Cops no longer frighten me… I have had an unhealthy fear of police officers while driving for a very long time. I think its all tied into a bigger issue of fear of authority figures and we could spend months blogging about those issues but for the sake of this particular entry, I want it to be known that my fear is subsiding at least a little.
Last night on the way home from my office – where Hooks and I recorded another great edition of NWF Behind the Curtain (well, he wasn’t there but he was on the air with me, anyway, I’m sidetracking) – I got pulled over by Lawrenceburg Police Officer Losenkamp. I have worked with most of the LPD officers at one time or another in the ER at my last job and he knew me from there. I knew I wasn’t speeding and my registration was just renewed so I wasn’t sure what was going on.
Regardless, I wasn’t panicked. This is new. In the past, I’ve been very fearful of police officers behind me even when I wasn’t doing anything wrong. Perhaps that started once my idiot college friends got us pulled over by 12 cruisers one time.
My friends didn’t have cars on campus so they asked me to take them to Johnny’s Toys to buy them cap guns. I don’t remember why, but I’m sure they thought it helped them look more like mobsters, which was something they wanted to look like for some reason. So, they got their guns and I decided I wanted Penn Station. I left them in the truck and my parting words were, “Don’t do anything stupid.”
I got back in the truck and drove out of the parking lot. While I was waiting to turn left, an officer turned his lights on and signaled for us to go. I thought he was just being nice. Little did I know he was about to pull us over. We pulled into the Target parking lot and he jumped out of his car, gun drawn, and ordered me to open the driver’s door with my right hand – keeping my hands where he could see them at all times. By this point, there were about 12 cruisers on the scene, with shotguns aimed at us. They got each of us out of the car, cuffed us, ran our IDs, and searched the vehicle, even unwrapping my sandwich!
It turns out that my friends (Aaron Kup and Mike Randall, actually, for those of you that know them) had decided to shoot their cap guns at passing cars in front of Penn Station and someone saw them and called the police. We were sent home with a very stern warning and they didn’t speak to me the entire way home until I started to giggle about the ridiculousness of it all. They were relieved and I was still mad, but knew I’d have a story to tell later on.
So . . . back to last night. Apparently my brake lights weren’t working and the kind officer gave me a warning and we talked for a few minutes about the ER and work and those issues. He was cool, and I appreciated him alerting me to the problem because I would never have known otherwise.
Not only did he help me reduce my anxiety about police officers but he also motivated me to learn a new skill! I changed my own brake light bulbs today and feel quite accomplished. While it wasn’t a big deal, it certainly is if you don’t even know where to start and I will note the feeling of accomplishment in my psyche as I work with other people who have self-esteem issues to help them feel that same positive feeling I got today.
All of it courtesy of the Lawrenceburg P.D.