Taking the Time to Talk and Learn
When it comes to hot public issues, politics and business, we normally reserve public comment or involvement, because it just is not good for business. But this is about all of that and a one little boy and one story that just touched me so much I had to comment…
When did I first observe my interests in what I do today? When referring to executive protection I always mention that I first gained interest in the protection business from assignments to court justices during high profile case matters, and then assignments to activities surrounding President Bush’s home in the county I worked.
But to learn how I first became interested in law enforcement, investigations and related fields I have worked in, you need to go back to about the time I was 8 years old. When I was 8 years old I was walking home with my mother and father when a motorcyclist veered off the side of the river bridge near our home. I witnessed this first hand and ran to the bridge railing with my father, who attempted to get to the river’s edge in an effort to help the biker, when I witnessed the man come out of the river to just lose consciousness and fall back in to the rapid water current and be carried away.
The helplessness I felt could not be described… the next day I was brought back to the river with the New York State Police where I was interviewed for hours by the dive team supervisor and the troop commander. At the end of it all I received a letter from the NYS Police saying that if it was not for my mature ability to relate the details of the incident they may not have been able to recover the body for the family of the biker. I was awarded a New York State Police shoulder patch with the letter, and so it began, I wanted to help people.
This story by “Benny Johnson” for the “IJReview” (please take the time to read the article and scroll down to the description of this chance encounter) brought a flood of these memories back to me. This young man, whose community was destroyed by the riots, simply had a conversation with a riot officer from the State Police. This so reminded me of the incident I had witnessed so many years ago, “a negative situation that turned in to something positive for some, for “me”. Taking the time to learn more about each other and discovering for themselves more about the other. The touching of the shield is amazing, as it symbolizes exactly what I did after this experience, anything I could to be close to my newfound discovery. But remembering, that none of this would have happen if someone did not take the time to treat me with such dignity and who just talked to me. I can only hope that this relationship that has been created between this trooper and young man will continue to grow, and that it too will be a positive result for this young man’s future.
I think, we as a society need to recognize how productive futures may be created for young people that see so much wrong in their world. I think if we could remove blame, hatred, bias’ and yes politics, from the equation, we can discover that most people are seeking much of the same thing. Criminals and mentally ill will always be a detriment to our society, but we need to build on the strengths we do have and be accountable for our actions and inactions.
I hope that America will be strong again, but be assured, I have never surrendered my pride in the country and people that have allowed me to be who I am today. To the police officers out there and to the people they serve, take the time and talk to one another and learn more about one another.