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Strange ride-along

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  • Strange ride-along

    I had a dilemma the other night. Our department recently brought a police intern on board. Basically the guy is in the middle of getting his AD in criminal science and plans on being a cop. He does special projects for the chief, cleans the place up, etc. In return, he gets to stay at the station with the fire guys rent-free.

    Anyway, the guy is in the National Guard and just got back from about 19 months in Baghdad.

    So this intern was doing a ride-along with me the other night and we got called to a building alarm. We got there and I had to tell the guy to stay in the car until I make sure everything's safe. And I realized that this guy, at age 21 or so, has probably seen more **** than I will in my entire career -- and I'm telling him to wait in the car on what will probably turn out to be a false alarm (it was). Yet I knew that, if I let him follow me around and it was the ONE time I caught a burglar in the act and the intern somehow got injured, it'd be my ***, if not my job.

    Felt kinda weird.
    Caution and worry never accomplished anything.

  • #2
    I kinda feel the same way when i pull an older person over (50+). Here I am, 21 yrs of age, telling them to slow down bc its not safe to speed and/or issuing a citation. This person has been alive twice as long as I have and been through all kinds of things possibly (wars, life experience in general) It makes me feel really weird. Sounds kind of dumb, but just something Ive ran into a few times.
    press hard-5 copies

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    • #3
      Naw man, that ain't weird. That's called being a decent human being, and respecting someone's age/experiences. I feel the same way, sometimes. Although, it's kinda hard to respect that 50 year old crackhead who's out on the streets every night playing hide the salami for 10 bucks a pop, just so he can turn around and get another rock... But every now and then I'll actually run into a decent person, who's been around on this planet twice as long as I have, and it does feel weird being in a position of having to give them a ticket or whatever. I'm not a traffic guy, but even when I'm looking to make a stop, I usually try to avoid messing with anyone over 60 unless I really have to.
      Aggression will save you when caution won't.
      -Kent Anderson

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      • #4
        Strange ride-along.

        Kirch,

        I fully understand your feeling. Still, you followed Dept policy and did the right thing. Like you said, had your intern gotten hurt, that would have been on you. Take care.

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        • #5
          In situations like that, all you need to do is communicate that it's on your mind. Chances are, they were also thinking about it on their end, too. If so, they go from possibly being annoyed, embarrassed, resentful, or whatever else, to feeling complimented and understood. On your end, it kills any tension or weird feelings about it. Not as much a concern on a traffic stop, but perfect for that ride along situation.
          No longer ignoring anybody here, since that psycho known as "Josey Wales" finally got the boot after being outed as a LE imposter by B&G978. Nice job.

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          • #6
            It's not a matter whether or not this guy has seen a lot. It's simply common sense to have him stay in the car.

            We never take ride alongs into potentially dangerous situations, I don't care who they are. If they get injured, my dept is probably gonna get sued. The hold harmless agreement they sign isn't worth the paper it's written on. You can't sign away your civil rights like that.

            I don't see your dilemma. You would have been a fool to let him out of the car.
            "Life's tough, it's tougher if you're stupid." John Wayne

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dave2886
              I usually try to avoid messing with anyone over 60 unless I really have to.
              And we appreciate it!
              "Life's tough, it's tougher if you're stupid." John Wayne

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              • #8
                The other day I stop an 83 year old guy who is returning from the WWII Memorial in DC where he met the surviving members of his artillery unit from the war. His crime? 53/35. I am looking at this guy, one of the greatest generation, and starting to feel very sheepish about having the gaul to stop him, though he is not acting like he is special. I looked at him and said "Sir, you could drive 53 mph over my front lawn and I wouldn't give you a ticket." then I thanked him for everything he had done. He got tears in his eyes and invited me over to his house to see his pictures of the memorial. So yeah, Kirch, I can sympathize with you.
                A society that makes war against it's police had better learn to make friends with it's criminals.

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                • #9
                  Awesome, Enroute, good for you.
                  Talk sense to a fool, and he will call you foolish - Euripides

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                  • #10
                    You did right to have him stay in the car. No matter what kind of unit he was in, he had body armor, an M16, grenades, lots of buddies equipped the same, etc. etc. With all admiration for our troops, it's not the same as being an officer. But do talk it over with him, particularly since tomorrow is VETERANS DAY! And thank him for his service to our country for me.
                    "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                    John Stuart Mill

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                    • #11
                      Re: Strange ride-along

                      Originally posted by kirch
                      Yet I knew that, if I let him follow me around and it was the ONE time I caught a burglar in the act and the intern somehow got injured, it'd be my ***, if not my job.

                      Felt kinda weird.
                      Doesn't your department make ride alongs sign a waiver? Any ride along we take has to sign a waiver stating that if they get injured, they will not sue. If he gets hurt, it's on him, not me. Otherwise, I'd always refuse to take a ride along. The only time I take them is when I'm ordered to, and that isn't too often.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by EnrouteWith1
                        The other day I stop an 83 year old guy who is returning from the WWII Memorial in DC where he met the surviving members of his artillery unit from the war. His crime? 53/35. I am looking at this guy, one of the greatest generation, and starting to feel very sheepish about having the gaul to stop him, though he is not acting like he is special. I looked at him and said "Sir, you could drive 53 mph over my front lawn and I wouldn't give you a ticket." then I thanked him for everything he had done. He got tears in his eyes and invited me over to his house to see his pictures of the memorial. So yeah, Kirch, I can sympathize with you.
                        Is this the beginning of "Chicken Soup for the Police Officer's Soul"?

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                        • #13
                          Re: Re: Strange ride-along

                          Originally posted by JB2245
                          Doesn't your department make ride alongs sign a waiver? Any ride along we take has to sign a waiver stating that if they get injured, they will not sue.
                          We make them sign them too, but I seriously doubt they're worth much if the person gets seriously hurt. I suspect they are more to BS the person into thinking they can't sue. But it's the dept's problem, not mine.
                          "Life's tough, it's tougher if you're stupid." John Wayne

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                          • #14
                            I let a Greatest Generation guy go once for drunk driving and picking up a hooker. He gave me his original jump suit and web gear, his sterling jump wings with 2 stars, and a Nazi-marked Browning Hi-Power. He said he was drinking because he was still cold from Bastogne.....

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                            • #15
                              Nothing like a cold beer and a warm hooker to help you forget....
                              "Life's tough, it's tougher if you're stupid." John Wayne

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