Friday, November 7, 2008

Sage's Adventures with Badge #407

As most of you who visit the blog know, every week (usually) I do ride alongs with the local law enforcement Badge #407 aka Buckwild (my nephew Tony).

During my ride alongs over the past month, I've met many Police Officers from County, City and even State Patrol. A finer group of companions you could not ask for.

These Officers share amongst themselves a true brotherhood of the badge.
They share it with the ride alongs too. I am included in their conversations, their adventures and even their tragedy.

It's like any other job, in the good the bad and the ugly as far as 'jobs' go, but what is unlike any other job, is the danger these Officers are in every day.
Their life is on the line by simply stepping out of their vehicle or even driving home. From the simple traffic stop, to the drive thru window to grab a bite to eat, Police Officers are always a target.
At any point and time, anyone with a 'personal cause' can take aim.
Just think about that for a moment...being an Officer of the Law is a job that makes you a target every minute of every day.

Therefore..I salute every Police Officer out there, who voluntarily puts his life on the line and makes himself a target every day to 'walk that thin blue line' for me.

I said earlier, as with any job there is good bad and ugly. Trust me when I tell you, the good..or comedy is on the list of things an officer will do during a shift in order to possibly 'break up' that constant thought of being a target and the tenseness this job brings. Whether it's over the radio with each other or the dispatchers on duty, laughter will play a part of their shift.

Case in point:
The first call of the shift came in; a group of people trying to cause a fight at one of the local apartment buildings. They had fled the scene and a description of the vehicle was given. Just so happens, we were on the way and saw them coming toward us. We flipped the patrol car around and 'caught' them at a local gas station.

To make a long story short, the driver was not the owner of the vehicle (it belonged to his fiance' who was on her way into town) and he was driving on a suspended license. He was quickly arrested and given the option of 'towing the vehicle or having someone else with him drive it home'. He took option two.

After depositing said offender at the local 'big house' we get back out on the road again, and within 5 minutes a call comes from dispatch, that the fiance is in town and would like to meet with Tony to discuss where her vehicle might be. (not like we know, but she is clueless as well)

Now, a couple of things you need to know here. All correspondence via an Officer over the radio starts with a badge number so the dispatchers can tell who they are talking to. Most times, in return, the dispatcher will begin or end their end of the conversation with the same badge number, so the officer knows dispatch is talking to them. Got that??

The rest of the conversation between Tony ..badge 407 and dispatch goes something like this:

Badge 407 gets on the radio and says (chkkk).."407 to dispatch"..(chkkk)
Dispatch; (chkkk) "go ahead 407" (chkkk)
407: (chkk)...'have her meet me at the police station I'll be there in five"....(chkk).
(chhkk..) "10-4, 407'(chkkk)
(A minute passes)
(chkkk)'407 to dispatch, what is she driving'? (chkk)
(chkk) "a black nissan 407' (chkkk)
(chkkk)"10-4 dispatch, you can tell her I'll be driving a black Crown Vic with a gold star on the side" (chkkk)
(chkkk)....(silence)...(chkkk)...(chkkk) can here the undertones of a chuckle trying VERY hard to be contained...'10-4 407' (chuckle..chkk)

Now..this may not SEEM funny in the written word..but when your stuck in a car..and you can hear the very muffled, very controlled, very contained about ready to burst laugh on the other end of that radio..and not to mention what Tony said..I bout died!! I was rolling..(if you can roll in a police car)..I was doing it!

EVERY time that dispatcher spoke with badge 407 for the next 5 minutes, she was trying to contain that chuckle.
I found great amusement in this. Am I easily entertained?

Now, since I've been doing the ride alongs, and Tony has switched to the night shift, I don't get the pictures I used to. HOWEVER..there was always a certain 'lightness' I tried to keep in the pictures I did take.
I had the opportunity to take pictures tonight, but I refused. I do try to keep Sagewood semi family oriented and the pictures that I could have gotten tonight were NOT something a 'family' would want to see.
BUT..I'm here to "TELL" you what I saw.

The last call of our night just happened to be right down the road from where I live. Not a mile from my house. My road is not a straight road, there are several curves on it that are very dangerous.
A young man who had been drinking heavily was driving home in his truck on that same curvy road.
Alcohol impairs everything about you. From the decision to drive, to driving fast, to driving too fast and to the speed in which you THINK you are making adjustments for what your eyes are seeing.
He had to be cut out of his truck and airlifted to the hospital. I'm not sure of his age, but he wasn't very old..still young. Did he survive? Yes. Thanks to the EMT's and the fire-department who came to the scene and did what they had to do to save his life.

What was left of his truck was unimaginable. There wasn't much. I'm not sure how he was saved, but saved he was. (at last check) I'm totally in awe of how a body can go through the mangled wreck I seen tonight and still come out alive. I can only hope that this very hard learned lesson is one that will sink in.

Ladies and Gentlemen..alcohol and vehicles do not mix. EVER!
If you're drinking, stay home.
If you're not at home, call a cab, catch a bus or give your keys to someone who has not been drinking.
Take along a DD.
Do whatever you have to do to have your fun and still go home, instead of being airlifted to a hospital.
I can guarantee you it will be a much safer bet and a much less painful ride.
You will see no pictures of what I saw. What I said has been enough.

Till next time..
See you down on the farm!

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