BDay Visit–Part 3–a Career in Police Work

February 8, 2010

The older I get, the more certain I am that a) truth is difficult to determine and b) the best way to proceed is difficult to determine in issues of dealing with our lives, whether we are 66 years old, as am I, or 6 years old, as RG will be in about a week. It’s all a perplexity.

As Norwichrocks said, a lot of the children’s books are twaddle, perhaps including the ones I described in the previous post. Yet, the mommies’ rather bowdlerized approach to Random Granddaughter’s reading matter seems to work fairly well. And the Rhianna and Jamaica books that RG picked out (and they were picked out by her and are unknown to her mommies) seemed to be of interest to her and discussed issues and concerns of interest and concern to RG. I only summarized one of the books, but RG enjoyed all three books we read and each led to interesting conversations and observations by her. I think she should indeed learn the word “twaddle,” but I should be respectful that what might seem to be twaddle to me may not be to her. Or she may someday get a PhD in twaddle.

However, I will indeed investigate the the curious books blog woo mentioned to me. Carefully and cautiously.

By the age of 3, Random Granddaughter had decided (an interest continuing up until the age of 5) on a career as a fire captain, today somewhat replaced by teaching and art. She never mentioned wanting to go into police work. However, being a police officer may have been added to her career horizon.

As we left the library and headed back toward themommies’ house, we heard a siren. Ahead of us, we saw two motorcycle policemen at an intersection, stopping a few cars as they came toward them through the traffic light. After they stopped a couple of cars, they would look at ID, examine the driver, and let him proceed.

We watched as after a while, the turned around and moved methodically up the street ahead of us. Although RG does not watch television or read the newspaper, and lives in a very mellow and PC urban neighborhood, she seems to be getting sophisticated about modern life. RG speculated that the motorcycle officers were “looking for crooks.” I agreed this was a real possibility, and briefly to related to her a story from 30 years ago when I “helped” the police look for a crook.

Many years ago when I was teaching high school in Seattle’s semi-ghetto, I asked students in one of my classes to participate in some kind of experience in the community (outside of school). Several chose to do “ride-alongs” with the Seattle Police Department. If a young lady wanted to do such an activity, the Police Department required her to bring along an adult male [presumably to protect her against the police abusing or taking advantage of her].

One female student, Linda, came to me in some distress. She was going to ride with the police with her brother as the duenna/observer. When they arrived at the police station, the police promptly arrested her brother for having a long collection of unpaid traffic tickets. The next day, Linda approached me in with great worry about doing her homework assignment. I had to admit that “The police arrested my male duenna,” far surpassed, “The dog ate my homework,” as an excuse, so I was a pushover for her request that I join her for a ride to fight crime.

On the appointed night, after they had checked my name for outstanding or inferior warrants, Linda and I climbed into the back seat of a police car. The two officers in the front seat were very friendly and professional—I was sure they had been carefully vetted to be presentable to the public. Although the first hour of the evening was fairly routine, a couple of calls by the dispatcher alerted us to look for a stolen car. Driven by an escaped convict. Who had already mugged a woman earlier that day.

As we came out of a bar, where the officers had calmly and politely calmed a disturbance, one of the cops exclaimed, “There he is!” I was immensely impressed with his vision and alertness. From the merest glance of his peripheral vision, he had identified the vehicle, read the license plate, and ID’d the driver as the wanted prison escapee as the car sped by.

We leaped into the police car, radioed the dispatcher, turned on the sirens and set off in pursuit. Soon joined by at least half a dozen other squad cars, we raced up and down the Southeast end of Seattle in pursuit of the fleeing felon. Eventually, he was cornered and herded into a McDonald’s parking lot. Cops surrounded his car, yanked him out of the car, threw him on the ground, and handcuffed him.

The two officers apologetically explained the rest of the evening would be taken up with paperwork and our ride along would be cut short. Linda, my student, assured me it was the best homework assignment she had ever had. I don’t know if she went into a career in law enforcement, in crime, or in television. I related a simplified version of this story to RG, who in turn told it to the mommies. It seems clear that police work has been added to her list of careers to evaluate.

Perhaps she will be an undercover cop who drives ferryboats while teaching classes and drawing sketches of felons from witness descriptions. And putting out fires as a hobby.

4 Responses to “BDay Visit–Part 3–a Career in Police Work”

  1. The two officers apologetically explained the rest of the evening would be taken up with paperwork

    Ah, the heart-pounding excitement of the law!

  2. modestypress Says:

    This is a very creepy coincidence. I just glanced at the Seattle Times before getting ready for bed. A Darwin Awards candidate attempted to rob an armored car at the very same McDonald’s where my 35 years ago police chase ended.

    The female guard shot the would-be robber dead. A good role model for Random Granddaughter?

  3. Norwichrocks Says:

    I imagine RG will be an excellent Police Officer. Perhaps she will also be a great artist in her spare time, creating works which comment incisively on the drama of law enforcement.

  4. Pete Says:

    I saw that on the news this morning. I think I will avoid that McDonalds.

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