My very first police-ride-along


Only six to seven hours. Yes, there was a Red Bull drive-through stop. And, Yes, there was a donut stop. I mean, how could there not be?

There was some patrolling and quite a number of wildly varying types of calls to answer, for which – a couple of them – I’m thinking that it might have been a good idea to put on a ballistic vest. There are no typical traffic stops. There are no humdrum domestic disputes.

I was supposed to be an official “observer”. This is the result:

I have to commend the officer I was with for his extraordinary skills in deescalation and his abundant leniency. He’s a walking public relations department. Good job, officer!

In the midst of radio chatter, lights and sirens, chases, the clatter of hand-cuffs, the smell of stepped-in dog-poop, the rough language of some of the frequent flyers, the officer and myself had the most profound yet fast moving theological conversation. Absolutely extraordinary. Lots of topics on the relationship of mercy and justice. That’s desperately important for those who have their faces in the midst of the most unjust situations imaginable. Really good.

Later that night, with another half-dozen people, we watched Saint Thomas More get his head chopped off in one of the best films of all time: A Man for All Seasons!

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