Today I got a ride-along with Mesa Police Officer T. Jackson in the Red Mountain District. She was great and gave me an amazing six-hour experience!
We started the morning checking out a call about a suspicious character in an apartment complex, then provided backup to a possible DUI stop, then she got a Code 3 call about a man with a gun (yes, she turned to me and actually said, “You got your seat belt on, right?!” and then turned on the lights and sirens and we flew down Greenfield Road). Honestly, it was quite thrilling! But the “gun” call ended up being a BB gun and really nothing.
Then she checked out a house alarm call (again, nothing).
Again she provided backup to another possible DUI (the gal had two kids in her front seat!) and then another Code 3 call (this time we sped down Gilbert Road).
Takeaway: People, get OUT of the way! I could not believe how most people did NOT pull over even when she came up behind them with her lights flashing, sirens blaring and horn honking. Next time you see an emergency vehicle with flashing lights just think they might be on the way to save a life of someone you know. Pull over to the right!
This time the call was in my own neighborhood! A 27-year-old man had punched his 68-year-old grandma in the face and had a knife! So sad! Multiple cops and paramedics responded and the suspect was arrested, handcuffed and put in the back of the car. I went with Officer Jackson to the police station downtown where he was booked into jail and will receive a psych evaluation. I got a tour of the police station (I started my career at the Mesa Tribune as a police beat reporter back in the mid-’80s but had never been back very far behind the glass).
I also watched while she filled out numerous forms on the suspect. She said she spends about the same amount of time on forms as on actual calls on the street. She had to go back to the Red Mountain Station for more paperwork so I went home. It was all very interesting and I would recommend a police ride-along to anyone who has never done it. It is very eye-opening! God bless our law enforcement officers!