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Life’s choices offer daily lessons

In our profession, we meet a whole bunch of people: some good, some bad and some so-so boys and girls. During our interaction with these individuals, we sometimes hear a lifetime of experiences in seconds. In the moments before performing our significant responsibility to take action or not, we comb through the ocean of circumstances we just encountered. This task can be extremely daunting.

As a person walked out of the convenience store at 6:45 a.m., this person nodded and said “Good morning Officer Grasso.” I returned the salutation and added “How are you?” I was told, “Doing OK.”

Then, the conversation’s path took me to a place I’ve been before. The person went on to say work was good, the shoulder shrug suggested otherwise, and then went on to explain how this person was the “black sheep” of the family; the only one of four siblings who failed to attend college. I then learned of a childhood mistake in addition to a family tragedy that invited this person down a spiraling journey to alcohol and drugs.

The conscious choice made by this resident to partake of our national self-medicating program provided for a tumultuous lifestyle. Life’s earlier momentary lapse in planning gave way to a decade of bad choices and horrible consequences. There’s more to this story, as there is in every life.

As we parted ways, coffee in hand, the self-admitted hungover subject said, “You live and learn.” I replied, “You learn about choices you make every day.”

This interaction didn’t require any action on my part, other than being a good listener, and this person’s life story took less time than stopping for a red light.

Are you ready? Let’s see what we can learn about crime fighting. “Control, 269 I’ll be 10-8 (in-service), first call, please.”

March 30. A bartender from one of our saloons calls to report a patron is threatening to punch another customer. He’s sitting in the corner and acting “crazy.” Officers arrive and offer calming words, backed up by a set of handcuffs. The subject chooses the nonrestricted route and leaves the tavern. By the way, it’s only noontime; hate to see what might happen 12 hours later.

March 31. It’s late. We’ve all had to go out and get milk from the convenience store. Our resident, who is no stranger to the Boulder City Police Department, decides he needs some stuff from Dale’s Sinclair. One problem; no money. The clerk calls. We arrive and after a few cordial greetings, the subject is trespassed and is cited for shoplifting. Unlucky fellow, he almost won overnight accommodation in beautiful Henderson Detention Center.

April 1. Sorry, we were closed today. April fools! Caller reports two dogs at Bicentennial Park are dropping off a few items. The dog’s caretaker is failing to be responsible. Animal Control arrives, but the neglectful dog walker and special delivery puppies are nowhere to be found. Common courtesy goes a long way, especially when it comes to your pet’s bathroom habits.

April 2. A female calls dispatch regarding a domestic disturbance near the pool. The lovers’ quarrel ended up with hubby being locked out of the house. We arrive and learn of the accelerant; ingested alcohol appeared to be the prime suspect. We put our therapist hats on and the couple comes to an amicable solution.

April 3. A Las Vegas speeder coming into town failed to realize he was coming into Boulder City. Officer makes contact with the driver. Itchy, scratchy, jumpy. Something just doesn’t look right. The felon driver is heading to the Hacienda Casino. Two hiccups, a gun and 4.5 grams of methamphetamine provide the driver a detour to Clark County Detention Center. A felon with a gun. Really, no bueno.

April 4. Officers are out with a subject near the old Subway. Riding a bicycle around at 3 a.m. is OK, but when you’re in a closed business area? The subject is checked out and is released. The subject’s intent to creep around was stymied by alert officers.

April 5. It’s a great day. It’s dinner time; you hear that? The sirens are never ending. Wow, you see that? Henderson SWAT is coming through town. A barricaded subject with a gun will always get the cavalry coming. Thank goodness this occurred at Lake Mead; Henderson SWAT already came to Boulder City a month ago.

As things begin to heat up, please drink plenty of water and make sure the furry friends also have plenty of water. If you’re heading out to Lake Mead with a boat, remember, be responsible! Until next week, see ya Boulder City.

Officer Jeffrey Grasso is a 10-year veteran of the Boulder City Police Department. He previously served as a police officer in south Florida for four years.

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