I had just returned from a lengthy road trip across the State of Florida. I had already started reflecting on the various locations and moments in my mind. One thing I had thought worth mentioning, a 3 am traffic stop by Wakulla County PD. Now, I had recalled plenty of negative coverage by media outlets over the years on bad cops; however, how many times do we think of those moments when a police officer had just done their job to protect and serve?
Passing through Wakulla County, I had seen the flashing of red and blue in the rear view mirror. After getting pulled over, I had thought, “This is going to make Monday suck!” That feeling emanated from maybe being little heavy on the gas pedal after just waking up. Approaching the vehicle, the officer had inquired about the purpose for being in his jurisdiction. I had responded with visiting Wakulla Springs and camping in Apalachicola Forest. He had followed up with asking, “Would anything return from running the license?” I had quickly responded, “No!” The officer then had gone to his car to communicate with dispatch. Upon returning, he had sent us on our way with a warning.
What luck, especially considering all the municipalities that had orchestrated speed traps for revenue. Then, I had thought about the context of our interaction. We had nothing to hide, less my menacing facial hair. Also, I had offered quick, honest answers. Probably the most important thing, I had recalled my body language. My left hand had laid out the window with right one on the wheel. Recalling a friend doing patrols as an officer, he had mentioned how stressful the first few minutes of interacting with the general public during a traffic stop. I had wanted to take a moment in underscoring that perspective. The purpose was not to avoid a citation but, the officer’s experience. After all, police officers had wanted to get home just like rest of us.