As someone from the general public, it was a true eye opener of an experience to learn what peace officers do on a daily basis. Sure, we read about stories of officers risking their lives, or watch stories on the news about those that make the ultimate sacrifice for everyday citizens, like me.  This is mainly why I chose to do a ride along with Officer Joyner, with the Jefferson City Police Department.

It was a cloudy Saturday afternoon, and things seemed quiet in the station. Some officers were finishing typing reports and others on the phone with dispatch getting directions to the next call. Walking outside and getting into our patrol vehicle for the day was different for me, taking in the sight of all the patrol cars parked together.

We headed to the streets, my eyes wide open now, viewing things from a different perspective. I was being more observant than the usual drive in my car, when I’m usually focusing on everything else to be done that day.  Officer Joyner was helpful in answering my questions as they came to mind, trying to figure anything and everything about what he and other officers think, feel, hear, and see while on the job.  He told me about the city’s different patrol securities varying with the university in town, and the state capitol.

As the day went on, we had a few basic traffic stops for people who chose not to stop at a four way stop intersection, or to drive with expired tags. It was interesting observing what  happens when the officer comes back to the vehicle after collecting your license and registration.

I asked Officer Joyner about how he got into the business of being a daily hero, protecting the city and those within it. He shared that he became interested in criminal justice in college and his passion for it has grown stronger over the years. I found the stories of Officer Joyner’s previous undercover narcotic experience fascinating as well as a brief history recap he gave of the state petitionary located in Jefferson City.  Once we returned back at the station, we took a brief tour of the building. From the SWAT equipment and vehicles to the holding cells, it was a whole new world for me. I read about stories involving all of this daily, and now it puts everything in perspective.

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I wish everyone could have the experience that I did. Peace officers have one of the most dangerous and risky jobs, not knowing what the next day or hour could bring to them, unlike some of us who just report from a desk.  I could not have thanked Officer Joyner and the other officers enough for an amazing experience, along with extending my sincere gratitude for all the other peace officers out there.

California Casualty
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