Police officers. They enforce the social contracts we have agreed to, e.g., we will not steal or harm one another. And during my time with the Town of Zebulon, I have seen these social contracts broken, in turn, causing officers to step in to ensure the safety of the community. Deescalating delicate situations requires clear communication, decisive action, careful observation, and calculated interpersonal skills.
While the excitement of responding to a call in a fast car and lights flashing is appealing, I have come to realize that the bulk of police work is not such. The bulk of police work is community outreach – saying hello to those walking on the sidewalk, calling to check in on those previously assisted, or lending a helping hand/ear to citizens that need it. And just as a Dodge Charger can accelerate from 0mph to 60mph in a matter of seconds, law enforcement officers must be able to transition from very different responsibilities on a moment’s notice. It’s more than knowing how to shoot a firearm. It’s knowing how to listen, how to write, what to say, when to say it, when to be silent, and when to take action. My friend, I respect that greatly.
The above point is just one of many conclusions I have gathered during my PWE this summer, which has given me the opportunity to spend extensive time with the Zebulon PD. And I won’t hesitate any longer to tell you that the ZPD employs some awesome people. Thanks to all those that drove me in their cars for hours, let me hang out in their office, answered my endless questions, and treated me like a part of the team. They gave me the chance to take part in victim followups, suspect interviews, larceny calls, patrol, arrests, domestic disputes, evidence recording, and school crossings. This list could go on and on.
Special gratitude to officers Killette, Bridges, Dixon, Lane, and Chief of Police Tim Hayworth for making me the junior officer I am today. No, I am not planning a career change … but I have been badged.
This week’s post may seem short, but in order to respect the confidentiality of the individuals I have encountered through my ZPD experiences over the last month I did not believe it was suitable to describe the instances I was involved with in detail.