I used to live in an area that bordered three jurisdictions. The Sheriff’s Office and two city police departments patrolled the neighborhoods around my home. I have been involved in training police officers since my fifth year at my agency and I know that the simple act of running from the police is not cause for detention and often young officers had to be reminded of this fact, so as you read my story, please understand that my intent in the following actions is “helping.” At 4 A.M. when I was jogging in my neighborhood, if I saw a police car, from any agency, I would turn and start sprinting in the opposite direction, just to see if I could get an officer to “alert” and give chase, like a racing greyhound.
Usually, they would pause for a moment, assess the situation, and watch me run away. Once, however, one of the police cars sped up, pulled alongside me and hit me with the spotlight, while in motion.
“Sergeant Blalock!” a voice called out. “Isn’t this above your speed limit?”
It was one of my former students. I stopped and, huffing and puffing with my hands on my knees, explained that I was trying to keep my exercise regimen secret.
Rainy Day Sunday
For some reason, it was a very busy, rainy day. I only had two officers, other than myself, on duty and we seemed to be running from priority call to priority call. No time for chit-chat, no time for report writing. One of my officers was on a call at a nearby 7–11 and was just finishing up with the reporting party when we got a priority call at the library. I was with the only other officer on a dispute call in one of the residence halls that involved several people, but the officer seemed to have everything under control. The officer at the 7–11, got in his car and took off to the library, but his car fish-tailed on the wet asphalt and he struck a parked car. Unfortunately, the priority call took precedence, so he notified dispatch what he’d just done and continued to his call.
The owner of the car happened to be walking toward his car when he saw a police car spin around and slam into his car…and then drive away. I walked to the scene from the residence hall and found the owner of the car, near tears, talking to his father on the phone, trying to explain that a police car really did hit his car and drive away. No, really. At first, he didn’t comprehend that I already knew what had happened and he began to try to convince me that one of my officers had just hit his car. I told him that I knew, and that I was there to complete the collision report.
As I started to get information from him for the report, he asked, “Are you going to find the officer at fault?”
I looked at his parked car, pushed up against the curb. “I don’t know how I could possibly find a parked car at fault.”
Funny, Ha Ha
I stopped a car for speeding. I approached the driver and saw that she was very anxious. She said that she was sorry, that she knew she was speeding, and explained that she was running late for work. Out of curiosity, I asked where she worked. She told me at The Improv. Assuming that she was a server, and thinking that I was very funny, I asked, “What, are you a comedian?”
She said that she was, in fact, the opening act. Oh, she is a comedian. I stared at her for a moment and then, in my sternest voice, said, “Say something funny.”
Her mouth dropped open as she searched for words.
I smiled and said, “Please slow down, we have a lot of pedestrians here. And please be kind when you make fun of me during your set tonight.”
She laughed and went on her way. I wish I remembered her name, so that I could have kept track of her comedy career.