The Black Band, by Albert Vandesteeg
The half inch wide black velvet band that is placed around the Peace Officer’s badge symbolizes the grief and pain that grips the heart behind the badge. The Black Band begins at the graveside service of Officer Augustino as he is laid to rest. The sound of the bagpipe drifts over the departing crowd as they drift back to their duties fighting crime, corruption or mourn with friends and family. The story brings the reader into the hearts and lives of these cops at work and at the cop bar where they tell stories to unwind and try to make sense out of the lives they lead. The stories bring insight into the anxiety while working their beats and at home where wives and children wait to hear news of which officer was slain. The Black Band portrays cops at work, catching burglars in the act of committing crimes, discovering evidence of a robbery/homicide during a routine parole check and attempting to clean up prostitution and drug dealing.