As our world appears to become more riddled with tragedy, don’t forget to be as careful as possible. If you recently traveled into Henderson, you may have read the Amber Alert board that announced, “209 roadway deaths in Nevada this year.”
Mile after mile, we see ignorance behind the wheel. Even after thousands upon thousands of traffic stops, some drivers never learn. They speed, fail to make complete stops or, worst of all, they drive intoxicated.
I guess reality doesn’t sink in until it happens at his home. Our finality is never anticipated or planned for, but it happens every day. As police officers, we are the deliverers of unpleasant news.
Our worst communications go like this: “Hi, I’m Officer John Doe. I need to speak with you about — husband, wife, child or other family member — (you get the idea; fill in the blank). I need to tell you, he or she is deceased.”
If your heart sank, know that ours do, too, every time we deliver that message.
How else can I get the point across? Be safe, act safe, make responsible choices, and take every possible precaution you can to make it home.
“Control, 269, I’ll be 10-8 with the crew.”
■ Oct. 5. Our town is great. Some of the nation’s cross-country walkers, who revel in sleeping outdoors, think so. They try to homestead parts of our desert and canyons, too. We meet the squatters in the canyon near the edge of town. We explain the camping, hitchhiking, and littering laws and the laws governing highway walking, vagrancy and depositing waste. Inspired with this knowledge, the homesteading travelers choose an Arizona venue.
■ Oct. 6. While you were sleeping, officers on the night shift applied an old-time law enforcement practice coined more than 30 years ago: “broken-window theory.” The daylight provides increased visibility to see possible wrongs, but at night officers diligently check closed businesses, parked cars and make contact and inspect anything out of the ordinary. We’re always out and about serving.
■ Oct. 7. We’ve had a couple of smash-and-grab burglaries to some residences in Boulder City. A caller reports a suspicious female knocked on the front door, looking for Suzie. The resident, a retired Buffalo, N.Y., narcotics lieutenant, knew something was up. The resident called Boulder City Police Department and reports it. The suspects disappear like magic, but we keep looking. A couple of hours later, another resident calls to report a subject exiting a house with a pillow sack over the shoulder. It’s our subjects from earlier. We catch up with the thieves and arrest them. We’re able to link them to the burglaries.
FYI, if someone comes knocking or you see something suspicious, call us.
■ Oct. 8. A landlord calls to report a subject is trespassing at the apartment complex off Avenue A. We arrive and find the apartment’s door ajar. We discover sleeping beauty on the floor and the hidden trespass princess hiding in the closet. There’s no place like home to this admitted intravenous pharmaceutical user, but jail is just as good.
■ Oct. 9. An Elm Street resident calls to report a subject at his residence is behaving erratically. We arrive and meet the only female military special ops solider who is now looking for the naval ship. She has warrants out of Clark County and South Carolina. The young woman is whisked off to answer those charges. Track marks on her arm tell a lengthy story of abuse.
■ Oct. 10. We get called to the Nevada Inn about an unknown disturbance. We make contact with two subjects who are clucking like chickens. Mr. None Listener fails Simon Says because he can’t sit still. His female companion’s facial scars are a strong indicator of suspected drug use. We find pipes, and then the methamphetamine. If you can imagine a person with ants in his pants, then you understand the trip to jail was very jumpy.
■ Oct. 11. What kind of person steals mobility devices designed for the handicapped? Well, it seems, some people who came to Boulder City recently. They tried to steal personal mobility devices from the grocery store and were on their way to Arizona with the devices. But they were caught red-handed by Boulder City’s finest. We gladly provided overnight accommodations in lovely Las Vegas.
What a week. Remember to be safe.
Officer Jeffrey Grasso is a 11-year veteran of the Boulder City Police Department. He previously served as a police officer in south Florida for four years.