The cop, the biker, and the special-needs boy

Years ago, when I was still out on patrol, a long-haired guy from a “motorcycle gang” taught me a lesson about appearances sometimes being deceiving


It all started with a woman calling the precinct to report that a biker gang under the name of the Who Cares Committee was having a party. 

It was in my patrol sector so I went down to check, and sure enough, the street was lined with vehicles. 

I got out of my patrol car and asked to see whoever was in charge. A few moments later, a long-haired man clad in denim came out and approached me.

Problem Resolved
“Hello, I’m Kevin,” he politely said. “What do you need from us, officer?” 

In a calm voice I told him, “I need the street cleared for emergency vehicles.”

“Can I have ten minutes to take care of it? Oh, and where can I have them park?’

“There’s a shopping mall across the street,” I said. “Park there.”

Ten minutes later my “problem” was resolved.

In fact, the only person I had problems with that night was the woman who kept calling the precinct about the debauchery on her block — debauchery that simply didn’t exist. 

Some Opposites Attract
You see, the Who Cares Committee was a group of motorcycle enthusiasts who supported St. Christopher’s Children’s Home for mentally challenged kids who could no longer live at home. The party was held to raise money for the children’s gifts. 

A couple weeks later someone asked if I knew where to donate toys? I told her I had an idea and contacted the president of the Who Cares Committee. 

He came to my house and picked up the toys. Turned out that long-haired, denim-clad Kevin was the president of the Who Cares Committee. 

While thanking me he cried because he felt I was so thoughtful.  

As Christmas approached, Kevin — better known by now as “Doc” — invited my wife, Lynn and me to join him and his wife to attend the St. Christopher’s annual Christmas pageant.  

We went and watched. The children had a great time performing holiday songs for their family members in the audience. It was very touching and we were having a good time enjoying the evening.  

The Biker, the Cop, and the Kid
Then it happened. One of the children on stage saw his father in the audience. 

He shouted, “Daddy!” and ran and jumped into his father’s arms. 

Suddenly there was a biker guy and an off-duty cop turning their heads to face the auditorium wall. Neither one wanted to let the others see us wiping tears away from our eyes. 

It just goes to show that not all bikers are outlaws, and cops aren’t as tough as they think they are. 

About the author

Keith Bettinger is a retired Suffolk County (N.Y.) Police Officer. He’s been writing for law enforcement publications for more than 25 years and has received 18 awards for his articles, stories, poems, and books. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Relations with a major in Clinical Counseling. During his career he received the department’s Bravery Medal, Silver Shield Award, Meritorious Police Service Award, Special Service Award, Professionalization Award, Department Recognition Award, five Headquarters commendations and six Precinct commendations. He also was a field training officer and an instructor on Post Shooting Trauma and Critical Incidents.

Keith has written two books, Fighting Crime With “Some” Day and Lenny, and End of Watch. He has also contributed stories to the following anthologies: Cop Tales 2000, Charity, True Blue, To Protect and Serve, and Dad’s Bow Tie. He also shares with Jack Miller, the screenplay Master Cheat. Keith lives in Las Vegas with his wife Lynn.

Contact Keith Bettinger

  1. Tags
  2. Off Duty

Recommended Police Jobs and Careers

Join the discussion