Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving musings Part 1

I'm on patrol all day on our national day of thankfulness. You're getting blogs on my coffee breaks.

The day is overcast. The first frost of the year was on my patrol car as I got in this morning. The closest town claimed only 35, but out here in the outlying areas, we get a little colder. There's a 15 mph wind from the north, and the flag is snapping over the fire department.

Naturally, I've forgotten to don my long underwear, and that means I've even less incentive to actually get out of my warm patrol car to hassle passers-through. And there are many of those. Today's day of gathering puts a LOT of people on the road, and some of them don't know this area and are yapping into their cell phone as they seek the best route to Grandmother's House.

_ _ _
I stopped a tired little sedan tearing into town. The driver had the ubiquitous phone stuck to her ear, and never noticed me as she passed me or as I pulled out behind her and paced her speed through town. When I stopped her, she was clearly harried. In a peasant's blouse, crevat, and a little too much makeup and perfume, she was obviously on her way to work. On the seat beside her were an apron and an order book, each bearing the logo of a large national chain of restaurants that are open on Thanksgiving.

"I'm late, and I've just gotten a ticket for my registration being expired, and I'm just trying to get to work to do my 8 hours and...." I took her driver's license to the car and checked to make sure she wasn't wanted in ten states or had 15 citations in the last year for speeding. She didn't. I wrote out her ticket as she got out of the car to tie on her apron. I looked at the dash clock; 2 past the hour. She probably was late already.

"Ma'am, this does not require any further action on your part, other than that you comply with traffic laws in the future," I recited as I handed her the warning book and my pen. "If you'll just sign here, you can get back on your way."

"I just asked for one thing! Just to cut me a break! That's all I wanted. I'm already having to work on Thanksgiving just to pay for my otheer tickets, and now I'm late, and I'm probably in trouble, and..." She started to sign on the line, but had stopped halfway through her signature, and was pointing at me with my pen. I smiled encouragingly.

"If you'll just finish signing, ma'am, you can read the paragraph on the bottom of your warning ticket, and be on your way." I plucked my pen from her loose hand. "Now, I went ahead and took the minute to write you this warning ticket as an excuse for you to show your boss when you get there. Note that it doesn't show when I let you go-- if you want to let the boss believe that I held you up for a long time, I'm fine with that. Tell 'em I was a big ol' meany." I avoided looking at the tears in her face, but she was smiling, now, so I concentrated on that instead. "Now, do me a favor, and drive carefully on into work. You've got your excuse right there, so there's no reason to speed any more, okay? Happy Thanksgiving," I said as I started back to my car.

Hey, we who work on holidays gotta stick together occasionally.



At Thursday, November 22, 2007 12:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And that dear friends, is the difference between a "Peace Officer" and a "Law Enforcement Officer".

Good on ya' Matt!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!


At Thursday, November 22, 2007 1:11:00 PM, Blogger John B said...

Better break than I was cut. But then I'm a 6'6" knuckle-dragger with intellectual pretensions...

john b

At Thursday, November 22, 2007 1:13:00 PM, Blogger Ambulance Driver said...

Aaawwwww, ya' big old softy!

To protect and serve, indeed.

At Thursday, November 22, 2007 3:45:00 PM, Blogger OK Katrina said...

I second what both GaryN and AD said, you big old softy peace officer, you. Good on ya, Matt!

Happy Thanksgiving!

At Friday, November 23, 2007 2:13:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Careful Matt, that could have been one of those cell phone guns. You should have smashed it to little pieces to make sure.

At Friday, November 23, 2007 8:11:00 AM, Blogger JD said...

You sir are going to start to make people think law officers are people too. . . . think of all the hard work from the media folks that you are destroying = )

You are definitely one of the good ones. . . your town is lucky to have you on the job. . .

At Friday, November 23, 2007 12:08:00 PM, Blogger SpeakerTweaker said...

That kind of stuff should be making national headlines.

LEO's nationwide could use a little boost to their image like that every once in a while.

That was awful nice of ya, Matt.


At Friday, November 23, 2007 12:42:00 PM, Anonymous Chris in SE TX said...

I've alread known this from reading your blog, but you, sir, are Good Man with a Big Heart!!!

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving to you and yours!

At Friday, November 23, 2007 3:53:00 PM, Anonymous Michael said...

It's really nice to see something positive with the seemingly never ending negative stuff LEOs seem to be constantly accused of by our friends in the MSM. . . Well done sir.

At Saturday, November 24, 2007 9:59:00 AM, Blogger 5150Wife said...

What a kind and gentlemanly thing to do.

I hope she at least said Thank You.

At Sunday, November 25, 2007 12:17:00 PM, Blogger The Lily said...

Aww you big SOFTIE.


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