The One About Being a Good Citizen

I screwed up. Driving across DFW no man’s land in the early morning hours resulted in a ticket. Plano PD clocked me at 62 in a 45. On an ACCESS ROAD. It was dark and cold and there were lights and loud noises and my adrenaline dumped.

Hands locked and frozen at 10 and 2. Flashlight in my face. His first words were, “Do you know how fast you were going?” I had no concept. I didn’t respond because I didn’t have any words. Lizard brain threatened to take over. He asked me again, this time a little louder.

My throat went dry. My hands were sweating, shaking.

I responded with the first thing that came to mind. “Officer, I have PTSD.”

He pulled the flashlight back, and looked at me and in a very calm voice that had noticeably softened asked if I knew where my DL was. I could nod. He asked if I could get it for him. Again, I could nod. He said, “Breathe. I’m not here to hurt you.” And I found that I could stop white-knuckling the steering wheel to fish it out of my bag. He remained very professional, authoritative, but soft-spoken at the same time. By the end of our 8 minutes together, I’d almost reset to normal.

Almost. I mean, I did get a ticket on the access road to 75. What the hell? Who drives 45 when getting on the highway? In Dallas?? They’ll run you over. (Or maybe that “they” is actually me. Whoa. Matrix moment)

He was a good citizen of the world and helped me maintain.

Thank you, Officer Jackson. And thank you to the Plano PD for sensitivity training or for just hiring a guy with a good heart.

TL;dr: Don’t be an asshole when you’ve broken the rules or when you’re enforcing them. It’s rook mistake.

 

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