To the Brave Women and Men

Hi all! Thanks for reading another one of my posts, I just wanted to say that it means a lot to me to know that my posts reach so many of you. I also wanted to say sorry for posting this so late. The auto-post mechanism does not always execute flawlessly and I’m sure my human error played a part in all this, but better late than never hopefully. I wanted this blog to be about my time doing a ride-along with the Rockville Police Department a few days ago. I decided to go on this ride-along to gain experience and insight into other fields besides medicine. I like to broaden my scope of knowledge and perspective to better understand the world around me.

Like many police departments throughout Montgomery Country, the Rockville Police Department offers ride-along opportunities to interested individuals, wherein an officer takes you on a trip through a day in their life. Being enforcers of the law is not easy, and these brave men and women lay down their lives to ensure that we can all live safe and in peace. Crazy sights are common for officers during their time on duty and you’re almost sure to see or learn something interesting during your time.

I began the process several days ago by going to the police department in Rockville, conveniently located near Rockville Town Center, there I was given a form to sign which included my contact information and availability. A few days later, I received a call from a police sergeant. The sergeant assigned me to an officer to ride with for 3 hours. Initially nothing much happened, there being officers responding to calls before we could. Eventually the officer was called in to talk to witnesses about a possible robbery. When we got there the officer spoke to the callers and he ran me through the decision-making process. It was extensive to say the less, involving evidence collection, witness testimony, notification of the proper inner departments, and deciding where a good place to find more information might be. For the sake of privacy, I won’t be going into the details of the crime but hopefully that’ll act as incentive for you to go out on a ride-along as well.

After that I decided to ask my assigned officer about himself and how he became an officer. He told me that right after high school he had enrolled with the Marines and had served for 10 years or so before deciding to settle down with his high school sweetheart. From there, he entered private security but was told by a co-worker there that the police force may be something to consider. He had originally avoided joining the police after the military, because he had worked as a military police officer and wanted a change from that field. He decided to apply and found that he loved it. He was happy to find a way to do what he loved, giving back to the community. He excelled at the police academy and went on to work with SWAT for most of his time in the force. He eventually switched to general police work to avoid the high stress job of SWAT since he was getting older and was thinking about retirement. Now he plans to do five more years before ending his time of service but does ride-alongs to inspire possible future officers.

I was impressed and wanted to share his story with his permission. I hope you all learned a bit more about what a police officer goes through in the service of others. An unpredictable and sometimes dangerous job, but someone’s got to do it. Thanks for reading!!

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