I spent much of my adolescence as an ignorant and rebellious teenager who resented police officers. As I grew older, I accepted that they, too, are just people trying to do good and earn a living.
Recently, something happened that deepened my respect for them.
You may be expecting a sweeping tale about how a police officer saved my life, but instead it was something small.
Last month we celebrated my girlfriend’s birthday and, as 20-somethings, we decided to go clubbing. After pooling our money, we rented a limo to get downtown.
The car arrived at 10 p.m. sharp, and 15 of us packed into it, laughing and cheering, music blaring.
At first we were oblivious to the creeping smell. Soon, though, smoke was flooding the limo. The driver pulled onto the shoulder of the highway, and we poured out, gasping for air. Flame and smoke were coming from the engine. People started to freak out. I asked the driver what the protocol was, but all he did was give us our cash back.
“I’ve got other things to deal with, clearly. Call yourselves Ubers,” he said. I was shocked. Not only did he handle the situation poorly, but he ignored the fact that Uber drivers cannot pick up passengers on the side of a highway; it is not safe for them. We were stranded.
Needless to say the birthday girl was not happy, and there was a sense of panic among the group. One of us decided to call 9-1-1.
In under 10 minutes, seven or eight officers from York Regional Police arrived with six squad cars. I was amazed. They packed all of us into their cars and dropped us off at a nearby restaurant.
They even took us inside and made the restaurant set up a large table so we could sit down and figure out the rest of the night. They joked about joining us but unfortunately couldn’t stay.
I couldn’t thank them enough. Not only did they take us somewhere safe, they went out of their way to calm everybody down and make sure we knew what our next steps would be.
It’s interesting how a small gesture can make such a big difference. It’s also important that we share good news, and these officers were nothing but spectacular.
We ended up at the club an hour later. The night turned out perfectly.