On Thursday, April 13 I had the opportunity to go on my first police ride-along.
Captain J.T. Adams of the Madison Police Department allowed me to go on a four-hour patrol with him.
The patrol took place between the hours and of 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
This four-hour patrol is a specific patrol Adams and the other police officers of Madison are working on during the month of April. These patrols are focusing on distracted driving.
During the time I was out on patrol with Adams he stopped individuals who were talking and texting on their cell phones as well as those individuals who were not wearing a seatbelt.
The funding for this specific patrol comes from the Governors Highway Safety Program.
My rules for the four-hour patrol were simple; don’t get out of the vehicle when a stop is made and this made perfect sense to me.
However, at one stop I asked to get out of the vehicle so I could get a picture of Adams handing someone a ticket. I was given the okay to do this.
Adams drove throughout Madison making several stops handing out tickets and a warning ticket.
In the four-hour patrol he handed out approximately nine or more tickets.
Adams told me a ticket for no seatbelt is $25. He also went on to tell me using a cell phone whether it be talking or texting is a $100 fine for the first offense.
In my opinion there is no phone call or text that important. However, looking at the big picture my life or the life of another is not worth me taking the call from my phone.
From the passenger seat I asked questions on what each ticket was for and each time he would answer and explain even if I had further questions.
From my observations from the passenger seat Adams talked to each person he gave a ticket or warning to. The conversations were not heard by me; however it looked as if he were explaining things if the individual had questions.
Adams and so many others who wear the title as law enforcement are there to help when it is needed and to help make things safe.
To say I have a complete understanding of what law enforcement does would be an understatement. However, I now realize when they step into the cruiser during their shift on patrol it becomes their office.
They never know what the outcome of what seems like a typical traffic stop will be.
I hope as a reporter that I have the opportunity to do a monthly ride-along with the Madison Police Department so I will begin to have a better understanding of what their day to day job is like and be able to share with others.
I want to say thank you to the City of Madison and to Captain J.T. Adams for taking the time to help me with “On the job with law enforcement.”
Heather Kinder is a reporter for the Coal Valley News. She can be contacted at 304-307-3104, [email protected] or on Twitter @CVN_hkinder.