In his 20 years as a New York City police officer, Steve Osborne made thousands of arrests. He nearly got run over by a train while chasing a suspect through a subway tunnel. He dealt with decaying corpses discovered in apartments. While making one arrest, when he was a rookie, a crowd gathered around him and starting throwing bottles and rocks at him. But he loved the job. One thing that surprises people, he says, is that he never fired his gun on the job. "Nobody wants to fire a shot; nobody wants to take a life. All I want to do is go out, do my job, do it well, and go home in one piece. When I lock a guy up and I tell him, 'Turn around, put your hands behind your back,' and he does it, I'm happy. I would much rather buy a guy a hot dog on the way to jail ... which I've done, rather than roll around in the street and fight with him."
Steve Osborne's extraordinary NPR Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross. Please click the grey bar to listen: