Brookside, Alabama

Brookside, Alabama is a twelve-hundred-person town, with a winding creek pretty enough to put on a postcard.

It’s beautiful here — if you don’t mind the drug dealers in the Walmart parking lot.

Drugs are becoming more commonplace in small towns like this. And up until now, the drug problem in Brookside was worsening.

Last month, local lawmen resolved to bring the hammer down. Officials declared March as, “Operation Crack Down.” And no matter where you’re from, you won’t find a catchier title than that. It sticks in your head.

From its first day, Operation Crack Down was a success. Deputies arrested all sorts of thugs.

One such adorable thug bears mentioning. We’ll call him Marvelous Mike; a well-loved, and God-fearing crack-dealer in his community. And as far as hand-to-hand brokers go, he’s exceptional in his field.

Last Wednesday, officers visited Marvelous Mike’s home to arrest him. When they arrived, they saw a house swarming with people, coming and going like Kmart shoppers.

When folks saw the police cruiser, they scattered. Deputies lit after the eager bargain shoppers. A few got away, the rest received complimentary rides in Crown Victorias.

Nobody found Marvelous Mike.

Afterward, officials took inventory of Mike’s (ahem) belongings. While sorting, deputies heard something in the laundry room. They followed the noise to the dryer, where they discovered Marvelous Mike — curled in a ball beneath the laundry, snoring like a table saw.

Marvelous Mike told authorities, “I was just trying to hide, but y’all stayed too long… I fell asleep.”

I told you he was adorable.

The good news is, after thirty days, Operation Crack Down has resurrected Brookside’s morale. Last month, police made twenty-six drug-related arrests. And in a small community like Brookside, that’s one less thug per day.

Police Chief, Jason Springfield, says, “Our officers have worked hard and put in a lot of overtime this month…”

For a peace officer, this means less sleep, cold suppers, skipping church, and no Little League games. You want hard-knuckled, small-town loyalty? This is it.

So, if you’re ever passing through Jefferson County, and see a deputy who looks like he could use a ten-day nap, ask him how his kids are doing. Maybe even offer a heartfelt, “thank you.”

Then, put a smile on his face.

And remind him of Marvelous Mike.

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