Progress columnist gets firsthand look at a day on the road
“Our mission is to partner with and serve the citizens of our community by providing effective, ethical and efficient law enforcement services for all.”
Recently, Deputy Scott King, age 30, took me, an old lady, on patrol with him.
His car is his “second home.” Christian music played softly on the radio, and his QT coffee smelled good. Tucked into the seat was a toy Batman. “A gift from my niece, Sierra.” he said. “She knows I’m a huge Batman fanatic, so she gave him to me, for protection from the bad guys!”
King met his wife, Tori, through online chatting, of all places. “We were both a little nervous at first, but God works in mysterious ways.”
She is resigned to his crazy hours, and the risk involved with his job. Because law enforcement runs on both sides of their families, she knew exactly what she was getting into.
But did I?
Right away, we were dispatched to a domestic squabble. I was told to stay in the car, and not move. He jumped out and began talking to the people. Very soon, he deposited a young fellow into custody of the back seat, in plain view through the Plexiglas wall.
I was up front, clutching Sierra’s Batman.
When we took the young fellow to jail, it was remarkable, how cooperative he was. Suspects can be very uncooperative. Sheriff Donnie Craig explained that deputies meet people under duress, when nobody is having a good day; not an easy thing to do.
Thankfully, Deputy King is unflappable. For a redhead, he has a real Zen going. He takes time to talk to people, figuring that if he explains the law, and what they did wrong, they might not do it in the future.
It takes panache to wear polyester in 85-degree heat. Add on a 4 lb. bulletproof vest and 18 lb. service belt, a badge, and a wide-brimmed hat. Oh, and you might get shot at, too. Can you imagine doing your job dressed like that?
After that, we had a bit more fun: an accident involving a deer vs. car (a.k.a. Bambi-slam). The car was damaged square on the front bumper. It looked as if the deer must’ve arced through the air, and landed on a split rail fence at the neighborhood’s entrance. The fence was broken in half. King pointed out the irony of a deer hanging around the entrance to Hunter’s Ridge.
“You’d think the deer would steer clear of here.” He laughed.
After the excitement was over, it was time for the “paperless paperwork” to commence. Gone are the little leather flipbooks from Dragnet. Evidence is gathered from memory, cell phones, digital photos, e-mails, and videos and typed into a computer. The resulting documents will go to court with the suspect.
Pointing to the jail, King said; “for every hour of fun we have ‘out here’, there’s three hours of paperwork,’ in there’.”
The Sheriff’s Office must answer every call that comes in. And the last call for us was sorting out ownership of an 18 wheeler tire. Children from two different families claimed it was theirs. Being round and easily rolled, the tire kept changing addresses. It was unclear at press time, exactly where the tire is residing now.
Scott King is a delightful young man. He is just full of surprises. Off duty, he plays the bagpipes for several distinguished groups: the Metro Atlanta Police Emerald Society, the John Mohr MacKintosh Pipes and Drums, and Chattahoochee Celtic Pipes and Drums. You may see him do a funeral, memorial service or wedding sometime.
He also deals in antiques and gave me a business card.
The next day, I wondered that thing we always wonder about men who wear kilts. You know … does he or doesn’t he?
So I texted him, “When your wife sends your kilt out to be dry-cleaned, how many pieces is that, 1 or 2?”
He texted back, “LOL … wouldn’t you like to know, LOL!”