Policeman for a day

Vince Patton

Vince Patton (LL '12) executive administrator, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Leadership Louisville 2012 police car ride-along

On Monday, December 5, Officer Chuck Cooper and I began our journey throughout the Chickasaw, Shawnee, and Park DuValle neighborhoods.

My most memorable event of the ride-along was when Officer Cooper responded to the dispatcher’s report that a girl had violated the terms of her house arrest. When we reached the location, a hostile teenage girl confronted us. Officer Cooper calmly explained that we had to take her to the juvenile detention center, but the girl tried to resist arrest. The officer reached for the girl’s hands and placed handcuffs on them. She fought the officer every step on the way to the police car.

When we reached the police car, the girl shocked us by revealing that she was pregnant. Officer Cooper helped the girl into the car, and we waited until two other officers arrived on the scene. Officer Cooper later explained that if an individual resists arrest, the police are required to complete additional paperwork and take photos of the suspect.

Officer Cooper and I drove the girl to the juvenile center, where she was originally scheduled to serve her sentence.

Officer Cooper told me that our evening, which included six stops, was slower than normal. On a typical night he might stop twenty to twenty-five times, responding to anything from robberies to domestic disputes. During our time together he indicated that 90 percent of his time is spent on approximately 10 percent of the people in his district.

My ride with Officer Cooper left me in awe of the patience and dedication police officers display. Officer Cooper spoke admirably of churches and social service organizations in the community. His comments reminded me of the many different needs of individuals and the incredible things that can be accomplished when people and organizations of all types come together for the sake of the whole community.

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