Harlan's Day Out:

"If I were sure I'd never be caught, I just might find a uniform that fits,

hop on a motor, and be an officer for a day." Harlan was in the break room

having lunch with a handful of officers. He was bemoaning the fact that

he was two inches too short to be one. They had heard it all before.

Ponch jumped up. "Well! Come on, let's do it then Harlan. Let's make you

an officer for a day."

"What?" Harlan spluttered. "I didn't mean it."

"Yeah, Harlan an officer, what an interesting thought." Artie Grossman

joined in. "We'll get a uniform from Bonnie, umm... boots from Kathy,

a motor from... well anyone's motor will do. What else do we need?"

"You need your head's examined, that's what you need!" Harlan looked

like he was about to go into shock. "I'd...we would never get away with it."

"I reckon we would Harlan." Ponch walked around the break room ticking

off his fingers. "Bates is away in Sacramento for the week, Joe has the day

off, Jon's in court this afternoon, you can take his motor and I'll ride with

you. What do you say?"

Harlan thought for a moment. "Would I get to use the lights and siren?"

"You betcha."

Harlan's face lit up and his eyes gleamed. "Let's do it!"

"Right on!" Ponch got organized and before Harlan knew what had

happened, he was handed boots and a uniform to put on. He scooted

away to the locker room to get changed.

"Are we doing the right thing Ponch?" Grossie now looked concerned.

"Relax. I'll be right there next to him. Look on the bright side Grossie, if

this works Harlan might stop going on about his two inches."

"And if it doesn't work?"

Ponch grinned. "Well, we're screwed then!"

Jon stuck his head in the doorway. "I'm off to court now Ponch, I'll catch

you later, ok?"

"Yeah Jon. Oh Jon, Harlan needs to do some work on your motor, can you

take a cruiser to court?"

Jon looked puzzled. "He didn't mention it to me, but sure if he needs it."

He looked at his watch. "I'd better hurry. Catch ya!"

"Don't look at me like that Grossie, its better that Jon doesn't know...he

umm might not agree."

There was a sound of a throat being cleared, Ponch and Grossie both

turned around and stared. Harlan was standing in the doorway dressed

in his 'uniform.' Bonnie's shirt was still too big for him, but it was passable.

Her pants were too long but tucked into Kathy's boots, Harlan could get

away with them. The boots were too big, but Harlan had shoved newspaper

into the toes which solved that problem. "Well guys, what do you think?"

Ponch and Grossie looked at each other and tried not to laugh, finally

Grossie spoke. "Ah good Harlan, but... something's missing... oh yes!

Gun belt. You need a gun belt."

"Grossie's right, you do need a gun belt, but I'm afraid I'm drawing the line at

getting you a gun."

Harlan grinned at them. "That's ok I've got a gun belt out in the garage."

"Have you?" Ponch and Grossie spoke as one.

Harlan blushed. "Yeah, it's an old one that someone had broken, I cut it back

to make it fit me, I've got cuffs and a pocket knife, and a gun as well for it."

Harlan saw the shocked looks on their faces and quickly added. "Oh it's only

a toy gun, but it looks real when it's in the belt."

"Harlan, just what do you do with a gun belt out in the garage?" Ponch asked.

Harlan turned a deeper shade of red. "I put it on when I take the motors out for

a test run, it... it makes me feel like one of you."

"Fair enough!" Ponch headed for the door. "Well! Are you coming or not,

partner?"

"Partner. Hmm I like the sound of that." Harlan ran after Ponch. "Do I get a

call sign?"

Grossie followed them out the door muttering to himself. "What is Ponch

thinking? He'll never get away with this. Gosh! What was I thinking, I've

helped him do it."

Harlan got his gun belt on, found the spare CHP helmet he used for road tests,

he was ready to go. He joined Ponch over at the motor pool. "Just one thing

Harlan, I'm the boss out there. Ok!"

"10-4 partner!" Harlan mounted up on Jon's motor and followed Ponch out

onto the freeway.

The first hour was routine police work, they pulled over a couple of speeders

and gave out tickets. Harlan was thoroughly enjoying himself, even though

he had been given some strange looks. They got back on the motors after

giving out the last ticket, when Harlan asked. "Can we use the lights and siren

for the next one Ponch, and when do I get to use the radio?"

Ponch sighed, he was beginning to regret this. "I told you before Harlan, you

can't use the radio, someone will hear you and our game will be up."

"10-4 partner."

Ponch groaned. "And can you stop with the 10-4."

"10-4."

Ponch just shook his head, just what was he thinking bringing Harlan out here.

They headed over to the Glendale overpass, a favourite hunting ground for

Ponch and Jon. Ponch hoped that if nothing much was happening, Harlan

would get bored and want to go back. No such luck.

Harlan picked up the radio mic and pretended to talk into it. "LA 15 7 Mary 22

and 4, we are currently 10-20 on the Glendale overpass, there is a 11-80 and

we need an 11-41,11-84 and 11-99. This is a code-3, repeat code-3."

Ponch was about to yell at Harlan, when he noticed a car out of control on

the freeway below them. "Come on Mary 22, we need to go, and you can

use the lights and siren."

Ponch took off with Harlan not far behind, lights and siren blaring. Harlan

was a good rider and he was able to keep up with Ponch. They quickly got

the car in their sight, but as they caught up to it the driver panicked and the

car spun out of control, crashing into the side rail. Ponch pulled up first and

checked on the driver, he needed an ambulance. Without thinking Ponch

called out to Harlan. "Get on the radio, we need an ambulance here."

Harlan didn't hesitate. "LA 15 7 Mary 22 and 4, we need an 11-41 at..." He

looked over at Ponch. "Where are we?"

Ponch groaned to himself before answering. "Southbound on the Ventura

Freeway, at the Hollywood East off ramp."

Harlan repeated what Ponch had told him and the ambulance was on its way.

It soon arrived and the driver was taken away.

Ponch and Harlan got back on their motors. "You know what Harlan? You

sounded pretty good using the radio, one problem though, we don't have

a Mary 22."

Harlan grinned. "Yeah, I know, it's my birthday."

"We could've got away with this you know, but I reckon we'll be found

out now."

Harlan kept grinning. "But I sounded convincing, didn't I? Nobody will

pick up on it."

Ponch just shook his head. "Come on, we might as well head back to Central."

A couple of minutes later their radios sprung into life and Jon's rather amused

voice could be heard. "7 Mary 3, Mary 4 do you copy?"

"10-4 Mary 3 come in Jon."

"Can you and... umm Mary 22 10-19 back to Central. We seem to be missing a

mechanic back here, and I'm missing a motor as well."

"10-4. Mary 4 out."

"Well Harlan, the games up, we nearly got away with it."

Harlan just kept grinning. "Yeah, but hasn't this just been the BEST DAY ever,

what a day out it's been. Thanks Ponch. Thanks very much for doing this for me."

Ponch returned the grin. "No problem Harlan." And he thought to himself, no

matter what trouble I get into, it's been worth it just to see the look of happiness

on his face.