portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting portland metro

community building | police / legal

Good cops signted in Vancouver, WA

Credit should be given where credit is due. A Vancouver, WA policeman helped a stranded motorist without harassing her in any way. And a lot of people saw it too!!!
I think it was just this past Sunday, when I was bringing home some groceries with my daughter, that my car died.
It died not in any old spot, it died right between the I-205 exit and entrance ramps, on Mill Plain, in the inner lane. I had to get to a pay phone across the highway and leave my daughter in the car so that no one would tow the car away. My daughter is old enough to handle such a situation. I called for my brother to help push me out of the street, and went back to the car.
Then the cop showed up. Since I have been stopped and questioned by Beaverton police for just walking down the street (and I am white with very nondescript looks), I thought, oh no, he will try to accuse me of blocking traffic or something. I told him the car just died. He basically said that he would push me to a good spot, which meant doing a u-turn and coasting to the Fred Meyer parking lot. I usually don't like other people having ideas on what I should do unless it's something that I would think of myself, but I have to admit, having a cop push me while I did a u-turn was just not something that I would have thought of--but I recognized that it would work, and I just said "I'll do it!" I had the distinct idea that he meant no harm and he knew this was best. I thought, I am happy to get my car out of the street, but let's just see how far this good cop thing will last.
So the cop took his push bars in the front of his car, and pushed me around the corner in a sharp u-turn. I offered that I push the car (I have pushed it before) while my daughter drove, but he insisted that we both were in the car. I realized that I was a little excited anyway by the whole thing, and that my daughter could not drive, so he was right. As we made the turn, not all of the oncoming traffic could see what was going on, and intermittently put on his siren while making his lights flash, so that the oncoming traffic would see us. I had to put my brakes on at that point, too, because not everyone was stopping.
Not only were all of the oncoming cars stopped, but the entire exit ramp for 205 had stopped to watch, too. They could have gone, but they watched every single move we made. I just know that people would have came out to help push, but they could see that the cop had it covered. My daughter and I were intensely aware of so many people watching us, and we just had to laugh. She said, "I'm going to have another story to tell my friends, why does this always happen to us?!" I was just glad that a cop was doing a good thing, and everyone could watch his good example.
We made it to the Fred Meyer parking lot, and, of course, that's when my brother showed up. Thanks, bro, your hair was still messy from sleeping, and you were not wearing any shoes. Then another cop showed up, and they helped push the car again by getting out and pushing the car with us. They left and I saw them talking on the radio in their cars. I was going to go over and thank them, but they took off!! The one cop was like one of those angels you hear about at accidents, showing up at just the right time, and then taking off before anyone finds out who they are.
I was impressed with these cops all the way. There was not one thing they did that could be called disrespectful. They helped the situation, using their public tools in a way to help the public. I wish all cops were like that, and so does the public.
Later that night in a discussion, it was brought up that the Vancouver police were able to find that hit and run driver who just days ago ran over the seven year old boy, which I thought good police work on any day. Someone told me that night that Vancouver police were able to catch a stalker who was hiding in a manhole just down the street--I have never heard of the Portland police doing anything like that. I think the Vancouver police should retrain the Portland police.
Thank you, nice officers, you are much appreciated.
some good, most bad. 01.Sep.2006 08:29

carrot top

yeah some cops are good. i've had similar expeiriences, but also others that were pretty much the opposite.

Refreshing! 01.Sep.2006 15:55

..

Thanks for posting this. It's good to hear and these good guys should get kudos. Just as we need to expose and publicize the bad ones, we should praise and publicize the good ones.

I myself - who's rarely had a good experience with cops - have also had not one, but TWO recent contacts with the law in which I was treated fairly and with respect and compassion. Thank You!

give credit where credit is due 02.Sep.2006 01:05

author

I think being a good cop would be extremely stressful when surrounded by bad cops, and though activists are generally the ones at the leading edge of improving our quality of life, I got to hand it to good cops. I think they play a key role in keeping this world sane. Their key position is, I'm sure, why it's such a disgrace when we have so many bad cops. But I for one really appreciate it when we have good cops. All it takes to make a bad cop is a bully and an authoritarian, but what it takes to make a good cop is someone who cares about people, and is brave. Usually these qualities cannot be bought, but that's what's needed to have a good cop, and everything turns out right when the right person is on the job.
A police system without any heart will not last.

[ 03.Sep.2006 10:22

]

It is not just a matter of 'good cops' and 'bad cops'. All these people work for an institution that is controlled by power. Most of the cops in Germany when the Nazi regime came to power, were not in the Nazi party. There was no big purge. Cops are trained to obey and most of them do. When the order is given to crack heads, many good cops will crack heads. They may sleep very badly that night, but most cops are going to obey orders.