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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 2/14/2006 2:29:38 PM EDT
Help from the police saved resident’s day

I was on my way to my 5th drop off/pick up of the day, carting my kids around to their summer activities, when I got a flat tire. I got out of the car to assess the situation and discovered that a policeman had pulled up behind my car. I have changed a few tires, but not with three small children and a policeman looking over my shoulder. There was no way to pump the tire back to it’s original size.

The policeman (I’ll call him Officer A) got on his back, crawled under my car, and discovered the spare tire was rusted with no hopes of getting it out. Realizing the car was going to need a tow, I reached into the car to get my cell phone to phone a friend. My cell phone was at home, charging. Officer A lent me his phone, but none of my friends were home. They were all doing what I was doing—running their kids around. I realized at that point that my efforts to demonstrate how to handle an emergency situation to my kids were futile. I was stuck. That’s when Officer A took control.

He called dispatch to get a tire dealer’s name and number and arranged for a tow truck. He then radioed another police car (I’ll call him Officer B) who offered to take my kids to their soccer practice while I waited for the tow truck. I told my kids and Officer B that I would walk from the tire dealer to pick them up from practice.

My kids’ enthusiasm for riding in a police car was high. Both officers double checked that each kid was belted safely. As I watched my kids get into the police car, I noticed that passersby had been gawking at me wondering what sin a mother had committed to cause the police to take her kids away. I smiled to myself knowing that my kids were experiencing one of their summer highlights—riding in a police car.

I instructed my children, “Do not get out of the police car until you see your coach.” Officer A was kind enough to stay with me until the tow truck came. Later, I learned that the kids and Officer B showed up at the practice field as planned. My daughter was allowed to announce their arrival on the loud speaker yelling, “Hi Coach ...”. The bewildered coach came over to the car wondering what in the world was going on. My kids got the ride of their lives and went to practice feeling like celebrities.

Meanwhile, I took care of business at the tire dealer. I then walked to pick up the kids from practice, walked back to the tire dealer with kids in tow where we had to wait for our car. What to my surprise, who comes walking in but Officer A, just to make sure I met up with my kids and that nothing bad happened.

The whole point of sharing this story is to honor (city name)’s finest. Even though this city is growing in leaps and bounds, there is a small town feeling that everyone is worth being cared for and looked after (even during busy ____fest and the Fourth of July). I have never experienced such help and follow through. I knew I could’ve handled the situation myself but it was convenient and comforting to have someone else take control.

Officer A didn’t have to stop in the first place, didn’t have to get under my car, call for a tow truck, arrange car pools for my kids, wait 20 minutes for the tow truck or check on me two hours after the incident. He totally went out of his way to ensure my safety and the safety of my children. Officer B certainly didn’t have to help me out with my kids and drive them to practice. I am sure dispatch had more important things to do than look after a flat tire.

It brightened my day and made me realize I should put forth more of an effort to help my fellow neighbor when in need. My regard for (city name) was boosted once again. Our decision to move here three years ago was confirmed once more. (city name) is indeed the number one city in America.

To Officer A and B and dispatch, I’m sorry I never got your names. Rest assured, my kids regard you as genuine heroes. You will be the main characters in their “What I did this summer” essays this fall when they’re back in school.

My kids fully realize that policemen are our friends and are there for you when you’re in need. What an example of generosity and leadership, going beyond the call of duty.

Thank you.
Diane _______ and family
(city name)


_________
This was a letter to the editor to a smaller city newspaper from several years ago. I've omitted the city and festival name as well as the author's surname. This could have happened anywhere in our nation, and I'm sure it has thousands of times over. It is a good feeling to have citizens take time and effort to say thank you. It serves as a reminder of why we choose to work in this profession.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 4:07:27 PM EDT
It sounds really nice and it would be great if we could still do that, but with today's civil courts my department will not let us touch a vehicle unless we are searching it or towing it. No tire changes, unlocks, or jump starts. As far as taking someone elses kids to ball pratice and dropping them off, never. There would have to be an adult, who the father names, that would need to take custody of them at pratice. All we could do is ask if we could call them the next tow on the list or one they name.

I love doing nice things for people, a lot of the time it makes my day more than a good arrest. But with everyone wanting to take us to court you simply can not do a lot of things police once did.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 5:56:40 PM EDT
To me man, that is the best part of the job. I would rather stop and help somone out then arrest some dirt bag. Believe it or not, we take this job to help people out and not to arrest the criminals, but that is defiantly a plus.

