On Friday, July 15, I had the chance to go on a ride-along with Officer Horn. I was nervous before it started because (1) I didn’t know if I could handle staying awake past midnight and (2) I really had no idea what to expect. Luckily, Officer Horn relieved my safety concerns at the beginning.
This experience was really interesting to me because I’ve never spent a lot of time with a police officer before, let alone sat in a car with one for an extended period of time. I feel like a lot of people my age are scared of police or have some kind of resentment for them, and it was great to hear an officer’s perspective first-hand.
One of the most interesting things we talked about was the types of reactions he gets from people when he is in public and on duty—some families are very open and friendly with police officers, while Officer Horn has been around other parents who tell their children not to talk to the police. It made me sad to think that maybe a lot of the hatred that exists for police officers exists simply because people were raised to think that is how they should feel.
I got excited every time we were dispatched to a new location because I just never knew what to expect. At one point, we spoke to people who walked in on an attempted suicide, which was heart-wrenching. Possibly the creepiest thing, however, was going to check on a school that had allegedly been broken into—the alarm system company had heard glass breaking and voices inside the building. Five or six police officers walked around the entire building and saw no broken glass or people inside. The unexplainable things always scare me the most and I think that will stick with me for a while!
The ride-along was definitely a fun experience and I loved learning about what being a police officer is like from Officer Horn. I was also pleased to get to fly through the city with sirens on! It was a successful night and my respect for police officers and their bravery has definitely increased after learning what they have to go through during every shift.