Reflections From A Ride Along

photo 2So last night was pretty cool. It’s not every day you jump out of work a little early, strap on a bullet proof vest and hop in the front seat of a police cruiser for a few hours. That is exactly what I did last night. Cross that one off the bucket list. To be honest, I’m glad I’ve crossed several things off of my bucket list (which I don’t really have) because I didn’t really think about the fact that after last night I might not have had any more chances.

In order to protect some of the details of last night, I will be vague, but it was wicked awesome. On the invitation of an officer I have just gained tons of respect for, I made my journey over to a local township police department to enter his world for a few hours. Stuff got real when I scanned the waiver I signed allowing me to take the journey. I signed the waiver because I had complete confidence in the guy behind the wheel and the guy upstairs. So off we went.

One of the funnier moments came as we stood in the parking lot reviewing all of the gear in the car. As we stood looking at a serious rifle (official name) in a bag in the trunk, my friend said “now if EVERYTHING goes to crap and I’m down, here’s what you’ll need to do.” He proceeded to show me how to flip a safety and then just “play Call of Duty.” Since the only video game player I have is a Wii, I let him know that “if everything goes to crap, I’ll be balled up in this trunk in a fetal position.”

We climbed in the car and immediately got a call for a house fire. Off we were on a high speed journey across town. That was WICKED cool. Again, I had complete confidence in my driver so it was pretty exciting. The rest of the evening consisted of a couple of traffic stops (one for suspected drugs), getting a judge to sign a search warrant and some other random house visits. Just a typical night in “the hood.” But there was one call I’m still thinking about. Like I told my friend….

“I’m a sucker for a story.”

We got a call of an employee theft that we had to respond to. Again, I can’t go into specifics, but the moment captured me. Not to leave a teaser but I’ll cover that one some other time. It deserves it’s own post because it left an image in my mind I’m still wrestling with.

I want to publicly thank my friend for letting me into his world for a few hours. I have massive respect for him. It goes beyond what he does as a public duty for each of us. It goes beyond the action he’s taken to clean up some of the nastiest streets in Columbus. It goes to the person. I was fortunate to spend a few hours peppering him with questions and he answered every.single.one.

And luckily everything didn’t go to crap and I never had to use that rifle….

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