Sunday, November 08, 2009
I decided the only way I can report about my ride along on Friday is through random bits & pieces. It will be so much easier to document. (This will be long and I'm going to divide it into more than one post. Remember, I use my blog not only for quilting but also for journaling) Needless to say I had a blast. The officer I was with is a parent at our school. It calmed my nerves a bit to be with someone I knew. I wouldn't have been able to breathe had I been with a total stranger.
* I was so nervous as I walked out the door of my house that I thought I might have a tachycardia episode. I had to keep taking deep, calming breaths all the way to the station. My biggest fear was that I would have a tachycardia episoide during the evening. It happens rarely but OH that would be awful!!!
* I had to sit through the briefing. I was told where to sit and did as I was told. It was sooooo uncomfortable. The officers are working buddies and chit chatted, and razzed one another. (We will refer here over and over during this post!) Looooodadoooodadoooo. I sat there. Loooodadoooodadoooo. I looked at the walls. I fiddled with my purse. I smiled. I thought the 15 mins of waiting would never pass. Finally the Lieutenant walked in, look at me, said nothing and began the briefing. More razzing, more discomfort. Finally the briefing. Time to go. I stood up and looked around at the 8 officers around me. I could be their mom! They were all so young! Big sigh...
* First call-sad. A minor. She ended up having to go to the juvenile detention center. Just sad.
** The funny, not police work, part of the call - There was myself, the officer I was with, let's call him O1 and another officer (we spent a good portion of the evening with him) and we'll call him O2. The mosquitoes were vicious. We were standing outside and swatting and swatting. The mom/woman in me had to keep from walking up to the two of them, while they were talking to those involved in the call, and brush the off the mosquitoes that kept landing on their backs! It was killing me. We discover that O2 has bug spray. They start spraying. Sniff, sniff....uhm....sniff, sniff....."ya know," I say, this stuff DOES come in UNSCENTED!" It was some tooty fruity smell! O2 laughingly informed me that he liked the fresh and fruity smell! I'm sure we smelled just delish the rest of the night.
* We were called to a grocery store because someone was standing at the door asking for money. We were literally in the parking lot when the call came in. We only had to drive from the back to the front. In the time it took us to drive around the shopping center, there were already 3 other police cars! It looked like there was a major event happening at this little grocery store when actually it was just a woman panhandling! O1 gets out along with O3 and the store security. I tag along behind as we begin walking the store looking for the panhandler. The security guard shoots me a look and I think nothing of it. Panhandler caught, given a stern talking to, sent on their way. The security guard looks at me and says, "are you with her?" meaning the panhandler. "NO!, I'm with him!" as I point to O1. The security guard laughs and says, "we were walking through the store and I saw you tagging along. I couldn't figure out what you were doing!"
*Police officers may work alone in a car but they operate as if they were all in one the car together. If one gets called, anyone that's not busy shows up! I used to always wonder WHAT was going on whenever there was more than one police car with their flasher on. No more. I realize that they are just helping each other out/waiting for another call to come in/curious/in the same area/waiting to help a fellow officer....any of these reasons. It doesn't necessarily mean that something big is going on just because there are 4 police cars in one little grocery store parking lot! Firemen operate in the same way. We once called because our hot water tank caught on fire. THE ENTIRE department responded....two trucks, the cheif, all the fire fighters,the paramedics.... because they were having a meeting when we made the call! They thought they'd all come and see what was going on!!!!!
* another call - at a gas station on the corner of the freeway and major a crossroad. Ug! It's Friday night! I can jsut imagine a parent driving by and seeing me surrounded by 3 police cars and the prisoner transport truck! As I stand there O4 comes up and begins to talk to me. Ah! Finally, an officer with bifocals!!! Someone my age! He was very nice. He pointed out this and that, showed me what all they needed to do to impound the truck there and then showed me the transport truck. It's a scary thing lined in metal and metal doors in addition to the outside doors. There was a prisoner inside and I jumped to the side so that I didn't need to embarrass him and he didn't see me. It turns out that O4's wife is in our Citizens Police Academy Class. Small world. Remember O4 because he comes in the picture later in the evening.
*lunchtime aka MIDNIGHT at I-Hop, sitting at the table with 3 police officers, is at the very least, awkward! I was fading by the time we stopped. I was thirsty and getting very tired. Water and diet coke perked me back up to face the rest of the evening. Luckily O2 was there and since we'd spent so much time with him already, it was a bit less uncomfortable.
* called to a fight – we zooooom down the road to get to this fight. Down the residential street we go, behind another officer. The street is very narrow and lined on both sides with cars. Bumper to bumper cars. Once we pulled down the street, there was no way for any other cars to go in or out. The car in front of us pulls to the left of the cul-de-sac, we stop at the edge and another car pulls behind us. O2 jumps up, grabs his keys, locks the doors and takes off!!!! Locks the doors???!!!! “OMG! HE LOCKED ME IN! HE MUST WANT ME TO STAY HERE! I BETTER STAY HERE! OOOO THERE ARE 5 OR 6 OFFICERS NOW! STAY IN THE CAR! HE LOCKED YOU IN TO KEEP YOU SAFE! STAY IN THE CAR! DID HE TAKE THE KEYS? YES. OOOOOO THEY ARE SHINING FLASHLIGHTS EVERYWHERE, IN THE CARS - ON THE HOUSE, THEY ARE POUNDING ON THE DOOR TO GET THE OWNERS TO COME OUT! OOOO LOTS OF POLICE NOW! STAY PUT! Tap, tap, tap on the window! AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH I nearly had heart failure! Come on!!!!!!! It was O4. He was tapping on the window and telling me to get out and join them. “BUT HE LOCKED ME IN!” I say. Come on! Says O4! It’s ok! #1 - O4 nearly gave me heart failure. #2 – How stupid did O4 think I was thinking I was locked IN the car! I never did explain to him my reasoning but man! I must looked like a doe-doe! I get out and hear the Lieutenant’s voice….Oh boy I really don’t want to be in the way now. I stand off to the side. We get back in the car. “Hey, you locked me in.” “I did????, said O1! I didn’t mean to lock you in. Now I feel like a real ditz!!! “I thought it was your way of telling me to stay put until it was safe for me to get out! “ Nope.” It seems he was just doing his job! What a dingbat!
More in my next post.