This series of day-in-the-life of stories provides a candid look behind the scenes of the Boulder City police officers who protect and serve Boulder City.
It’s just another sunshiny Wednesday in the beautiful town of Boulder City amid the COVID-19 pandemic and some of our fine residents have become restless in self-isolation, as is the case of one senior who just can’t stand being cooped up inside another minute. This senior wants out of the house for some fresh air and to go buy needed supplies, including a few snack items to enjoy with their favorite TV shows.
The problem with this senior’s plan is that they no longer have a valid driver’s license and for other reasons shouldn’t be out alone or driving anywhere. But that’s not going to stop them today. This adorable 80-plus-year-old senior on a mission finds their car keys and heads outside to warm up the car that they haven’t driven in quite some time, and within a few minutes they’re off and headed to the local 99 Cents Only Store at the corner of Buchanan Boulevard and Boulder City Parkway.
As they travel down the road you can’t help but notice that their driving skills are a little rusty, as they brush against a few curbs making turns, California roll through a stop sign at an intersection, weave unsteadily between travel lanes and drive over a couple of cement parking dividers upon arriving to the store parking lot.
Now, our dedicated public servant and Joining Forces 2019 award winner, Boulder City Police Department’s traffic motor unit Mary-1 is out on regular patrol for the day shift and observes the driving activity of this senior. At the same time some concerned citizens have called into 911 to report a reckless driver and our senior fits the description to a “T”. Dispatch puts the call out immediately over the radio to all units.
Mary-1 acknowledges the radio call from dispatch regarding the report of a reckless driver and relays to dispatch that “he will be out with that driver at Buchanan and the Parkway.” Mary-1 initiates a traffic stop on the senior’s vehicle and, with a friendly, kindhearted demeanor, approaches our senior seated behind the driver’s wheel. After a few minutes of conversation, Mary-1 convinces the senior that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea venturing out like this on their own and especially driving without a valid license.
Mary-1 then radios into dispatch, arranges for the transport and safe return of the senior to their residence with their vehicle. What a great act of public service and compassion. But, it doesn’t end there.
Later in the evening, the graveyard shift is on duty patrolling when another call comes into 911 with a report of a reckless driver. Yes, it is that same little senior back out on their original mission from earlier in the day to go get their snacks.
Dispatch radios the Baker-1 unit to respond to the 99 Cents Only Store parking lot as “a caller is reporting an elderly person behind the wheel of an older model car who just ran over a cement planter divider in the parking lot and appears to be having great difficulty in trying to park.” The caller is concerned for the driver’s safety. Baker-1 acknowledges the call, arriving at the store within a matter of minutes, locates our senior and has a nice, sweet but stern conversation with them about being back out behind the wheel for the second time today after being warned not to drive earlier by Mary-1.
The officer of the Baker-1 unit understands the senior’s determination and efforts to get their snacks and other supplies, and decides it would be in everyone’s best interest to help them get their items and then return them home once again. So, Baker-1 assists the senior into the store and once they have their bags of groceries, Baker-1 himself, using COVID-19 protocol, transports the senior via his patrol unit back to their residence ensuring they are safely inside and secure for the night.
How many other cities’ police departments do you think are out there that would take this much care and provide such kind, thoughtful assistance to a person who, one, shouldn’t be out by themselves unsupervised and, two, was driving on an expired driver’s license? Not many, I can tell you that.
Once again, our hats are tipped to the extraordinary care and service excellence that our men and women in uniform of the Boulder City Police Department provide to the city’s residents each and every day, even in the most challenging of times! Another job well done.
Aly Rashaad is a dispatcher in Southern Nevada. She served as the director of fundraising and marketing for the LASD Road Racing Association for Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which provided the NASCAR and positive leadership experience to at-risk inner-city youth. She can be reached at Alys.View@ymail.com.
During the Joining Forces campaign from Oct. 1, 2017, through Sept. 30, 2018, citations issued for a variety of violations that included 2,480 for expired driver’s licenses, 824 for suspended and revoked driver’s licenses and 482 for drivers at fault accidents. (www.nhtsa.gov annual report fiscal year 2018)