Wednesday, May 21, 2014

An INTERNal Observation

MCSO Intern Thoughts on Traffic Stops 

By. Katie, MCSO Intern 

With the flash of the red, white and blue lights in the rear view mirror most would argue that a sinking feelings overcomes all of the senses. Some might feel the lunch they just ate start to unsettle in their stomach, while others might find their minds racing a million miles-a-minute as they over thought every little thing they did wrong while behind the wheel to get pulled over. In all truth, everyone has been on the receiving end of getting pulled over and the heard the famous squeal of the siren signaling a stop. Nobody wants to get pulled over, or jumps in the car and says "I can't wait to get pulled over and ticketed today!"
Deputy Chris Books and Intern Katie before
 routine traffic patrolling
May 20,  2014
It should be known that common traffic stops by law enforcement officers is one of the dangerous jobs a law enforcement officer can have. While everything might seem hunker-dorey, an officer places his/her life on the line with every traffic stop he/she makes. With a stop of an unknown vehicle, and an unknown driver, things can turn deadly within moments. With National Police Week just a few days behind us, and the shooting of Colorado State Trooper, Eugene Hofacker by, 40-year-old, Thomas Orneleas at the beginning of this month. Orneleas had pled guilty to second degree murder in 1999 and had a lengthy, violent criminal record. Hofacker had no way of knowing who the driver was, and likely assumed it was just another driver needing assistance. The uncertainty and dangerousness all law enforcement officers face on a daily basis is no easy job. 

Life no longer goes in slow motion, all of us live in a society that allows time to swallow us up, and before you know it we have run out. Some might throw an attitude at getting pulled over, and some might even be mean, but traffic stops are made for a reason. Getting pulled over may not be the funnest experience, but it doesn't have to be a bad one. All law enforcement officers are people, people with children and families and bills to pay like everyone else. Perhaps the next time any of us find ourselves being pulled over, we will remember that where ever we might be going, we will eventually make it. The officer who made the stop is putting his life on the line every hour he/she is at work, doing their best to make sure you make it to your destination safe, and everyone around is safe, knowing he/she might not make it home safe themselves. The goal of a deputy/officer is not to generate revenue for the county, or to hand out tickets like candy (believe me, I grilled Dep. Brooks to the fullest!). All deputy's have the same goal in mind--protection of the community and to make the world a safer place to live. 

Thank an officer for doing their job, they are there to uphold the law and are certainly not above it. Kindness and professionalism goes a long way with all law enforcement, excuses and attitude not so much. In a world with so much violence, being late to work or trying to rushing to get the best parking spot is nothing compared to waking up in the morning, kissing your children good-bye and hoping its not for the last time.