When you see the lights start flashing in the rear-view mirror, your stomach sinks. Instantly, you know that whatever plans you had for the evening are about to be delayed.
Because I’m a law follower, I was surprised when the flashing lights made their way to my rear-view mirror Friday night. Usually when I get pulled over, it’s for driving suspiciously slow. I glanced down at my speedometer and was almost to the speed limit, so I was nervous to find out why I was being stopped.
I wish I could remember the name of the officer who stopped me. He introduced himself, but at the time I wasn’t exactly thinking, “Remember that for your column.” I was more thinking, “What’d I do now?”
You know those police officers who behave all holier than thou and talk down to you? They’re the ones who strut slowly up to your car door and just say, “License and registration.” They don’t even say please. Maybe you’ve had an experience with an officer who squinted their eyes at you the whole time, like they were waiting for you to whip out a gun or for hundreds of pounds of illegal drugs to come tumbling out of your nostrils.
The officer who pulled me over was nothing like that. He kindly asked to see my license, and then informed me that my rear break light was out, as well as one of my headlights. That was news to me, so I thanked him. He took my license back to his car, and when he returned asked me to cautiously drive straight home and to be extra careful of traffic because someone might think I was a motorcycle mistakenly. He seemed genuinely concerned with my safety, not patronizing or mean.
My dad is a police officer, and a very good one at that. He has a heart for people and their well-being. My guess is the officer who pulled me over was much the same. This Father’s Day, which is the first for my husband — another man who has shown himself to be an incredible dad — I’m reminded of how fortunate I am to have been raised by such a great father and how thankful I am to have a husband who will raise my daughter that same way.
So here’s a word of gratitude to the police officer who pulled me over: Thanks so much for the reminder of how a few good men can make a world of difference.