Local column: Local police rock!

A recent encounter with a local sherriff’s deputy made me reflect on the compassion and humanity so often displayed by our local law enforcement, writes Jeffrey Lewis.

Yesterday was a very stressful day. Not unlike many these past few months.

Sometime ago while I was driving around a sharp turn, I nearly ran in to one of our local Bonneville County Sheriff deputies. He had to swerve to avoid a collision.

On went his flashing lights. I started to pull off the road by turning off the Main Street, when my daughter yelled, “Dad this is a one way street!”

I thought, oh dear, I’m really in trouble now!

I asked my wife to get me the paper work out of the glove box. By now the officer was at my window.

“Sir, do you know why I pulled you over today?” I told him that my family told me that I’d almost run into him, and that I was truly sorry.

He told me I traveled out of my lane into his, which could have caused a serious accident. He then asked for my paperwork. I reached for my wallet; I didn’t have it with me. If I thought I was in trouble before, now I was afraid I was really in for it!

The officer gave me an “Oh sure, you don’t have your license” look. He asked my name. I told him. With a stern look, he told me to stay in my car — that he would be right back. I realized that this was really going to cost me. In every way, I was at fault.

When he approached my window, he told me that I was very fortunate. Today he was only going to give me a warning.

“Really?” I asked, in disbelief.

I was told to be mindful and pay attention while behind the wheel of a vehicle, and to always have my driver’s license with me. I assured him I would.

I thanked him for his kindness. I also thanked him for his service to our community. As I extended my hand he shook it and said, “By the way, this vehicle’s registration is expired.” I told him I would take care of it first thing in the morning, which I did.

I don’t have any idea why this deputy extended to me this kindness when, by all accounts, I should have had my car impounded and received several traffic citations.

In today’s world, when law enforcement all across the country are vilified simply for doing their job, I want to thank each and every one for risking their lives every day for you and me. We hear all too often that another officer lost his or her life while protecting the community they serve.

The next time you see a police officer, go and say hello and thank them for their service.

Go ahead, make their day.

Lewis lives and works in Idaho Falls. He is married with two children. You can reach him at jeffreylewisidf@gmail.com.