In the locker room, Officer Ed Wells has been filling all the rookie cops heads with lofty stories of his adventures as a cop over the last four years. Malloy and the other senior officers are not impressed and try to warn the youngsters of his folly but to no avail.
As they start their shift, Malloy and Reed respond to a domestic disturbance, involving a man with a gun threatening his girlfriend, with Officer Wells and his partner on the scene as their backup. Malloy and Reed get there first as the woman's son exits the room and tells them the man is crazy and says he'll kill whoever comes in, including the young man's mother. Wells arrives and not wanting to wait to follow proper procedure, barges into the apartment to arrest the man, nearly getting shot. When Malloy and Reed get inside, Wells already has the suspect on the ground. He and his partner then let Malloy and Reed take over as they go back on patrol, looking for more action.
The next day at the station, Wells brags about how criminals need to be put in their place and the police can't let them get away with anything. Concerned that rookie partner Reed may be picking up on Wells' habits, Malloy confronts Wells, telling him he is a negative influence on the younger officers and that, unless asked in the future, he is not to respond to their calls. And if he is assigned as backup, to stay out of Malloy's way. After roll call and inspection, as they start the day's shift, Reed tells Malloy how impressed he was with Wells' handling of the situation the day before. Malloy informs Reed that Wells handled the situation totally wrong, very nearly getting himself killed and that a dead cop is no help to the public or their partner.
Wells' reckless habits catch up with him when on a man with a gun call similar to the day before, this time assigned as primary, he again rushes toward the front door of the residence and is shot. In order to rescue him out of the line of fire, Malloy uses their vehicle as a shield, wedging their jackets in the windows toward the house and then driving it up on the lawn to pull their wounded partner to safety. The shooter shoots the two windows out of the car but the jackets keep the glass from spraying on the officers. After getting wells out of danger, Malloy, having called in for assistance, takes control of the scene, ordering the arriving back-up where to go and what to do to secure the area while waiting for their superior to arrive.
Sgt. McDonald is soon on the scene and talks the man into giving himself up by threatening to have tear-gas sent into the house and to have the officers open fire with their shotguns. The man throws his shotgun out of the front door and is taken into custody.
While filling out all the paper work for the incident, McDonald gives Malloy a compliment on how well he handled the situation and said that it would go in his package. He also tells Pete that Ed's shoulder was pretty messed up but would recover, and that he wants to see Pete at the hospital.
On their way back to finish out their shift, Pete and Jim stop by the hospital to check in of Wells. They meet Betty, Ed's wife, coming out of the ward and she expresses her fear at her husband's method of police work. Malloy tries to comfort here with kind words, but she knows what he is doing. As she leaves, the officers walk into the ward and it's apparent that the gunshot would Wells took didn't do much to adjust his attitude. He's just as cocky as ever and as Pete and Jim leave him, he starts telling other officers in the ward his war stories as they try to keep from hearing. As Reed and Malloy walk the hall, Pete tells Jim that it's even money if Wells will live long enough to mature.