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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Shotgun For The Day.

One way I have found to enjoy time with my son is to go on a police ride long. It is awesome for me to watch him interact with people as he does the job God has called him to do.  Once in uniform, he is no longer a kid but a skilled officer with a compassion to enforce the law.

This time out we were assigned to RAAID (Reduction of Accidents and Aggressive and Inconsiderate Drivers). In RAAID you are not dispatched to take 911 calls but instead assigned to catch reckless and speeding drivers. So we went fishing for speeders in an unmarked police car. This was exciting and tiring because no sooner would we get parked with the radar in place that it was time to go chase more tail lights.  It is exciting to take off fast with lights and sometimes sirens.  I did get scared a few times thinking we were going to ram into the back of the cars we were pursuing as they come to realize it was them we were after.  Each person we pursued would slam on their brakes when they saw the lights of the police car.  I decided the best way to keep my mouth closed was to close my eyes as well.  This worked well for me.  I think I give a new definition to the term riding shotgun, though. 

All in all we wrote sixteen tickets, had two impounds, and took one young man to jail.  If you have warrants against you, or if you are a criminal learn this lesson-if you speed you will be caught and placed in jail.  This young man who went to jail was speeding.  He was driving without a driver’s license and had no insurance and had unpaid tickets.  As his car was impounded, he had a choice of going to jail or having someone meet him at the ticket counter to pay all his outstanding warrants.  My son allowed him to call his parents to see what they could arrange for him.  I was feeling sorry for him as he sat in the back of the police car weeping.  Well, I felt sorry for him until I found out he had warrants.  The young man’s dad did come to meet him to retrieve his cash and his cell phone.  The dad said something to the young man I will never forget. He said, “Son I’ve been telling you that you need to straighten up and make things right.  It is now time to “man up” and face the consequences.”  I thought I was going to cheer-Go Dad! 

The wrecker service came to get the car and we left to take the man to jail.  There was some conversation in the car between us but what I prefer to do is pray silently for the person.  I don’t know about this but I may have been the first one to ever pray for this individual.  That is another cool thing about riding shotgun; every person we stop gets a prayer of blessing prayed over him or her.

As we entered the jail a female employee was called.  The jailers thought I was the criminal!  I thought that would be a new adventure and wanted the full effect so I asked to tour the women’s cells but that could not be arranged on such short notice.  Maybe next time I can have the opportunity to experience that.

After some time of fishing and it gets old rather quickly, we began driving to a new location.  On the way a call came over the radio of a roll over accident not far from where we were.  My son thought it would be a good idea to help out OHPD (Oklahoma Highway Patrol), so we went to the accident.  Yes, I had to close my eyes and my mouth as we were driving there fast: lights, and sirens are exciting but scaring all at the same time.

 We were the first officers on the scene. Thankfully EMSA and the fire department were already there attending to the injuries.  A small child was thrown out of the car and the car was resting on top of the child. Thankfully we did not have to see the injured child for EMSA had her loaded in the ambulance.  My son called to check on this child later that evening and we were told she would survive. 

It was a good fun day.  I hope next time to go up in Air One and visit the actual jail cells.  I have no desire to be a police officer but I do enjoy observing the people, praying for them, and being a part of the experience.


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