The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

Explorer program exposes student to law enforcement

Clinking our Styrofoam coffee cups together, we said cheers in unison, and then radioed in our position to dispatch.

For many cops on working the A shift, 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., the day doesn’t start until they get their coffee. And after waking up at 5:30 in the morning in order to be on time, I can see why.

  • Lesson #1- Start liking coffee. I’m going to need it regardless of which shift I get sent to patrol.

Since last year, I have been involved with the Collin County Sheriff’s Office Explorer program, which provided me with the opportunity to ride-along with a Sergeant during his shift. While it wasn’t nearly as exciting as I had hoped for, no drunken drivers, shoot-outs, active burglaries, or drug busts, it was definitely an experience that further persuades me to work towards a law enforcement related career path.

After the debriefing meeting, starting promptly at 6:30 a.m. with the stereotypical box of donuts, we hit the streets looking for some action. Not even five minutes later, we had a lady pulled over for speeding giving some sob story about how she’s late taking her daughter to some cheerleading competition in Dallas. It worked and she was let off with a warning.

  • Lesson #2- Don’t be afraid to try and weasel your way out of a ticket. Cops are humans and you can play on their emotions. Especially when they are on a full stomach and have a full cup of coffee.

Later in the morning, we got called as back-up to a domestic disturbance. I was anticipating a pretty emotional scene, but by the time we got there everything was pretty calm and uneventful. All that was left was the paperwork portion and a few formalities.

  • Lesson #3- Television shows choose to neglect the enormous amount of paperwork that cops must deal with. Even the most trivial of calls must be promptly and properly logged on twenty different forms.

After driving around on the country roads for a while, the Sargent I was riding with decided that the car was too dirty for his liking. We made a quick pit stop to wash the car and grab some lunch at a quaint little café in Weston.

  • Lesson #4- Appearance is everything. In order to garner the respect needed for compliant suspects, police officers constantly need to make sure they look and act their best. A dirty car doesn’t give off a very desirable perception, which may impede upon the officers safety in something as routine as a traffic stop.  

By the end of our trip we had logged just about 200 miles. We had gone all over the northern part of the county, from Farmersville to north of Celina. Collin County encompasses a whopping 998 square miles, so we barely covered any ground.

  • Lesson #5- Learn to read a map and familiarize yourself with the roads you have jurisdiction over. Even with the GPS on the car’s computer, some of the country roads don’t make it on there and its not efficient to rely solely on technology, because it’s prone to malfunction, to get from place to place.  

The life of a cop isn’t nearly as glamorized as television can sometimes make it out to be. They never know whether the person they are pulling over is an overworked soccer mom late to pick up her kids or a meth dealer on the way to a big sell, just like they never know what kind of calls they are going to get that day. The unknown excites me about a law enforcement career, and I’m hoping it’s with the FBI. 

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About the Contributor
Samantha Wendt, Managing Editor
Initially, the legendary snack cabinet and promise of courtside Mavericks tickets lured Senior Samantha Wendt to the newspaper class. Wendt enjoys experimenting with dessert recipes, and sometimes spends upwards of 6 hours making a decadent dessert. Even more than food, Wendt worships the Dallas Mavericks. She idolizes NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki, and knows every single statistic and happening within the Mavericks organization. In the 1st grade Wendt alternated between studying the biographies of the first 42 US Presidents and learning Russian. In 4th grade, she progressed to mapping out the rest of her life; she decided to travel to every single country in the world for a year after college, become a spy for the President, take a bullet in the leg for the President which would led to her subsequent two-term election, and become a college professor until she dies. Now, Wendt has made her life plan more achievable, and aspires to join the FBI.

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