The city, and officer will really appreciate knowing how much they helped. A small thank you goes a long ways sometimes.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 6:35:34 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 12:53:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Docsprague:
It sounds really nice and it would be great if we could still do that, but with today's civil courts my department will not let us touch a vehicle unless we are searching it or towing it. No tire changes, unlocks, or jump starts. As far as taking someone elses kids to ball pratice and dropping them off, never. There would have to be an adult, who the father names, that would need to take custody of them at pratice. All we could do is ask if we could call them the next tow on the list or one they name.

I love doing nice things for people, a lot of the time it makes my day more than a good arrest. But with everyone wanting to take us to court you simply can not do a lot of things police once did.



You can do all the nice things you want to do. In fact, you should do all the nice things you want to.

Think about if it was your wife stranded on the side of the road. What would you want ME to do if I happened upon her. Drive by w/o even checking on her and let her fend for herself? When the owner of a vehicle is there and gives you permission to help her, what's the problem with helping out and trying to get the spare tire lock unfrozen? Why not take the opportunity to show several pre-teen children just exactly how a police officer does his job the right way? It's easy to get cynical. It's just as easy not to. It's a choice we all make.

For some perspective on the matter, Officer A in the above story is yours truly.

Link Posted: 2/15/2006 1:18:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By npd233:
For some perspective on the matter, Officer A in the above story is yours truly.




Good on ya NPD233
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 4:55:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2006 4:31:08 PM EDT by Docsprague]

Originally Posted By npd233:

You can do all the nice things you want to do. In fact, you should do all the nice things you want to.

Think about if it was your wife stranded on the side of the road. What would you want ME to do if I happened upon her. Drive by w/o even checking on her and let her fend for herself? When the owner of a vehicle is there and gives you permission to help her, what's the problem with helping out and trying to get the spare tire lock unfrozen? Why not take the opportunity to show several pre-teen children just exactly how a police officer does his job the right way? It's easy to get cynical. It's just as easy not to. It's a choice we all make.

For some perspective on the matter, Officer A in the above story is yours truly.




I am not trying to be cynical, just stating how department policy sometimes keeps us from going the extra mile we all became officer for. I really liked it when we use to do car unlocks and other vehicle services (we had waviors then). I did change tire for people on the interstate, unlocked a lot of cars, and even took one lady to the airport so she would not miss her flight. I met some really nice people, including a retired Robbery Homicide Detective Sgt. from San Diego (sp) California.

I always check on stranded people, give them a rides if necessary, and help out however allowed. Just working on cars and taking juveniles to be dropped off at a public place (unless dropped off to a specific named person willing to accept custody) is apparently to big of a liablity for my department.

I am glad you could help and I am glad the people expressed thier thanks. That always make helping even better.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 5:29:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By npd233:

Originally Posted By Docsprague:
It sounds really nice and it would be great if we could still do that, but with today's civil courts my department will not let us touch a vehicle unless we are searching it or towing it. No tire changes, unlocks, or jump starts. As far as taking someone elses kids to ball pratice and dropping them off, never. There would have to be an adult, who the father names, that would need to take custody of them at pratice. All we could do is ask if we could call them the next tow on the list or one they name.

I love doing nice things for people, a lot of the time it makes my day more than a good arrest. But with everyone wanting to take us to court you simply can not do a lot of things police once did.



You can do all the nice things you want to do. In fact, you should do all the nice things you want to.

Think about if it was your wife stranded on the side of the road. What would you want ME to do if I happened upon her. Drive by w/o even checking on her and let her fend for herself? When the owner of a vehicle is there and gives you permission to help her, what's the problem with helping out and trying to get the spare tire lock unfrozen? Why not take the opportunity to show several pre-teen children just exactly how a police officer does his job the right way? It's easy to get cynical. It's just as easy not to. It's a choice we all make.

For some perspective on the matter, Officer A in the above story is yours truly.




I don't want my kids in the back of any patrol car. I don't care how much bleach is used to clean up the blood, crap, spit and vomit. Call for a tow and a different ride. Unless it's an emergency, kids don't belong back there.

Don't tell someone to violate their Deptartment's regs. Geez what are you thinking? If it's nice, it's ok...? You scheduled to go on Oprah? He did not say that he would not help the family, just that he wouldn't give them a ride to soccer and turn them over to any old adult.. Seems to me that your judgement was poor in that particular instance, not his.

Seems like the point of this whole post is mostly Oprah type feel-good-ism and self back patting.

Sure it's nice to be thanked for doing your job. But who was answering your calls while you were messing around?

Buck
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 6:09:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2006 6:22:51 AM EDT by npd233]

Originally Posted By Bucket:


I don't want my kids in the back of any patrol car.



If you raise them right, they probably will never have to be there.


I don't care how much bleach is used to clean up the blood, crap, spit and vomit. Call for a tow and a different ride. Unless it's an emergency, kids don't belong back there.


