Thursday, September 4, 2008

"Adrenaline and Love"

Dorothy Denne writes for Beacon Media's Arcadia Weekly and in her spare time, works as a volunteer with the Arcadia Police Department. Her column is found in the paper under Dorothy's Place. She wrote a nice article, titled "Adrenaline and Love", that speaks of some of her experiences with APD and Law Enforcement in general. Thanks Dorothy for remembering us!

The article is quoted below;

“Adrenaline and Love”
A few years ago, Arcadia’s S.W.A.T. team was called to my neighborhood to protect us from an out-of-control man who had barricaded himself in a house. The intended victim had escaped but the pursuer remained in the house with a rifle, a shotgun, two automatics and a full supply of ammunition.
A lot of adrenalin flowed as he smashed, shot, yelled and tried to set a fire. It was a long, six-hour night ending with a suicide. No officers or neighbors were injured.
That was my first close encounter with police officers. Well there had been one brief one when I was reminded that a traffic light I drove through was very yellow. I forgave them for that one, and the S.W.A.T. experience became the beginning of my growing relationship with the department. I became a volunteer.
Over the years I have done many things for them and with them; from cleaning counter tops, doing office chores, attending training sessions, to seeing needs and making the connections for getting them met.
Some of it has been fun, some has been challenging, some has been rewarding. Most has been all of the above.
My role as a volunteer is also frightening. Frightening because, over the years, I have come to know and to love many of the officers in the department. They are not only police officers but they are sons, daughters, spouses, mommies and daddies. They are my friends.
Every time I see a Black and White with lights flashing or hear sirens screaming, my own muscles constrict.
When I see an officer approaching a pulled-over vehicle in front of me, I find myself, as I pass, checking again in the rear-view mirror to be sure that officer is okay.
The officer involved is very often one I hugged only minutes before and was reminded by the hard, rigid fabric of a bulletproof vest that this was a loved one in jeopardy. Behind that vest lies a heart that is often soft and always vulnerable, both to the bullets of a gun and the bullets of life.
Will some officers wind up involved in a front-page scandal? Possibly. Will some perform acts of heroism only to have the story buried on page eighteen, or not run at all? Probably. Modern media emphasizes the negative. You can bet your sweet bippy that if 2% are scandalous, you won’t see much about the other 98%.
Doesn’t seem fair, does it?

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