He woke up at three in the morning to make the hour long drive to pick up his father from the hospital. He couldn’t know that later that very morning he would save a life. He showered and headed out the door. The freeway was unusually empty giving him the chance to reflect on the new day ahead. His 64 year old father was anxious to leave at the hospital where he spent the night hooked to wires and computers for medical tests. He signed a mountain of release forms and they were back on the road roaring toward home. The traffic was just coming to life as commuters made their way to work. The miles flew by while the two made small talk. As they eased off the freeway they watched a small two door sedan barrel head long into oncoming traffic. With years of law enforcement experience, the son immediately recognized the driver they were following was under the influence. Knowing it was his duty to prevent this drunk driver from hurting himself or worse, someone else, the son effortlessly transitioned into work mode. The father had a different idea, he told his son to get off the road and pull a safe distance away from the danger. The son said, “Dad, I have a moral obligation to protect the innocent people around this man before he kills himself or others.” The son placed a call to dispatch and notified the young lady of the situation, then requested help. The father sat silent in the passenger seat, watching first hand his son “on the job” for the first time. They followed the drunk driver until he pulled into a parking lot and stumbled from the car. The son pulled behind the staggering man and, with the swiftness of a season veteran, donned his gear; badge, gun and vest. The son tossed his father his phone and instructed him to notify dispatch what was happening. The father fumbled with the phone as he watched in amazement as his son eased the intoxicated man into cuffs. Once the man was in cuffs, safely away from his two-thousand pound weapon, the son returned to his father to make sure everything was okay. In no time, back-up tore into the parking lot to take over the arrest. The son turned the drunk driver over to the uniformed officers for his long drive to the jail. What the father had just witnessed was the highlight of his life. For years, the father passively heard story after story of arrests the son had made but for the first time in his life he was able to witness first hand his son at work. The father proudly told everyone who would listen how he and his son had taken an attempted murderer off the streets.
February 18, 2012