Monday, July 17, 2017

What is the best experience you have had with a police officer?

Ozhamada, Trying hard to avoid the dark side of the web.

Many years ago, my wife and I would volunteer as course marshals for a wheelchair race.
The race took place along a route that is adjacent to a popular tourist destination. The route was set on roads and the roads are closed for the occasion. The race was scheduled on Australia's national holiday. The combination of the holiday, and the popularity of the location, meant that we had a busy job as course marshals in holding people back who wished to cross the road. We could allow the people to cross the road, yet we had to first ensure that the wheelchair racers were a safe distance away. The wheelchairs traveled at speeds of up to 6o km/hr so they could cause a significant injury to a pedestrian. Naturally, if such an accident was to occur the driver and the wheelchair would also be damaged.
As course marshals the only form of authority we had was an event t-shirt and a lanyard with our identification. We are average joes so we do not serve in any policing or security roles in our day-to-day work positions.
About halfway through the race my wife found that a significant crowd had formed waiting to cross from the side of the road that she was patrolling. A rather loud and belligerent tourist targeted my wife and started to heckle her about how he should be let across. He tried to gain support of the crowd so that the crowd would also heckle my wife. He was totally gross in the way he behaved. He had no consideration for the occasion.
While this was happening a senior New South Wales Police Officer joined the set waiting to cross the road. The officer was dressed quite unlike the heckler and the rest of the crowd. While the heckler and the rest of the crowd were very casually dressed in summer wear, the Police Officer was wearing full parade uniform along with his service medallions. By the Police Officer's age and by the number of service medallions he was wearing, I'd hazard a guess that he was perhaps one of the longest and most distinguished serving officers in the New South Wales. It would be fair to assume that in the Police Officer’s long career that he had seen it all.
The heckler turned to the Police Officer. His rant changed to one that questioned my wife's authority. He said to the Police Officer:
"She can't tell me what to do, can she? Tell her to let us cross the road."
To which the senior Police Officer set out to reply.
First, the Police Officer slowly looked the heckler up and down. Then a comfortable smile appeared on the Police Officer's face. Everything about the Police Officer's manner was designed to communicate to the heckler that it was the Police Officer that was in charge.
Then, the Police Officer quite sternly said the words that made my, and my wife's day. The words bought great laughter from the crowd and had us chuckling for a long time afterwards:
"At this moment, this lady has authority over me. [to which he lifted his voice in a menacing tone to conclude:] You'll do exactly as she says".

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