A question posted recently on Quora asked, "What is the best experience you have had with a police officer?" The community responded back with a wealth of inspiring testimonies. Our personal favorites follow. Check them out and add your own thoughts in our comments section.
By Andrew Bosworth:
When I was 16 I was driving alone from a youth conference in Sacramento back to my home in the Bay Area. It was pretty late, I was tired, and even I could tell I was driving erratically; I'd glance down at the speedometer and it would be 20 miles above or below the speed limit in alternation. I really didn't have the driving experience to realize how unsafe this was.
I got pulled over by CHP. As I pulled off the road on an off-ramp I was pretty nervous as this was the first time I had ever been pulled over. The cop came over and got my license and registration but he never ran them. He just said that they had been following me for a while and that it was clear to them that I was trying to drive safely but not able to do so. I told him where I was coming from and that I was just trying to get home. He explained that driving tired is just as bad as driving drunk.
Instead of giving me a ticket, he pointed down the off-ramp to a place I could get some coffee and rest. He asked if I had enough money to get some coffee and offered to give me some if I didn't. He said if I really couldn't get back to an alert state that I should call a friend or my parents and get a ride because what I was doing wasn't safe for myself or other drivers.
Honestly, I can't imagine that getting a ticket would have had nearly as big an impact on my driving as the short, compassionate conversation that officer had with me that night.
By Wray Rives:
My wife and I had taken a four-year-old foster son who had just been placed with us to McDonald's for dinner. A policeman walked in and the 4-year-old became visibly agitated and even said "I need to hide so the cops don't see me."
Understand that to his biological parents seeing the police was a common but not usually pleasant experience.
He was not really buying our explanation that the police are our friends and so I went over and explained the situation to the officer and asked would he mind just coming over and introducing himself to our 4-year-old so he could see that policemen were not bad. Not only did he come over to our table, but he proceeded to take 20 minutes out of his 30 minute dinner break to sit and visit with our foster son and engage him in conversation, let him talk on his radio and see his badge and all his police equipment.
It didn't solve all the problems that an abused 4-year-old has, but that effort completely changed his perception that the police were the bad guys.
By Rick Bruno, Former Police Commander:
I have one from the other side.
I responded to a bar fight one night, and when I arrived one of the parties ran into a parking lot, and I lost sight of him. I was going through the parking lot, looking into the parked cars, when I came across two unconscious guys in the front seat of a Mustang. One guy still had a needle in his arm, the other still had a belt around his arm. I could not wake them.
I called an ambulance, and both were transported to the emergency room. I told another officer to go to the hospital with them, and to stay with them.
About six hours later I was called into the police station, and the officer who went to the hospital told me there was someone who wanted to talk to me. I went in, and saw the two young men, now fully alert and obviously shaken.
When I walked into the room, one started crying (both were in their late 20s). The other said he wanted to thank me for saving their lives that night. They had ODed on heroin. The hospital staff told them if they had arrived at the hospital ten minutes later they would both be dead.
I wasn't sure what to say. Then a line from one of my favorite movies came to mind. It's from near the end of Saving Private Ryan.
I told them, "Earn this.”
They shook my hand, and I walked away.