didn't find any guns and were very puzzled.
Then, my partner took a step closer to the bus stop and looked donw into the garbage can. BINGO: two guns sitting on the top of the trash. Only, these were two plastic toy guns. The suspect had put black tape over the orange tip of the gun to make it look real. He probably didn't know that he came with a few seconds of dying that night over a couple of toys.
My heart was racing and the adrenaline was pumping. I was not scared (like I thought I would be the first time this happened) just hyper-vigilant and focused. I took the guy's information and looked him up in the car's computer. Low and behold, he had three warrants outstanding for his arrest. They were for misdemeanor crimes but a quick look at his rap sheet revealed that he served time for murder back in the '80's. He got a free pass to jail that night. All the way to the station, he kept asking, "Can you guys drop me off at the next bus stop?" and, "Can you guys drive me home so I can get a few things?" We didn't even bother answering since we all knew he wasn't going anywhere except to Madison jail.
Later in the night, I was finishing up on a recovered stolen vehicle when a hot call came in of a home invasion in progress just a few blocks away. The victim called 911, was whispering that intruders were in his house and that he was hiding under a bed. We jumped in the car and raced to the townhouse where this was happening. We arrived just as the helicopter appeared overhead and a quick response team (kind of like SWAT) descended on the house. We, along with an unmarked car, were positioned in a parking lot directly behind the back wall of the property with our spotlights targeting the second story windows. The homeowner was coaxed outside and a team of officers searched the house but found nothing. It turns out that the homeowner was high on Meth. and became paranoid that someone was breaking into his house.
I'm enjoying my three days off but can't wait to get back to work on Tuesday.