Getting stopped by the police is not usually a good thing. Just ask any of the guests on the TV show “COPS”.
It’s pretty rare for a cyclist to get pulled over by the police. Unless you’re drunk cycling at 1am or Alberto Contador, that is.
Well, yesterday my son got pulled over by a local police officer as he was cycling to swim practice.
My son told me that he was just riding along, minding his own business, when a police car pulled up next to him and slowed down. He thought that maybe the cop was just trying to give him room, so Carter slowed down and moved over towards the curb. But the officer didn’t pass. In fact, he pulled ahead a little and stopped.
At this point, my son was about to freak out. Had he done something wrong? Was he in trouble?
Turns out that the police officer pulled him over to thank him for wearing his helmet.
Apparently, the officer sees so many kids riding without helmets that he likes to make a point of recognizing those that do. Not only did he give him the verbal praise, he gave my son two “Flyer Bucks” – gift certificates to the school store.
Far too often, police officers get a bad rap. We read stories about how they might have harassed someone, bullied them, or given them a hard time. While I know those instances are very rare, the fact of the matter is that the news of those stories imprints upon our childrens’ minds and perhaps forms within them a negative impression of law enforcement. This particular event was extremely positive, and no doubt made my son feel both good about doing something right (wearing his helmet) and about the officer in general.
I was certainly proud of my son last night. I was also really thankful for the officer for taking the time to do this. He didn’t have to, but that small act will no doubt pay dividends down the road.