Right Back-Atcha.

Posted: February 21, 2011 in Munchkins, Minions, Hellions...
Tags: , ,

This is something I wrote a while back in response to a “letter to editor” in a local newspaper…

The writer was evidently quite offended that a police officer dared to turn on lights and sirens as he responded to an emergency call.

Rumor has it he drove *gasp* 45 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone!

Wow…I wasn’t aware Wyatt Earp drove a truck. Thanks for the enlightenment. I’ll never watch Tombstone with the same level of respect…

Just for those who don’t know…

Police officers go through extensive training behind the wheel. Years of driving under conditions that would have most people spinning off the road. They are perfectly capable of handling the speeds that their job sometimes requires. If you have the bad luck not to notice the flashing lights and the blaring sirens that accompany an emergency vehicle, rest assured that emergency responder is perfectly capable of dodging you when you step out in front of him. They really do have to prove their driving skills at high speeds before someone “pins a badge” on them.

If you know of a police officer that runs Code 3 (this is the term for an emergency response with urgency, lights, and sirens) to catch a person going 3 mph over the speed limit, then you must not be from here, because the officers here won’t stop you for that violation. They have bigger fish to fry.

Consider this. You state the “few seconds” it would cost to slow down to 35 mph will not make a difference. You are mistaken, it would take more than a few extra seconds to reduce speed, meander through town, and build back to a speed suitable for an emergency. It would cost at least a couple minutes or more.
Now, imagine a child being beaten by an abusive adult waiting desperately for someone to save her. What about the person hiding in a closet from an unhinged ex tearing though the house with a gun? Or the mother whose child has been abducted and know precious seconds are wasting away while that child is taken further and further away?
These things happen in small towns, too. You don’t hear about every tragedy an officer faces, so the illusion of the safe little community remains intact.

Now, put yourself in the shoes of the officer. If he makes it on time, he might save a life. He might save a beaten child in time to avoid a hospital stay or a broken bone. He might get a baby back to his mother. He might stop a psychopath from firing the gun he is waving at the scared woman who called 911. If someone is already hurt, he could get there in time to put pressure on a wound before someone bleeds to death. Depending on the location of the injury, that can take seconds.

The people who read the local news surely read about a suicide attempt nearby. A person was saved literally by mere seconds, and ONLY because the officers that responded turned on their lights, their sirens, and drove as they were trained to.

You’re right, the police officer could take his time. He could give you those extra couple of minutes to satisfy your sense of propriety. He could ignore his training and his call of duty.
I can tell you this though…when it’s “time to bring out the big guns” (your words, not mine), that is not an officer I would vote for. I think I would vote for the one who will show up quickly when I call 911.
Let’s just hope you’re never in a terrible situation waiting desperately for someone to come to your aid…begging the 911 operator to “tell them to hurry”…praying help arrives in time. Let’s hope if you ever are in that position, that the officer turns on his lights and drives a little more than 30mph.

  1. Snailquake says:

    Did the paper publish this too?

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