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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Crime Fighting For A Day

I went on a police ride along last Friday.  Life sure looks different looking out of the windows in a police car.  It was my first opportunity and I am hooked. I enjoyed being with my son and learning new things.  He is a very compassion and fair officer.  It amazed me how much knowledge he has. 

The police station was a new experience for me.  All the police officers and police cars intimidated me.  I was not sure if I felt safe or in a lot of trouble.  I decided I felt I was in trouble.  It is funny how our conscious works.  Toward the end of the day I was comfortable and the intimidations was gone. 

Our first call was to check out a man swinging a rope in a drainage ditch.  By the time we arrived the man was gone.  I was secretly glad due to the fact of the way my son jumped out of that car to investigate.  I was still intimidated and not sure what to expect.  I received a tweet (Twitter) on my phone about this time, which helped me. The tweet was “We are not fighting for victory but from victory". This short tweet reminded me of the victory already won in Christ.  I did not need to fear the police or the criminal.  I am safe and secure in Christ.  My Savior Christ Jesus has won the war.  I can rest in Him.  This was a turning point in my ride along.

Our next call was to investigate an abandon building.  We meet up with another officer already on the scene.  I sat in the car and waited as they looked for an unsecured door.  I felt this was a great time to pray for their safety as I waited.  It was not long before three men and two women came into my view all in handcuffs with the officers walking behind them.  This scene moved me emotionally. These people were sleeping inside the building to get out of the cold. I decided at this point I am a better social worker than an officer.  Even though I did not speak to any of the vagrants I did spend time praying for them.  There was a warrant of arrest for one of the men.  The other five were released and we transported the man to the Marshall’s office.  I learned this was an act of kindness for he could bond out quicker at the Marshall’s office. 

Our next call was to a pedestrian/auto accident.  EMSA and the fire department were already on the scene when we arrived.  My son stopped the traffic and worked up a report.  Our next trip was to the hospital to check the welfare of the victim.  My son finished the report and we were off to our next call, a welfare check of a child vomiting at a local furniture store.  The family was gone by the time we arrived.

We investigated a 911 hang up call, stopped a car for an expired paper tag, and sought out a person to question for a bank robbery.  We hit McDonald’s a couple of time for food and drinks since McDonald’s give Officer’s and their sidekicks free food. 

Our next and last call was a big one, a domestic fight between two drunken people.  This is a home the officer’s visit often.  I was allowed to enter the home and speak to the women.  Two officers, fire department, and EMSA were already on the scene.  I enter the property and immediately turned to exit.  The odor of cat urine and fecal material was too strong for me to stay in the home for any period of time.  This may not be lowest of society but it was the lowest I have experienced.  The women had cuts on her face and there was broken glass and trash all around.  The man was arrested and placed in my son’s car.  I was very bold by this time and very concerned with this man in the car.  My reason for the concern—he had defecated upon himself.  I don’t want to be gross, but it was a blow out-shoulder to knee kind of thing.  The thought of me riding in the car with feces was a little much for me.  I questioned these two officers as to why they placed him in my son’s car instead of their own.  They laughed and said the home was in his district not theirs.  I considered for a moment giving one of the other officers the great pleasure of me riding with them.  Instead I got into the car with my son.  He had sprayed cinnamon air freshener in car hoping it would mask the smell.  It did not!  We now had cinnamon flavored poop.  I rode with my head hanging out the window.  That was all I could do.  The drunken man sitting in the back seat was chanting a phase—“Take these (cuffs) off my wrists.  He chanted this phrase all the way to the hospital.  He needed to be checked out before we took him to the county jail.  I got tickled and annoyed by this chant and decided to chant with him.  I am sure we were a sight.  A police car flying down the highway, me sticking my head out the window chanting, “Take these off my wrists!  Life does not get any funnier than this!!  After being checked out at the hospital, we transported him, stool and all, to the county jail. 

The jail was another learning experience for me.  We drove through a gate and into a garage.  A guard met us with a wheelchair for our drunken man.  We entered through doors into the processing area.  There were several criminals waiting to be charged.  I had a difficult time determining who the good guys were from the bad.  I soon learned to look at their shoes.  The bad guys were given brown sandals to wear.  I tried to stay down wind from our drunken man and close enough to my son to stay safe.  I soon found I was most comfortable backing up to the wall and waiting.  Our man was booked and it was time for us to leave.  One of the trustees came to clean out our car.  It seems the man continued having urine and stool issues as we were transporting him.  Not sure how soon if ever the smell will disappear. 

I learned a new appreciation for officers that day.  It is unbelievable the things they see and the people they must deal with.  I told my son I was more comfortable since I knew what to expect…he corrected me and said, “Mom you never know what to expect with this job.  The next call could be a dead baby.” 

I’m so thankful for the men and women who serve to keep us safe and to assist us in our time of need.  I pray God blesses and protect each officer as they patrol our streets.  I hope you join me in this.

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.  Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.  For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.  For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.  Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
  This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.  Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Romans 13:1-7