How to Serve the Police

Andrena, my sister-in-law, passed earlier this year. Julia, my wife, and I decided to drive up to Cleveland, from our home in Atlanta, to celebrate Andrena’s life, with the family. We traveled for Andrena which we later found out that we actually traveled so that she could teach us about ourselves. We’ll discuss that some other time.

Jusaan, my oldest and only son, drove up separately with Carter (his son), the rest of my daughters (2 out of the 5) and Jusaan’s girlfriend. We stayed in Cleveland for several days and was planning to stay another day before leaving to travel back to Atlanta. However a major snow storm was coming and the news called it Lake Effect Snow. Once Julia heard that it was time to go.

We said our goodbyes the family and we pushed Jusaan to leave so that he could possibly get ahead of the snow storm. Jusaan started the 12 hour journey and we began our trek home about an hour after. The snow was coming down fast and furious, the cold air was unbearable. Although the snow storm’s route was through Northern Ohio, the rest of the state was super-duper cold.

After Julia and I stopped in Columbus, Ohio to visit our cousin for 10 minutes, we received a phone call from Jusaan informing us that his back tire on his vehicle had come off of the passenger side of the truck. He had to maneuver to the shoulder of the highway to be clear of oncoming traffic. By this time, according to his location, we were almost two hours away and we would eventually catch up with him about midnight.

We finally caught up with him and everyone one ok. That was apparent because they were Snapchatting anything and everything. Julia and I searched the exits within a 5 mile radius and realized that we would not find the tire. We waited for 2 hours before the tow truck to drive up and behold Lexington, Kentucky’s finest drove up with him. After the comments and the facial expressions about how bad the passenger side looked, the Tow Guy began loading the truck on the flatbed. The Tow Guy was in a rush it seemed because according to him the police will only give you a certain time period to get off of the highway.

Enters Officer Glen Wagoner of the Lexington, Kentucky Police Department. Without me knowing what to expect especially with all the media hype around Police Brutality (which I learned recently is an oxymoron. Thank you KRS1). I felt my job was to make sure that Officer Wagoner realized that we were not a threat and it seemed from our interaction that he did the same. Besides we were riding 10 deep between two cars, my wife and I, two 22 year olds and rest were teenagers I couldn’t imagine that he felt anything crazy would go down but hey, this world is full of interesting people.

After the tow truck guy loaded the car on the truck he informed me that the dealership was about 7 miles back in the other direction. He could not fit the rest of Team Hodge in the truck. Officer Wagoner offered to take the other half of Team Hodge with him. He suggested that we follow him to the previous exit where the tow truck was going and he informed us that it was several hotels at that exit to stay the night. By this time it’s a cold 3am morning. Once we turned around and traveled the distance to the exit, we drove onto the main road and Officer Wagoner stops his cruiser leaves his car to come to tell me “We may want to go to the next exit which is about 5 miles from here. I don’t want to leave you anywhere that I wouldn’t take my family” (Blank stare)

I agreed of course and followed him to the next exit. He then waited for me in the parking lot as we booked a hotel room for the rest of the day. He walked us in and made sure that we had everything that we needed before taking off to finish his shift.

I couldn’t help but to pull out my phone, research the name of his Chief, login to my SendOutCards App and send his Chief a thank you card, to the precinct. In the card I am praising Officer Wagoner about how awesome it was to see true Police work (Serve and Protect) and the appreciation that I had for my kids to be able to have perspective. That was least that I could do to serve not only this outstanding officer but to show others what I love to be shown when I go over and beyond, appreciation.

I recently went to my P.O. Box to grab my mail. In my box was a letter from the Police Chief thanking me for my thank you card and detailing the actions steps that will be taken so that Officer Wagoner will be recognized. I couldn’t help but to feel awesome about making an impact in the life of someone else just by showing appreciation. That is a priceless feeling and I hope that those that are reading this get the privilege of having the same feeling.

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