Badge 112 is the story of a restless boy orphaned in high school, and his unlikely passage from juvenile delinquent to decorated police officer. When Peter Stipe finds his mother after her suicide, it leaves him scarred and isolated. After a couple of brushes with the law, his dad sends him off to Culver Military Academy to provide structure and discipline. In a whirlwind final summer, he found himself paired with the most beautiful girl on campus and clashing with the commandant. This pattern of behavior would define his years in high school. At 17, his father’s sudden death from cancer cast him adrift.
After beginning work in a warehouse, Stipe is soon befriended by a firefighter who’d lost his only son to combat in Vietnam. The father figure took the aimless youth under his wing, instilling a tireless work ethic while suggesting a career in civil service. Though his spell of misdirection continued, Stipe heeded the advice and found himself working for the Building Department, enforcing city codes and inspecting houses.
Trained in every aspect of code enforcement, his laid-back style was effective with business owners, landlords and residents. But he saw the grim effects of poverty first hand, exposed to wretched living conditions. The homes and apartments he inspected were so filthy, he had to strip his clothes off outside when he got home. However, assignments all over town enabled him to learn Ann Arbor like the back of his hand.
His skill in code-enforcement led to a personal recruitment by Ann Arbor’s Police Chief to become an officer. A 29-year-old rookie, Stipe left his mark, combining instinct, orientation and superb fitness to catch criminals and save lives. He confronts the memory of his own mother’s death by handling the suicides of several more victims, many to gunfire. His negotiation skills spare the lives of many more.
While on the force, Stipe embarked on a series of high-profile arrests, high-speed pursuits, foot chases, bank robberies, hostage situations, homicides, life and death struggles and harrowing rescues. In 1994, a serial killer investigation exposed the strained racial tensions between the police and the public they serve. Stipe and the killer confront one another in court.
Stipe’s tactical training results in his assignment as the point man on the SWAT Team. He engages in a sequence of armed encounters, some at point blank range. The peak in his career is toppled by a turbulent marriage to an unfaithful wife, an ill-fated affair with an attractive partner, and the tragic drowning of two teenage girls, trapped in a submerged car.
When the veteran officer bottomed out and became immune to hope and humor, he was rescued from the brink by a succession of intuitive patrol partners and the girl that sold him coffee. Badge 112 is about survival in the darkest corners of society, and about a cop turning tragedy and adversity into hope and redemption in the dim light of life on his patrol beat.