Thursday we headed to Albuquerque (4 hours away) as we were scheduled to get fingerprinted for Jubilee yesterday. Yippee Jesus! Carie and her husband have a condo there and they graciously allowed us to stay overnight, so we were even able to get a large chunk of our Christmas shopping done at real stores - whew! We even got to go to Cracker Barrel for breakfast - our favorite!
I didn't get to tell about my ride-a-long since the condo had no internet service - ugh! Yes, Dw and the kids were totally harassing me for trying so desperately to pull some wireless service in from somewhere. I tried holding my laptop while practically standing on my head in every room of the condo - to no avail. Of course, IF I had found service up near the ceiling in the spare room, I'm not sure how I would have typed and posted from there - but who knows, where there is a will, it has been said that there probably is a way. And the "will" was definitely there!
Now for my ride-a-long story....Wednesday night went I got to the police station I was introduced to some of the officers. I had wondered how I would be received. I was so tickled when each one I met was very kind and pleasant. I was able to sit in on roll-call at 9pm. It was very interesting, as they told about things the officers would need to be looking out for. Very, very interesting.
I had requested to ride-a-long with a female officer and so I was assigned one for the night. She was soooo nice! She gave me a tour of the building and I saw the evidence room and even where they store samples of blood and urine for evidence also. It was all very fascinating to me. I also even saw a woman being "booked".
We then went out to her patrol car and took off. We had barely started up when a call came for her to do back-up for a traffic stop. She floored it and boy-oh-boy does that car have pick up. She handed me my own flashlight to use and said, "let's go" and we hopped out of the car and walked up to the car that was stopped. **gulp**
Now I don't know about you, but I have heard many times about 'routine' traffic stops that can turn nasty, quickly, so I was doing plenty of prayin'! Within a couple of minutes of backing up the other officer we heard the most squealing tires I have probably ever heard. I began looking around to see where the car was coming from - it was truly squealing like it was up to no good! Then a pause, then squealing like psycho again!
This traffic stop was on Route 3, which is along the river and has a cliff-like edge and I just was wondering if the squealing car was about to go barreling off the cliff! As the second round of squealing was happening my officer said, "get to the car" and she took off running to the car - and so did I! Cowboy boots are just not running shoes and so I am looking for a pair of ride-a-long shoes more condusive for "quick getaways".
We jumped in the car and she was off and I don't know about her, but my adrenalin was at a record high.... It turned out that the squealing was coming from the mall parking lot and she hit that gas pedal and we were at the mall before I could hardly blink! For you who are familiar with this sweet city - you know from Route 3 to the mall is a bit more than a blink -with all the construction too!
When we got to the mall entrance, she seemed to be able to tell in an instant that the squealing car was heading out of the mall entrance and she went on the other side of the median and shrieked to a stop at an angle to trap the squealing car! Yes indeed, this was a true ride-a-long! I was lovin' the thrill of the pursuit! As she was flinging her car door open she said, "Wait here!" Gotcha on that one! I was praying like crazy for her safety. Another police car came to back-up her. I could see the suspect and I did not take my eyes off of him.
We had been told, if an officer goes down - get on the radio and call for HELP! I was 'ready-freddy'! She took care of that call and eventually we were off again.
All along the ride, we just had the nicest time visiting. She was so gracious! She got to telling me about one of her first calls as a police officer was to a Motel where she found a young woman murdered. We talked alot. I thanked her for her service to our community and told her that I wanted to serve her in any way I could. She seemed to genuinely understand my heart in it.
I had wondered if it would be uncomfortable, after all, I am not a policewoman, nor had I ever done anything like this and riding in a car with someone you don't know could be awkward?!? But when I got home at almost 2am I told Dw that I felt like I was in my element and that I couldn't have felt anymore comfortable. Every officer I met was kind and welcoming and the one I rode along with was awesome! She was just so pleasant and seemed to welcome the company.
After some cruising around empty shopping centers looking for people up to no good, we got a call to do back-up at a local store where another officer had found the door open. She hit the gas and we were nearly airborne (j/k)....so thankful for seat belts! =)
Now this is such a God-thing....it turns out the store where the door was open was owned by friends of ours! I told my officer - we are good friends with the people who own this place.
Well when we got to the store she said, "let's go" and pulled out her gun from her holster. We then proceeded to enter the building and go room by room through it looking for any suspects hiding - in bathrooms and offices. **huge gulp** She would fling a door open, and check through each room. I was a couple of steps behind her with my "weapon" - PRAYER! All I could think as I was praying was, "What will I do if someone starts shooting or comes running out?" **yikes** At about that moment during the searching of the building, I decided that from here on out, I will be buying some "Poise" for future ride-a-long nights!! Oh my!
It turned out that no suspect was found, but they also could not get the door to lock. My officer told the captain that I knew the people who owned this store and so, in the middle of the night, I called Dw, who called the husband (they also attend our church) and the husband called me on my cell. I handed my phone to the captain and he talked to our friend and explained about the door and our friend came out to lock up his building. It was definitely a God-thing that I knew who owned the building or that would have not been secure for the night. They wondered if the police cruiser had interrupted someone breaking into the buildling?! Maybe, but either way, it was pretty cool that the Lord had me there at that time to help protect our friend's livelihood.
On Thursday Carie called me to see how my ride-a-long had gone. She said that she had been unable to sleep cause she was a nervous wreck with me being out there doing the ride-a-long. She said she had been praying like crazy - thank you to Carie and others of you who prayed!
Any ride-a-long has the potential for danger. They did a traffic stop a few days before I went out with them and they stopped an 18 year old who had a loaded AK-47 on his back seat. Yes, anything can happen. So thank you for your prayers! I want to minister to the officers of our community and know that they are loved by Almighty God.
Dw said that he wished he had videoed me when I came home in the night. He said, "You were precious Linny - you were so giddy - you were bouncing off the walls - it was so wonderful to watch you!" I was indeed "jacked up" and basically didn't sleep the entire night. Lord willing, I will go again this coming week! Yippee Jesus!