Dirty Harry always gets the job done... but that's causing problems
“What did you want me for, chief?” “Dirty” Harry Callahan asked as he walked into the small office.
“Why don’t you close the door and take a seat,” said the chief gravely.
Callahan scowled in response. He already knew this would be a bureaucratic waste of his time. The more time he was forced to deal with politics, the less time he was out there cleaning the scum from this city. San Francisco was full of weirdos, perverts, and nutjobs — and that’s just who he was trying to keep from being murdered.
Grudgingly, Callahan took a seat. “What do you want?”
“We have a problem,” the chief said. “It’s the clearance rate for solving homicides in this department. It’s only thirty percent. That’s really, really low.”
“I solve every murder that comes across my desk,” Callahan growled. “This isn’t on me. I’d be solving a murder right now if I didn’t have to have this pointless chat with a pencil-pusher like you!”
“Yes, you have a great clearance rate,” the chief stated. “You solve one hundred percent of the murders assigned to you. And yet, I’d say the overall low clearance rate for the department is your fault. That’s because of something I’ve never seen before: You commit more homicides than you solve.”
“It’s dangerous out there,” Callahan said, “and I’m just doing my job.”
“Sure, but I mean, your ratio is on average five homicides committed to each homicide solved. Doesn’t that seem a bit high?”
Callahan shrugged. “What’s the average for everyone else?”
“Umm... 0.01 homicides committed to homicide solved,” the chief said. “Probably somewhere around there.”
“I’m taking the scum off the streets,” Callahan stated. “I don’t see why you’re wasting my time with this.”
“Sure, sure,” the chief said, “but the only problem is that anytime you kill someone, it has to be investigated. And you kill a lot of people. So basically, the rest of the homicide department is completely tied up investigating the homicide you commit during your investigation. And that’s why the department clearance rate is so low — you’re like the only one of us investigating murders not committed by someone in the San Francisco Police Department.”
“But you’re solving those killings, right? They should be easy. I did them.”
The chief nodded. “Yeah, but they don’t count toward our clearance rate — it’s a bureaucratic thing.”
Callahan scowled. “I don’t care about your numbers. I care about getting the job done.”
“But the job is not getting done,” the chief said. “Lots of murders are going unsolved because we don’t have the manpower to investigate them after dealing with all the bodies in your wake. This can’t go on. I mean, we’re having a budget crisis just because of the boxes of .44 magnum ammo we have to buy for you. It’s an expensive caliber, and you need so, so many boxes. I just don’t know what to do. We tried making you go to training so you’d be more... uh... sensitive to others.”
“I’m already woke,” Callahan said. “My Smith & Wesson kills everyone, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation.”
The chief rubbed his temple. “So, yeah, you didn’t really get the point of that. And we’ve tried giving a partner to keep an eye on you, but they all end up dead.”
“The streets are tough out there,” Callahan said, “and not for everyone. Or anyone.”
The chief’s face went grim. “So I have no choice now, Harry. I’m going to have to take you off of Homicide.”
Callahan somehow scowled even scowlier.
“Sorry, but it’s the only way,” the chief said. “Instead, you’re going to investigate computer crimes now.”
Callahan raised an eyebrow. “What’s a computer?”
“You’re a smart guy; you’ll figure it out. But you stick to white-collar crimes now, so you might as well put away that gun of yours.”
Callahan growled and walked off.
The chief stood outside the burning office building, watching as officers cordoned off the area and others rolled out body bags on stretchers. Callahan walked up to him.
“What happened?” the chief demanded.
“Through my computer investigation, I uncovered a whole money-laundering operation with the mob,” Callahan explained. “When I confronted them about it, things got a bit dicey.”
The chief put his head in his hands. “How many people did you kill, Callahan?”
The chief stared at Callahan, dumbfounded. “Your revolver has six shots. How do you even carry that many reloads?”
“I used dynamite for some of it,” Callahan said. “Oh, and by the way, my partner got killed.”
“I didn’t even assign you a partner!”
Callahan thought about it for a few seconds. “Oh, well, someone who was helping me got killed.”
The chief looked near tears. “Oh, if I could, I would take your badge, Callahan...”
“But I’m union.”
“But you’re union.”