When bad kids go good–thank a cop

| February 24, 2015 | 1 Comment

AACoPDShieldAll too often we hear the bad side of an interaction with a police officer. You get a ticket. You got arrested. Sometimes we hear the good stories–last week a pair of officers jumped into a frozen South River to rescue a man and his dog. They are usually first on the scene of any tragedy that happens in your life.

So, when you hear some good news, it makes sense to share it.  The following was posted to Facebook by an Anne Arundel County Police Lieutenant that I consider a friend. And after reading this, I suspect that the subject of this update also considers him a friend as well–as improbable as it seems.

I get back to work today and check my voicemail. I have a message from a young man that I use to play cat and mouse with. In other words, he was the bad guy and my job was to catch him. Hadn’t seen him in many years.

Literally chased him around, locked him up a few times, but I used to always take the time to tell my knuckleheads that there was a better way. I often used to say “Doing the right thing is HARD. Getting up on time everyday, going to work, listening to a boss, waiting to get paid, is HARD” but “getting up when you want and doing whatever the heck you want to do, selling drugs, is rather easy in comparison”

Well, after we get over the shock that we two are on the phone with one another, he lets me know that he’s doing very well and he reaffirmed what I told him 10 years ago, “It’s hard!!”, But what was even more intriguing, he addressed me as Mr. and Sir. You have to understand, this cat was BAD NEWS. I told him on the phone how he escaped death, federal prison and other opportunities that I had him in my sights for cases. (It was the cat and mouse game, he won) He needed a small favor, no new cases, no “getting him off the banned list”, all he needed was some support.

He said to me, “I can’t believe I’m calling you, but you are one of the people who knows how low I’ve been and I think you would be proud of what I’ve become”.

I told him when I extended the olive branch years ago, I meant it. I will offer my support to the young man, who hasn’t been in trouble for many years.

It’s always sobering to get these calls. I never treated bad guys like crap just because they were doing bad things at the time. I like planting seeds. Some take much longer than others to sprout. I’m glad to say this seed has gotten a little bit more nourishment and I’m hopeful that it can sprout into something beautiful!!! ‪#‎PayItForward‬

Just thought I’d share because you never know who you might touch.

But this is not just an example of a single cop in Anne Arundel County. There are good cops all over. Annapolis Police…Maryland State Police…Natural Resources Police…Department of General Services…Anne Arundel County Sheriff…Transportation Authority Police…the list goes on.  And to those good cops out there, I say thank you!  You ARE making a difference. It may not seem like it at the time, and it may take some time for people to come around, but rest assured, you are.  Thank you!

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Category: OPINION

About the Author ()

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news–and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009.

John’s background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.