Character Interview: William Cavanaugh

  • How long have you been in law enforcement?
    About ten years or so.
  • Was there anything else you ever wanted to do in life?
    No, not really. I’ve always wanted to be the kind of guy who saves the day, and police work seemed to be the natural fit for that.
  • What’s the worst thing you’ve encountered in that time?
    Definitely the Richard Morell incident. That was a seriously fucked up man, and not in a good way. I got to read the coroner’s reports on the corpses they found in his house, and he was a really bad dude. Wicked. It was …
    Well, when I saw what was in his trunk, I felt my skin crawl, but when I read the reports of what was in his house, I couldn’t finish it. I’ve never had a professional document that I couldn’t finish because I was too creeped out by it. Except for him. He was a living demon, there’s no other words for something like that. He wasn’t human anymore.
  • How do you feel about that arrest? What were you thinking at the moment?
    Well, it wasn’t really an arrest, so to speak. I mean, it was, he was certainly arrested from further action, [chuckle] but … I feel good about it. Really good. Wish I could do something for the families, but you can’t have everything.
  • That’s a case where it was clear, at least from the news reports, that he disobeyed your order to open the trunk. Should the public always obey a policeman? Are there any circumstances where they shouldn’t?
    No, not really. I mean you could come up with some pretty extreme theoreticals, but those never happen in real life. We’re out there looking out for the public good, so when we ask you for something, it isn’t really an ask, you know? There’s a reason we need to know, and it is for your own good. A lot of people try to assert a right to privacy, especially if they’re trying to hide something, but they forget that if I really want to, I’m getting in your trunk, house, whatever. You can’t stop me, and even if you wanted to suppress evidence with some sleazeball lawyer, the judge sides with the law most of the time. Best to just do what I say and get the pain over with.
  • What is your personal firearm?
    Glock 19. I like the way it feels in my hand, and I’m good at putting rounds on target. I’m a big guy, so it conceals easily on me. I’ve also got a deer rifle and an AR-15 that I use for target shooting.
  • What’s a day look like for you, typically?
    There’s a morning briefing around 5 AM or so, then out on traffic patrol for most of the morning. Sometimes it’s court appearances, but I usually break for lunch around 11 or so and get something on the downtown mall, then eat it at the station while I do some paperwork. Then it’s out again in the afternoon, and done by about four, after the reports are filed and the bureaucrats satisfied.
  • What do you want from life?
    Happiness, same as everyone else. An ordered society is a happy one, so if I can do my part to build that order, then good, I’ll feel happy about myself and what I’ve built.