I was mixing Aaron’s rice cereal for dinner last night when I heard a commotion in our driveway below. I walked closer to the windows to see who was making the noise and was surprised to spot our Senior Lead Officer coming quickly toward the back of our house. He saw me in the window and shouted out a greeting with his trademark smile. Figuring that there was no immediate danger, I came out onto our back porch as he walked over to the side of our yard that butts up against the backyard of our neighbors. He was trying to figure out if someone could escape from that property into ours. It seems that an individual he had come to see at that property had somehow “disappeared” and he was trying to figure out where their point of exit could have been.
After checking out our backyard, he stopped and chatted for a few, sharing with me a bunch of things he had been working on since our last block club meeting: two properties cited for building and safety violations; progress on a situation with a truant minor. And when I asked him about the recent shootings he said now just might be the safest time ever in our neighborhood. “Everywhere I go I am running into cops. They are covering the place,” he said. It seems that a bunch of different gang divisions are acting in response to the outbreak here, and he alluded to “something that will be happening soon” that should insure a dramatic increase in the peace here. He really is the friendliest, happiest police officer I have ever met. And so much energy and enthusiasm! He is doing much to heal my image of law enforcement 🙂
After chatting a few minutes with our landlord, he took off back down the driveway to his squad car. Shortly after he left, Mercy shouted “hoppercopper” as the noise of a nearby helicopter rattled the house. I asked her, “Where is the hoppercopper going?” to which she always ansers: “the beach”. But this time she said “dop” and sure enough, when I came to the window I saw that the helicopter was stopped, probably two blocks away, and was just hovering in one place. Whenever we see this, we try to flip on the news to see what “breaking news” is taking place in our neighborhood (police helicopters circle; news helicopters hover). It turns out that a man was running down Jefferson, weaving in and out of cars, waving a gun. He was quickly apprehended, and as I looked at the screen I could see our very own officer friendly cuffing the guy.
I know it is his job, but that does not stop me from being impressed by our Senior Lead’s courage and sacrifice, and especially that smile.