The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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I interviewed my dad at brunch on Sunday in which one could say is his natural habitat. I asked him the common question of when was a time where something really impacted your life. He told me this story of his first time on a ride along, something he had wanted to do for a good part of his life. He explained to me that this was the instance that sparked his full interest in police work, something that has shaped his future careers. Because of his experience during that ride along, he now works as a police force dispatcher for Temple, and is currently working on completing his degree in criminal justice with hopes to one day join the academy.

It was the spring of 1995 when Brian stumbled into an opportunity he would never forget. At that current time he was working for a car dealership as a salesman. His daytime job was fulfilling to an extent, but there was always a sense of curiosity in him for the unknown. One day he met a man known by the name of Ron Small, a Highway Patrol Officer. Ron had sensed Brian's interest in law enforcement from the moment he met him, and decided to invite him to see what it was all really about.

Brian was set to attend a ride along with Ron and his partner Lou Mount from Friday at 6pm until 2am Saturday morning. Friday night came and Brian anxiously arrived at Highway Patrol Headquarters at Bustleton and Bowler in Philadelphia. He was met by a group of people, most criminal justice students who were gathering information for college writing assignments. Brian and the other students were met by a community relations Sergeant who encouraged them to pay close attention to their location at all times, and not leave the patrol car unless instructed to. His last piece of advice was to remember "the reason Highway Patrol officers wore tall leather riding boots was to keep the blood off of their breeches from all the shootings and violent arrests they were involved in". 

Once Ron and Lou returned, they were set to get in their assigned vehicle: H45. Their patrol route was to begin in South Philadelphia and end back in the Northeast.

The patrol car came up to a corner near the Schuylkill River, an area now known as Point Breeze. All of sudden everyone’s eyes peered over to the 40 or so residents who were gathered around a car from which a man was selling drugs. Ron and Lou jumped out, arrested the man in the car and found an enormous amount of crack cocaine as well as several thousand dollars in cash on him. Ron screamed “Brian to move the patrol car up the street and radio to request a wagon to transport him”. Brian, feeling exhilarated, got on the radio asking for a wagon. Once restrained, officers Ron and Lou got back in the car and began following the police van in which was transporting the prisoner. Once they got there, the students, and Brian were applauded for their work. Brian thought to himself, not a bad first glance into the job huh?

Restrained and Arrested

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Philadelphia, PA

I interviewed my dad at brunch on Sunday in which one could say is his natural habitat. I asked him the common question of when was a time where something really impacted your life. He told me this story of his first time on a ride along, something he had wanted to do for a good part of his life. He explained to me that this was the instance that sparked his full interest in police work, something that has shaped his future careers. Because of his experience during that ride along, he now works as a police force dispatcher for Temple, and is currently working on completing his degree in criminal justice with hopes to one day join the academy.

Decade: 1990s
Rating:
Recorded by Elizabeth Hathaway on December 6, 2018
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