Baptism by fire…
By Angel Kane
“Do not be a baby!”
Those were the words I read, via text, after parking my car at the Lebanon Police Station last Tuesday night. Twenty minutes before I’d met Brody in our driveway as he was pulling in and I was pulling out. We had both forgotten I was supposed to go on a police ride as part of my Leadership Wilson program. And I was not happy about it! I complained for about five minutes, via my open window to his, with all the reasons I should not have to do this.
“They better not drive fast!”, were my parting words to him as I drove furiously out of the driveway.
Any one who knows me knows – I am not police ride along material. I don’t like being in any car where I’m not the driver; I don’t like when other people drive fast; and most importantly, I don’t like danger. Something my husband knows very well – thus the text. One by one, the officers came into the room taking candidate after candidate into their squad cars. I was the last one left – pretty much because they didn’t pick me and I didn’t pick them. Quite content to sit in the room, playing with my phone, until finally – my officer got there.
Officer Brent Eicholtz – got the pleasure or punishment (they say there is a fine line) of having me be his ride along partner for the evening. The rookie on the force, I figured, this would be a baptism by fire for him. Twenty years from now, he could tell the story of the infamous night he took a middle aged woman on a police ride and she cried openly, begging him to pull over when he turned on the blue lights. But at first – I played it cool…no reason to give him that little prize right off the bat.
If you’ve never been in a police car, then let me enlighten you. First off, the space is tight because of all the gadgets and weaponry involved in keeping us safe. And that space behind the glass – it’s nasty back there. Nasty enough that had I ever even thought about committing a crime, that thought has been wiped away! And dispatch (whoever she is) talks in code – like a secret language – that sounds way more important than anything I’ve ever heard before.
As the night progressed, we ran tags, patrolled neighborhoods, gave out tickets and went on two high speed calls to the scene of the crime. It was like Miami Vice, he was Sonny Crockett and I was Rico Tubbs. The only thing missing was our own soundtrack as we drove the streets of Lebanon – protecting the citizens.
Well maybe not quite Miami Vice – but certainly – Chips! And while there were at least two moments of slight panic (and loud screaming in my head), there was nothing to rise to the level of a good tale, in a doughnut shop, anytime soon.
To read more of Angel and Becky’s columns go to www.wilsonpost.com or