I commented in this post that I thought I should write down a few anecdotes:
I thought I would tell at least this one, and set some ground rules for any future posts- including this one.
All of these anecdotes are true – to the best of my ability – because I was there.
A handful are from extremely reliable sources - because I know them personally – I know their character.
I will tell you a Pineville one here and there, but there are some from other towns worth telling too.
Names have been changed to protect the innocent…some names I’ll never know.
I could not name a single officer in any of these anecdotes, but I sorely wish I could remember a handful of them.
I have to mention too, I have lived in many different states and cities. None of these anecdotes are to give the Pineville Police in particular a bad name. Pineville PD is not unique. They are not much different than a lot of other small sized cities I have lived in all across the United States.
All Police Departments have bad officers, good officers, some have an exceptional officer here and there, all PD’s have politics to play, funding issues, elections to deal with in some places, etc. etc. etc.
They generally do the best they can in hiring, and hope that their officers represent the Department in a good manner.
They can only hope they don’t take on the head swelling and “repspect mah authorATAh!” attitude…that some officers take over the line too often, or straddle the line just because they can, or because they had a bad day, don’t feel good, give them a reason - that day they are going to by golly take it out on someone.
Then there are the career ladder minded, always looking to the next traffic stop as the stop that rocketed their career in orbit. Big drug bust, big insurance scam, stolen merchandise…these people could be anybody…having done just about anything!!! I’ll FIND YOUUUU!!!! I GOT THIS! OHHHH ah HA! Broken tail light, I knew it! Get the dogs!
But I digress.
We expect all our Police Officers to be respectful of the general public.
What seems to happen over and over in small towns all across America. They hire one or more “Cartmans” and it can give the whole PD a bad name.
Then you have a few small cities that are completely corrupt. This does not apply to Pineville. Not to my knowledge anyway. I have no reason to believe anything like that – so I don’t have agenda or vendetta against the Pineville Police.
Weeding out the “Cartmans” will always be a struggle, giving people “authoritah” is always a gamble, most start out trying to do things unbiased and not abuse any power they have been given – but - many temptations come along way the longer you have “authoritah”.
Anyway, I’m rambling – Some people just shouldn’t be allowed any “authoritah”. But you have to hire people who have applied. You have to give some of them a test run. You can only hope they don’t embarrass you later.
The following anecdote just happened to occur in Pineville.
It is a mild one, but I think it is a good illustration of a lot small town Police Officer’s mindsets – small cities – especially ones that have a big city “sister” neighbor – a good swathe of police officers all across the United States that I have had the pleasure of observing.
Anyway the anecdote:
Once upon a time – My Uncle Mary Rubbernecked
There was some event going on at the Jewish Cemetery – Main St. – Pineville
Picture if you will – what appears to not be a funeral – but maybe it was – I have no clue – didn’t see a hearse.
There is just a mob of people – cars parked along the road
This event appears to be wrapping up – people leaving.
So it is distracting.
I am in the backseat.
My Uncle Mary is rubbernecking.
Creeping at 5 miles an hour.
Traffic is backing up behind Uncle Mary.
Uncle Mary is now becoming a double distraction.
I am watching the road.
I can tell you there were absolutely no cars in front of her…not a soul…nor person.
An officer had parked his car across the street – lights not on – I do not believe he was directing traffic or anything at the time – maybe he had been earlier – but my impression was he was crossing the street to get back to his car to leave the event – and expecting the Red Sea to part for him – or he wasn’t thinking and just stepped out into traffic – I think it was the latter – with maybe a tinge of the former .
He was never in any danger because Uncle Mary was making me nervous just a bit and I saw this all going down in slow motion…literally… And was telling Uncle Mary:
“Hey watch where your going, hey hey HEY” – or something to that affect – and I’m not typically a backseat driver. – which culminates:
Now the Officer starts hollering or whistles – can’t remember – and my Uncle Mary slams on the breaks – very embarrassed – rolls down the window while hollering, ” I am soo sorry…etc.etc.” – extremely – undeniably – mortified – could be tears any moment, embarrassed.
Uncle Mary is a bit of a softy – loves animals, has pets, tender hearted, easily embarrassed, feelings easily hurt…easy to make feel guilty.
Your typical Uncle.
But this Officer makes out like he could have been mortally wounded – run smack over by Uncle Mary at 5 – 10 miles an hour – Saw 8 style in slow-mo -agonizing slow-mo 3D graphics long drawn out painful death…
I might be exaggerating a little…
He stepped out into traffic, it seems to me both were in the wrong and that they both should be embarrassed – which is exactly what I think happened.
He wanted to embarrass my Uncle Mary to deflect that he was embarrassed that he just waltzed out into traffic without looking. What the Red Sea didn’t part?
He knew my Uncle never saw it, for all my Uncle knows this officer was standing there the whole time - but I saw it all.
He tells Uncle Mary something to the affect:
“I sure would have hated my wife having to have been called and told I was dead because you run me over or injured….” – and more such comments…digging it in deeper…I think kids were included, but I wouldn’t put my hand on the bible over it either.
Extremely rude attitude and guilt trip garbage.
I had to bite my tongue.
Uncle Mary was already mortified by the mere prospect of having almost hit this Police Officer. But this officer had to take it and make it something it wasn’t. He either stepped out in front of Uncle Mary intentionally - which one who is not suicidal would do – or if one thought one were actually putting one’s self in danger – or he was jaywalking and should give himself a ticket even if there isn’t a jaywalking law in Pineville – and make the notation: only an idiot would step out into traffic without looking in both directions at said traffic before crossing aforementioned street…or something – Note to self: one should always look both ways before crossing a street – also note: crossing at a corner is safer, say like at the light right here next to the Jewish Cemetery.
I have never claimed to be a writer, or a word-smith.
I have tried to spell check and fret and worry over this post to the point I am tired of looking at it, and if I wait until it’s perfect it will never get published.
I’ve never been ticketed for jay-walking.
Why of course, I always cross at a corner.
Aunt Billy rode shotgun and saw it all go down too, Uncle Mary was rubbernecking, Aunt Billy and me? We were watching the road.