You did notice that I called for (a) a tow and (b) a different ride (Officer B was a Sgt and prisoners never go in their squads since there's no shield in the car. Sorry I didn't explain it well enough for you.


Don't tell someone to violate their Deptartment's regs. Geez what are you thinking? If it's nice, it's ok...? You scheduled to go on Oprah? He did not say that he would not help the family, just that he wouldn't give them a ride to soccer and turn them over to any old adult.. Seems to me that your judgement was poor in that particular instance, not his.

Seems like the point of this whole post is mostly Oprah type feel-good-ism and self back patting.

Sure it's nice to be thanked for doing your job. But who was answering your calls while you were messing around?

Buck



I feel sorry that I can't be like you and chase fleeing felons all day long every single work day. I didn't tell anyone to violate department regs. Just how does calling a tow truck or looking to see if the spare tire is there violate regs? I've been training officers for years and I tell them to figure out what needs done, and then do it. We serve our citizens by whatever is the best way to resolve any incident - whether it's a murder, motor vehicle crash, lost child or broken down car. How I chose to handle that situation was to help her out. I suppose I could have just called a tow and had the minivan impounded since it was blocking the traffic lane, and pointed her and the kids down to the KFC on the corner where there might be a phone.

How about you suggest something that you feel I should have been doing instead of that? Just one thing that was more important at that time? Who was handling my calls? I was. This took me all of 15 minutes, total. All it was, was using a little bit of common sense and making a decision about what to do. It really wasn't much work. This isn't Oprah stuff, bud. It's called civilization - people have to live with each other on this planet, and we can choose to pitch in and help others out, or turn a blind eye.

You've clearly showed us which choice you've made.

If you have something valuable to contribute to this thread, by all means you're welcome to do so. I figured by posting in this forum among those I've come to know and consider friends, that it would be received well since it was a more personal story rather than the generic Fox News cut/pastes we usually see. I doubt you can understand the difference, and for that I pity you.

Now go start your own thread if you want to keep bitching and tell me what I should or shouldn't do. I'll be happy to reply if I can free up a few minutes from my messing around.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 6:25:38 AM EDT
Good job.



I guess this means you get your donut to day.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 6:30:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By bblake00:
Good job.



I guess this means you get your donut to day.



Can I get a raincheck? I'm saving up for a bundt cake.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 8:07:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2006 8:13:29 AM EDT by bigern]
I think you did a good thing. Now those kids will look at the police in a good light and not how the neighbor kids do, by calling us pigs or other such nonsense.

I ran across a homeless Marine Vet from 72-74 last night. It has dropped into the 20 Degree range here at night and is going to drop even lower the next few nights.

He was squating in an abandoned home and after he came back clear, he asked if he could just hang out in my car and stay warm.

That wasn't going to work out so I went back to the Prct and got him some cardboard to get him oup off of the floor, a tyvek suit and booties to cut the wind, and an emergency blanket. He had a bedroll but not sufficient for this weather.

He was no angel but he didn't have any extraditable warrants and I'll be damned if I'll let a Marine freeze to death on my beat.

I also gave him some extra large latex gloves because he had no gloves.

I couldn't take someone to jail last night so I had to do something to make my shift seem worthwhile.

Never know, I might be a fight someday and this guy may have my back.

Now I'm on vacation. Whoo hoo. San Diego here we come.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 9:03:03 AM EDT
I'm not going to take the time to un-misconstrue your so called answers to what I have typed.

Re-read my post. Maybe you'll understand what I'm trying to get across..

You are the one here with a GREAT BIG LOAD of holier-than-thou.

Get over it.

Be safe.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 9:16:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By npd233:

Originally Posted By bblake00:
Good job.



I guess this means you get your donut today.



Can I get a raincheck? I'm saving up for a bundt cake.



OK and I'll through in a load of twinkies for your pregnant wife.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 2:46:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bucket:
I'm not going to take the time to un-misconstrue your so called answers to what I have typed.

Re-read my post. Maybe you'll understand what I'm trying to get across..

You are the one here with a GREAT BIG LOAD of holier-than-thou.

Get over it.

Be safe.



The post wasn't about me calling a tow. It was about a resident taking time to write up a big thank you for such a tiny little act that most people including myself would take for granted. It's just not something that often happens. I'm glad you were able to spin it, though.

You be safe, too.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 5:58:33 PM EDT
One LEO to another... adda boy!
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 10:31:05 PM EDT
Sounds like the "new" era of community policing i keep hearing about in class...
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 11:53:48 PM EDT
Good job - those are the calls that make my day (or night in my case).

Bucket - get a grip.

Brian
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 4:12:09 PM EDT
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