I had an objective to drop that thing. Every year, drop it drop it drop it. I didn’t have a number. As much as everybody got caught up in the ‘you can make 200, you can make 200, you can make 200,’ I wasn’t thinking like that. I was thinking, ‘get this damn thing down, lower, lower lower still.’ It kind of surprised me, the momentum a little bit, because of the 200. 300 had so much attention. Then Mayor O’Malley set his goal as 175. … I knew what it would take to get below because I wanted to beat my predecessor.
And then you got it below 200 and said that’s it, I’m out of here.
I thought it would at the end of 2011, and I thought I would set a date. I had a lot of advice about what I should do and shouldn’t do. And then I went to South Africa on a trip. One of the things that trip gave me was a chance to think. I thought, ‘I love doing what I’m doing. Do it until you wake up and say I don’t want to do it anymore. Don’t set a day. Just do it until you say I don’t want to do it anymore.’
Did you just wake up one morning and say, ‘that’s it, I’m done.’
You start feeling the drag, the draw to be doing something else becomes greater than the draw to be doing this. … This job has affected [my family] just as much as it has affected me. Not to pinch you guys, but I could have just spent an hour talking to [my son]. But I do have an obligation here, and I have an obligation at 4 p.m. and I have an obligation at 6 p.m. And I’ve got to squeeze him in. That kid is like the hero of my life. My best friend in the whole world. And I’ve got to squeeze him in. I’m anxious for a time when I won’t have to squeeze him in. I don’t have to squeeze in time for my daughter, I wont’ have to squeeze in time for my wife. When she’s telling me something, I can hear her without thinking about dead bodies and what I have to do or, ‘I hope no one gets murdered in the next two hours so we can enjoy dinner.’ I always come home and hang my work shirt up and my pants, and leave all the collar pins and stuff on. I did that thinking when I get a phone call about an injured cop, I can pull my stuff on real quick. I’ll be ready to go. You know how firefighters set their boots up so they can jump into them? For me it was like that. Every time I took my uniform off, I hung it up there and thought about that: I might get a call tonight. I might get a call tonight. I’m anxious to let that part go.