I drove Jason to work that morning so Deputy Collins wouldn’t have the opportunity to obtain any license information on Jason’s vehicle. I gave Jason an envelope to tape to the office door for Jeff and I wrote on the outside “For Law Enforcement Only” and had put my name name beneath that.
When Jeff arrived, Jason told him about the letter and what they had heard the previous night adding that there was a good chance Deputy Collins would stop by today. He told Jeff he could string Collins along a bit and then give him the envelope.
Jason ran his crew as they framed a wall when the marked Sheriff’s SUV drove slowly by the trucks and vans parked at the site. It looked like the deputy talked on his radio as he drove past the parked vehicles. The deputy made another slow pass before he stopped at the construction trailer office. Jeff stood in the door as he approached.
“Can I help you?” Jeff asked the deputy.
“I’m Deputy Mark Collins with Harris County Sheriff’s Department, and I’m investigating a missing person. Our information led us to believe he may work here.
“What is his name?” Jeff asked him.
“Tommy worked here. Doesn’t anymore. Up and quit last week. Something about marital problems that involved a bunch of neighbors. I don’t think he’s missing. I think he wanted some alone time.” Jeff enjoyed toying with Mark.
“Did he tell you that?” Mark asked.
“That he wants some alone time? No. Just had that impression.”
Mark wanted to know, “Has he contacted you?”
“No. He told me to hold onto his last check and he’d make arrangements to get it.”
Mark appeared slightly agitated with the cat and mouse game and asked, “Has he contacted you since he quit?”
“Any idea where he might be staying, or where he is now?” Mark’s frustration showed on his face.
Jeff chuckled inwardly at the deputy’s discomfort and replied, “No, however there was an envelope on the door you may be interested in.”
“Any chance of looking at his personnel file?”
“Not without a court order. Jeff handed the envelope to Deputy Collins and then asked him, “Why is Harris County investigating Tommy as a missing person? He lives inside the city limits; wouldn’t the city police have jurisdiction?”
Mark ignored Jeff’s inquiry and said as he concluded his interview, “Thank you sir.” He took the envelope and walked back to his patrol unit. Once inside his cruiser Deputy Collins opened the sealed envelope and read the letter:
Shame on you Mark Collins! Using your official capacity as a certified law enforcement officer and sworn up holder of The Constitution to violate your oath of office. Calling license plates over the radio so your wife can use the State computer to get names and addresses of employees just so you can try and find me. Why is Harris County investigating a missing person when I live in the city? And you know I’m not missing. How was the pizza? Go back to serving and protecting. While you’re at it and think about the policy and procedure and civil rights you and Mary have violated. I’ll be in touch…. Soon!