A Police Story

The time: An hour or so ago.

The place: Compo Beach.

The situation: A woman zoomed past the entrance gate, pulled into a spot near the pavilion, and began yelling incoherently.

The police arrived. She was clearly emotionally disturbed. In fact, she said she had not taken her medications.

Two officers talked to her. She rolled up the window. She refused to get out of her car.

Another officer arrived. Calmly, patiently, firmly — yet with compassion, empathy, care and plenty of professionalism — they continued talking.

Police encounter - July 22, 2016

They asked about her family. They asked about her home. They asked about her meds.

Eventually, she calmed down. After many more minutes, they got her into an ambulance, headed for help.

I am sure the Westport police see similar situations like this, many times a week.

Westporters like us seldom do.

At a time when police-civilian relationships are rocky, in many places around the country, it’s nice to see an encounter like this.

It probably was not remarkable to the officers in charge. It may have been all in a day’s work.

But it opened my eyes wide to the job our Westport cops do, every day.

And do so well.

14 responses to “A Police Story

  1. Robin Markus

    Thank you for sharing. So often, these kinds of things go unnoticed. Our police officers need to be commended like this more often!

  2. So good to see how we,as a community, acknowledge erratic behavior. Lucky for us. Racial issues notwithstanding, we are living in a relatable culture.

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Sharon Paulsen

    A difficult issue these days – our police officers have to be virtual psychologists on wheels, on top of all the other training and situational events.

    And heck, they are only human too.

    How many stories do we hear of police going through PTSD? Not as many as we probably should.

    Just think of those Sandy Hook first responders and officers – OMG, not something one just “bounces back” from.

    But, and I have to say it … if this person were any “tone” but white, with this “instance” occurring in any other town but Westport (or equally comparable town/city), without the finely educated and compassionate cops to handle it properly, how do you think this might have went down?

    Say, in Phoenix, an emotionally distraught Person Of Color, rides his vehicle right past a community security gate, pulls up to any random spot near a “white person’s home”, and is blathering incoherently because she or he didn’t “take his meds” (assuming he or she has any health care at all, and access to said meds).

    Sorry, but I’m thinking it becomes CNN “breaking news” and “several gunshots occurred” would be the story.

    And this is decidedly NOT a point about good cops vs bad cops, or even about the obvious racial divide, but it’s really about the culture at large. It’s a mindset … and of course, the MSM doesn’t help any.

    Thanks for sharing this Dan – it helps us to stay aware and perhaps more awake to the realities law enforcement and civilians alike will face, in all communities.

  4. Thanks so much for this, Dan. Listening to the funeral services in Baton on the radio today, sitting in traffic with tears on my cheeks, I was grateful to hear people speaking out for these guys, the vast majority of whom do an unbelievable job protecting all of us, day in a day out. They deserve our support and respect. God bless the Westport Police Department, we are very lucky to have them watching out for us.

  5. Flav Freedman

    Even though it wasn’t in Westport, the other day I approached an officer and thanked him for everything they do. He smiled and said thank you. Judging from his reaction, hopefully I made his day.

  6. Adam Vengrow

    booyah!!! let this town be a role model for the rest of the country, awesome all around! thanks for sharing

  7. Robert Mitchell

    Thanks, Dan.

  8. Sandra Johnson

    Thanks, Dan, for telling us this story. Being a policeman is certainly not an easy job by any means. We should all be thankful for them and all they do for us!

  9. A Westport police Sgt. pulled my car over earlier this week. A car like mine had hit something and fled the scene. I have a dented fender. But the driver who fled had left his fender at the scene, so it was obviously not me.
    He could not have been more polite.

    Yes, we have a well trained, smart police force in Westport. But I believe that most police officers make a decision to become police officers because they want to be helpful to their communities. I think the lousy, jump the gun personnel are a minority.

    And as everything comes from the top, yes, some of the upper brass in towns and cities in this country are stupid and not honorable people. But the citizens in those places are responsible for policing the police — we all are responsible.

    ALL WHITE POLICE IN THIS COUNTRY DO NOT HATE BLACK PEOPLE. To tar a whole group is the worst kind of injustice. Any group.

    So let’s start by duct taping Al Sharpton’s mouth and try to make the system better. As anyone who has ever been in marriage couseling knows, as long as you start with “you always” and “you never” statements, the outcome is always crap.

  10. Barbara Ryan

    Our police do a great job and do it well. Congratulations!


  12. unsubscribe with prejudice – no DWS

  13. Chris and Carol Luciano/Swan

    Thank you for reminding us, especially during these troubled times, that our police officers put their lives on the line 24/7, as we know all too well, but only seem to remember when tragic events occur.
    Good story, good ending, Westport has a Police Department to always be proud of – that’s what we hope and pray for.
    Carol and Chris Luciano-Swan

  14. Michael Pettee

    Thanks Dan.
    Fortunately or not mental health issues do not recognize political or economic boundaries and they impact police officers from everywhere. I have seen officers trained to handle these difficult situations who deal with it exceptionally well: great job! And I have seen other officers struggle with it.

    Hi Carol!

    Michael Pettee.