Sunday, September 26, 2004

A long day on the Western Front

The day started as any day lately. 8 o'clock in the morning I have called myself into service. I checked some things at the office this morning, talked to Boss Lady and headed into the park for patrol. Each day I mix it up by stopping different places and patrolling different areas each time.

So I head into the park and I am not even 4 miles in when I nab my first vehicle doing 59 MPH. Posted speed limit is 45 MPH. I pulled him over in a place I don't like to, a parking lot, which a zillion people are milling around and wanting to ask you questions. I made it quick by just running his information and handing his stuff back. I told him to please slow down and have a nice day. As I started to leave, he asked me if I had given him a ticket. I said no. He said God Bless You. What I wanted to say was "No, God Bless You, huh?"

I continued on through the park checking various areas, counting cars, running moving radar, etc. At approximately 930, I received the first call from the entrance station. Now, first let me tell you that the fee people were banking on me going into town for gas so I could pick them up lunch. I was stopped at 8 this morning for that request. Of course, I was asked to head to the big city for Krispy Kremes, but I think I would be missed for two hours. Anyway, so Big Bear calls and says there is a roll over accident up the road. I am at mile 18, accident is at mile 4. I called Boss Lady and asked her to respond considering my distance. I flicked on the lights and headed that way. He drove in the ditch, over corrected, and then rolled it. Uninjured. Neither one of us had to do the report as the sheriff arrived to take over for us. We dealt with traffic though. And once again I am baffled that people don't respond to lights and sirens.

I finally made it into town, but was too late to get lunch for the fee people so I got lunch for myself, Boss Lady, and Resuscitation Annie. It was RA's first time ever eating at Wendy's. What a shame! So I finish up lunch and head back into the park because there were some places I didn't patrol earlier. I was at about the location of the accident when the fee people called again. This time it was a compliant from visitors that other visitors had carved their names and other stuff in the rocks. We don't take that lightly and it is one of my biggest pet peeves of all the violations we have. Within minutes of receiving the description of the vehicle, it passed my location. I executed a stop on the vehicle in another parking lot. They denied the instance of course and so I requested further information from the compliant. In the meantime I asked for the driver's license and registration.

I called in the driver's information to the SO. A few minutes later the SO called back. 10-84 (it means are visitors present). It also means things might start to get a little hectic. Means there is a hit on the wants and warrants. It means just in case start another unit rolling your way. It means this isn't just a normal traffic stop. I won't go further into the whole thing which I know all of you would like to read, but like Jack always says some things can't be discussed. I will say that the vehicle left our park with 3 tickets in the amount of $905. I will say I work with a great group of people and people outside our park as well because I had backup coming even though I didn't request it right off the bat. They were rolling my way unknown to me initially. NOTE: People please don't approach an officer during a traffic stop or if they appear to be in the middle of something. It just intensifies the siuation for us. Opie and I were discussing some thing at my vehicle, when I felt the presence of someone standing too damn near to my gun. I whipped around to a visitor getting their photo taken by us. They were foreigners, but I have had the same thing happen with Americans as well. Give us time, we will deal with you. And definitely if we are on a traffic stop, don't stop. (THANKS!)

We cleared the area and I went down to the office to cool off and write my probable cause statement on my citation. Boss Lady wrote the other two citations. At 430, my scheduled time off, another park in our group, was heard to be having a diabetic in distress on one of their trails. It is a 45 minute drive from our park. At approximately 515, 3 of us headed towards the other park. We had just turned onto their road when we were told to 10-22 (disregard). We turned around and headed back to our park.

About that time, the visitor's center called patrol, who was now Boss Lady, and said the park had a dumpster fire at the campground. Some hot ashes caught the trash on fire. We arrived back at the park just as the third engine was rolling up the entrance road. Opie and I jumped out as Preacher went up to assist with traffic control at the entrance.

After putting away my vehicle and finishing up my citation statement, I got the hell out of the park for I was afraid if I stuck around more shit might hit the fan. I can't wait for tomorrow when I get to hike the 3 miles to take photos of the rock defacing.

Yesterday was much better:

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