In 1973 Joe Kenda moves from Pennsylvania to Colorado Springs to begin training as a police officer. He receives four weeks and 1 night of on the job training when he is recognized for subduing a man attacking a fellow officer and is put on patrol by himself. A year later, with some experience under his belt, he happens upon a closing time bar fight, radios for backup, and proceeds to arrest one of the brawlers. As he puts the man in the back of his patrol car he is confronted with a man holding a gun to a young lady's head. The dangerous experience that follows will alter the course of his career forever.