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Dorothy’s Place: Adrenaline and Love

May 25th, 2016 by Temple City Tribune

By Dorothy Denne

Several years ago, Arcadia’s S.W.A.T. team was called to my neighborhood to protect us from an out-of-control man who had barricaded himself in a house. The intended victim escaped, but the pursuer remained in the house with a rifle, a shotgun, two automatics, and a full supply of ammunition.

A lot of adrenaline flowed as he smashed, shot, yelled, and tried to set a fire. It was a long, six-hour night, ending with a suicide. No officers or neighbors were injured.

That was my first close encounter with police officers. Well there had been one brief one when I was reminded that a traffic light I drove through was very yellow. I forgave them for that one and the S.W.A.T. experience became the beginning of my growing relationship with the department. I became a volunteer.

Over the years I have done many things for them and with them, from cleaning counter tops, doing office chores, attending training sessions, to seeing needs and making the connections for getting them met.

Some of it has been fun, some has been challenging, some has been rewarding. Most has been all of the above.

My role as a volunteer is also frightening – frightening because, over the years, I have come to know and to love many of the officers in the department. They are not only police officers but they are sons, daughters, spouses, mommies, and daddies. They are my friends.

Every time I see a “Black and White” with lights flashing or hear sirens screaming, my own muscles constrict.

When I see an officer approaching a pulled-over vehicle in front of me, I find myself, as I pass, checking again in the rear-view mirror to be sure that officer is OK.

The officer involved is very often one I hugged only minutes before and was reminded by the hard, rigid fabric of a bullet-proof vest that this was a loved one in jeopardy. Behind that vest lies a heart that is often soft and always vulnerable, both to the bullets of a gun and the bullets of life.

Will some of the officers wind up involved in a front page scandal? Will some perform acts of heroism only to have the story buried on page 18? Modern media emphasizes the negative. You can bet your sweet “bippy” that if 2 percent are scandalous, you will not see much about the other 98 percent.

Doesn’t seem quite fair, does it?

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