As a rookie in the Atlantic City， N.J.， Police department， I was assigned a beat on the boardwalk. Hardly a day went by when I didn't come upon a child who had become separated from his parents.
One afternoon， I spotted a small boy standing alone， obviously lost. I tried to gain his confidence - I took him to the nearest ice-cream stand and bought him a cone. Time passed with no sign of the boy's parents， so the next step was to call for a patrol car to take him to headquarters. I told the small fry to stay put while I went to the call box. When I returned， he was nowhere in sight.
Within minutes， the car arrived， and one of the patrolmen asked me where the child was. I felt stupid； it's humiliating to say you've lost a lost child. But I told the officers what had happened and gave a description of the boy. “What did you treat him？” asked one of the men.
“An ice-cream cone. Why？”
“Because，” answered the officer， “that kid lives only a few blocks from here， and you've about the fifth rookie he's conned for a treat！”