In the squad room, Frank Smith talks with his partner Joe Friday about their upcoming plans for Christmas. Joe is suspicious that Frank may be trying to play matchmaker and get him married off. Before Joe can commit to any promises, the phone rings with the next case. Working the Juvenile Department, they go on a call regarding a teenager who was spotted at the scene of a stabbing.
The patrolmen hit the streets, and Joe interviews the area businessmen. A cantankerous tobacco shop owner with overly simplistic iews, tells of a frightened teen who came in to use his pay phone.
The discussion of Franks Christmas party picks up again before Friday and Smith go to the hospital to talk with the injured teenager. The kid is tight lipped over who he is, and what happened, but tells a story of being jumped in the dark. The cops have a couple of names, and an address to go on, so they check up on the leads.
A story of a single parent home emerges where the mom has died, and dad works nights. Though dad loves his son, there’s a lot of miscommunication that comes off as apathy. At school, the cops learn of fights and friends that fill in some of the picture. Jaded teachers who try to teach in the jungle of juvenile delinquents.
With the right kind of pressure applied, a bully is smoked out, and hauled in to be sentenced.