I like Lynn police officers. I was driving along in west Lynn when I was stopped for going too fast. I was actually lost and spending so much time looking around trying to figure out just where I was that I didn't notice my speed. Luckily I was only 5 miles over the limit. Luckily the police officer noticed the glazed look in my eyes that signaled, yes, this man is indeed lost. I got a warning. The officer was professional courteous and gave me directions. I suppose I could have stopped earlier and asked for directions, but I'm a man, and we just don't do that sort of thing.
I've had many encounters with the police in my years, and I have to say 99% of the time I walk away feeling a great sense of respect for their profession. The other 1% I'm left wondering how such a rude and inconsiderate moron ever got into the force. It's difficult to stomach that 1%, but given some time the nasty impression vanishes. When the police are on your case it's a most unpleasant experience, but that's their job. It's what we as tax payers hire them to do. We ask them to keep us safe. To take a bullet - for us. They may spend 99% of time enforcing traffic and just walking around. There will be crimes that they just can't manage to solve. Might make one believe they're overpaid. But then there will be that one time: that one time when a police officer pulls your sorry drunk ass out of your burning car that you inconveniently wrapped around a light pole. It will impress upon you just how underpaid they really are. And, no, that did not happen to me.
So here's to the policeman outside the new Dunkin Donuts in Central Square this morning. I smiled at him. He returned a smile and a nod, sipping down some joe. A Norman Rockwell moment. Respect - it's earned.