Wednesday, 21 May 2014
Page Twenty One - Sgt Pearson's Last Day (Copcast #136)
Welcome to this special edition of George’s Pocketbook, where our colleagues around the world take time to share their experiences of what being a Law Enforcement Officer means to them, where they work. The incidents portrayed are real but where necessary, names and places have been changed in order to protect the innocent, the not so innocent and the plain stupid.
Michael Pearson is retired living in Utah. He was a Sergeant on the Tacoma School Police force in Washington State and finished off his law enforcement career as a Lieutenant at the Utah State Penitentiary.
A recent story on Copcast about a stolen police car had this old cop reminiscing about the good old days, specifically his last day as an officer for the Tacoma School Police force back in the ‘70s.
Early that morning the radio began with reports of a Escaped Prisoner in Seattle who had managed to scale down from the roof of the King County Jail and find an unattended police cruiser with its engine running in the parking lot below. It later transpired that the Sheriff had left the car there for a moment as he dashed inside to grab his smokes. The suspect jumped into the police cruiser and began what turned into a high-speed pursuit down Interstate 5.
The continuing reports stated the fugitive had passed through the towns of Renton, Midway, Fife, and Lakewood and was nearing Tacoma. All the towns along the way had assisted in the chase. Sergeant Pearson, as he was then, and his partner listened with curiosity to the updates as they exited the Winchell's Donut Shop. To the surprise of the two men, they witnessed the suspect speed down the highway in front of them followed by the amazing sight of what looked like as many as 100 police vehicles in pursuit.
Getting caught up in the excitement of the moment they both jumped into their own Cheyenne pickup to join in on the fun. They managed to work their way through the line of pursuing vehicles although they had a couple of close calls on the way where they were almost sideswiped by other vehicles that were just as eager to be involved.
In the end they were close enough to witness the stolen cruiser finally get contained with a vehicle in front and another behind before being eased off the side of the road against a chain link fence. Unfortunately there was a third vehicle against the driver’s door, which meant there was a slight delay in getting to the occupant. Because there were so many vehicles stopped so close to each other, they all had to be patiently moved back one at a time before they finally managed to get access to the escaped prisoner.
Michael and his partner jumped out of the pickup and ran towards the Suspect and assisted in apprehending and securing, the kicking and screaming man then shoving him into the back of a squad car. It took six officers to finally subdue the escaped prisoner.
Once the Suspect was safely tucked away Michael took a gander at his surroundings. He’ll never forget the scene before him; the impressive display of cooperation between several jurisdictions was quite a sight to behold. There were Cops from different towns all mingling together laughing, shaking hands and patting each other on the back and talking excitedly. It made him proud to be a Police Officer that day.