No. 487
There is a group of men and women in every community of any size in the country who deserve our respect and appreciation, because they put their lives on the line every day for our safety and well being. I'm talking about the men and women who have chosen a career in law enforcement. Many people refer to them as "cops" but I prefer the words "police officer" because I believe these words are more respectful and more clearly define who and what they are: officers who are sworn to uphold the law.
We have a great police force here in our community as well as the officers who serve our county as deputies, whose beat is the county outside the city limits. One of my good friends is Conway Police Chief Randall Aragon, who has been very helpful and encouraging since the day I first met him, and later as I began to really know him. Hopefully, he would say the same about me.
While enforcing the law is serious business, there are lighter times that come along in the course of a police officer doing his job. A friend sent me some quotes that will illustrate what I mean. Before I get to those, my all-time favorite police story is about this officer who had been on a long, tiring shift and it was about time for him to be off duty. As he was driving down the highway on his way home, he clocked a motorist coming in the opposite direction, driving 86 miles per hour in a zone clearly marked as 55 miles per hour speed limit. So he whipped his car around and, in hot pursuit, finally caught up with the speeding motorist.
As he approached the male driver, he asked him for his license and as he stood there going over it, everything seemed to be in order. Because he was in an unusually charitable mood he said, "I clocked you at 86 in a 55-mile-per-hour speed zone. Now I know you were in a hurry, and I will let you go with a warning ticket if you can give me just one good reason I have not heard before for going that much over the speed limit. This fellow thought for a moment and said, "About three weeks ago my wife ran off with a policeman. When I saw those blue lights in my rear view mirror, I thought you were bringing her back." At this point the policeman just smiled and said, "Have a nice day." While this may not be a true story, in some circumstances it does not hurt to have a sense of humor.
Here are those quotes and as you will see, some police officers do have a sense of humor. In each case an officer is speaking. "Relax, the handcuffs are tight because they are new. They will stretch out after you wear them for awhile." "Take your hands off that car again and I will make your birth certificate a worthless document." "If you run, you will only go to jail tired." "Fair? You want me to be fair? Listen, fair is a place where you go to ride on rides, eat cotton candy, and step in monkey poop." "Yeah, we have a quota. Two more tickets and my wife gets a toaster oven."
While these may not be funny to you, I really chuckled the first time I read them. I might add, nothing was funny the day I got stopped for speeding down in Louisiana many, many years ago. Here are a few more that might at least evoke a smile: "In God we trust, all others we run through NCIC." "Just how big were those two beers." "No sir, we don't have quotas any more. We used to have quotas but now we are allowed to write as many tickets as we want." "I'm glad to hear the Chief of Police is a good personal friend of yours. At least you know someone who can post your bail." "You didn't think we give pretty women tickets? You're right, we don't. Sign here." "Can you run faster than 1200 feet per second? In case you don't know, that's the average speed of a 9 mm bullet fired from my gun."
"So you don't know how fast you were going. I guess that means I can write anything I want to on the ticket, huh?" "Yes Sir, you can talk to the shift supervisor, but I don't think that will help. Oh - did I mention that I am the shift supervisor?" And finally here is the last one. "The answer to this last question will determine whether you are drunk or not. Was Mickey Mouse a cat or a dog?" And so ends the quotes that were funny to some of you, but not funny at all to the people who were apprehended by a policeman when they were caught breaking the law.
As the Greek philosopher Socrates once said, "I have never taught anyone anything. All I can ever hope to achieve is to make men think." That is the attitude I would like to leave with you as I close this edition. When we take time to observe and obey the law, those who wear the uniform of our nation's law enforcement agencies should be viewed as some of our best friends. Not necessarily personal friends, but those who are sworn to protect us and to insure our safety. So many of these people go beyond the call of duty to collect toys, raise money and a multitude of other things in their local community. The next time you meet an officer of the law, why not take a moment to let him know how much you appreciate the good job they do!
(Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)