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Snow, Day 2

I woke up in the hotel room, and put up my last post. Boots dry, I headed out to the cruiser, buried in show. After getting it cleared off, and checking the chains I went to work. I already checked with the supervisor on duty and he was happy to have me working early.

I nursed the car down the highway which was mostly clear. The outside lanes were clear but the middle lane still had snow. I drove there since it was a lot easier with the chains. They rumble badly on hard pavement. I got it into the parking lot at the office and pushed through the deep snow until it was in a parking spot. I wasn’t driving it during the shift.

All the cops were doubled up and in four wheel drive vehicles. It’s safer to ride two to a car. You don’t want your backup getting stuck on the way to help you. Everything with four wheel drive was on the street. We had cops in animal control vehicles even. Even the chief’s and the two deputy chief’s SUV’s were on the street. My ride arrived to get me and I piled into one of the sergeant’s Explorers. The cop driving was solo because his partner was at the hospital on a mental call, guarding someone. We rode around and found some cars abandoned in ditches. Some folks decided to park in the middle of the road and we had to find them to move their car. A couple calls, nothing major.

At the end of the day he was going home so I caught up with another officer riding solo. He’s in the deputy chief’s Tahoe. I was perfectly fine to let him drive, I definitely didn’t want to write the memo explaining how I put the deputy chief’s truck in a ditch. We got around the city great with the four wheel drive but the vehicle had no emergency lights. We weren’t doing any emergency response driving in that car without them.

We mostly traveled from disabled vehicle to disabled vehicle. We weren’t concerned about the cars in ditches unless someone was in it and injured. We needed to keep the roads open for traffic, as well as plows. We got to one in the road and the wrecker is already with it. It’s in the road, blocking traffic, and abandoned. We fill out the paperwork for the wrecker while he hooks it up.

A woman approaches me from the side street behind us. It’s not plowed at all and she got her Jeep Wrangler stuck trying to get up the hill. I told her we’d help. A van arrived and got stuck behind the Jeep. My partner and I tried to push and rock the Jeep out of the rut but it was stuck so we helped her get it off the road so it wouldn’t be towed.

The van had an older couple in it. I had the lady back the van down the hill to try and get some momentum to get up to the top. She tried a couple times but the snow was so deep it was lifting the frame up and she couldn’t get traction. Her husband walks with a cane and can’t get home in the snow. They spent the previous night downtown but are out of supplies and need to get home. I help drive her van off the road and into a parking lot. It’s stuck there but won’t get towed off the street.

I had to drive the deputy chief’s truck through the deep snow along side the van. I had to get it just far enough from the van the doors can open. The man inside can’t walk to the truck so it really needs to be door to door service. I got the truck slipping and sliding and barreled through the deep snow to just a couple feet from the van. The woman from the Jeep helped me support the man as he shuffled from his car, into the truck. My partner stayed with her while I ferried the couple up the hill to their condo. Their parking lot was nicely plowed and we got into the underground parking garage without trouble. I helped the man down from the truck and his wife with their luggage. She was so grateful to be home safely she gave me a hug. She was very sincere in her gratitude and said she was praying for all of us, and especially Officer Hicks who she read about in the paper from his recent shooting.

I made my way back to the Jeep and we loaded up the woman’s groceries and ferried her home as well. These actions were repeated all over the city, all day and night by every officer working. I lost count of how many cars we pushed out of the road, and I’m sure everyone else has as well.

When we constantly deal with the 5% of society who insists on making things difficult for everyone else, we can get jaded. Cops tend to get cynical because we constantly deal with criminals and degenerates. We got a taste of real humanity though as we jumped out of our truck and put back and arms to someone’s bumper, and other citizens jumped in with shovels and tow ropes to get someone none of us know, out of a snow drift. All of us working as a team to help an unlucky person trying get home with some groceries. It was nice to have positive interaction with so many people.

Don’t worry, we still dealt with criminals during our shift. We used our unmarked truck to set up surveillance for a guy who assaulted his girlfriend. He had active warrants for assault and battery from a previous incident. When we saw him come out of another apartment and walk up the road, we were able to sneak up on him and take him into custody.

My sergeant drove me home at the end of the shift.

Posted with permission from The Roanoke Cop from the post “Snow.” Please visit that blog for more law enforcement blog content. ###

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  1. Buttercup Says:

    It’s great that you were able to have such positive interactions during what had to be a terribly busy day, and those that you helped will always be grateful and remember what you did for them. Stay safe!

  2. Jenna Says:

    Warmth in the midst of the cold. Nice!


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