Gwinnett County Police Car by DG01b.

photo credit DGOlb

One of the things I’ve always loved best about helping people get organized is learning about the jobs that they do. If I’m going to set up a filing system, for example, I need to understand the technical terms and paperwork flow of that particular office. My fascination with what people do and how they do it is still going strong, and I had a wonderful opportunity the other evening to indulge this part of me.

Our community ecourages citizens to learn more about the operation of city services and as part of that they offer the opportunity to do a “ride-along” with a local police officer. I spent four hours tagging along with the policewoman recently voted Officer of the Year and really got an education in how life looks from the other side of the windshield.

What impressed me the most was her obvious dedication to the job and to a life of service in general. She believes that she can make a difference, particularly when it comes to cases of domestic abuse and sexual predation, the causes she’s most devoted to. As we patrolled the area, she told me about situations she’s found herself in and the ways in which she’s used her training and her instincts to keep people safe.

Considering that my previous experience with the police has mostly been limited to receiving speeding tickets (2), this experience was very enlightening and seriously impressive.  I, for one, feel fortunate to reap the benefits of people doing what they love to do, combining that with community service and being willing to put their lives on the line in the process. That’s a high calling indeed.

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