Good morning! I trust you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, and that you pondered the significance and importance of living a life of gratefulness.

Good morning! I trust you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, and that you pondered the significance and importance of living a life of gratefulness.
We had a great time with family and friends eating delicious food and just having a fun-filled day of activities with our kiddos (and a string of naps in between activities of course). Today’s column will highlight an interesting experience I had last Friday evening.
 
“All right let’s go,” came the voice of Neosho PD officer Tim Lewis as we climbed into the patrol car around 7:20 p.m. last Friday night and set out to watch over the city. Officer Lewis happens to be a former councilman in Neosho and is now the newest officer on the force. I mentioned that to one of the other officers at the station as we were preparing to leave, a grin appeared on her face as she said, “are you sure you want to do this?” I assured her that I was looking forward to it!

I wanted to give you all an inside perspective on my experience and what it’s like to be on the streets of Neosho in the realm of law enforcement. To really understand what someone goes thru in their job, you really must witness it firsthand. I’ve tried to do this with all the departments of the city. I’m still working on getting the time to finish them all, but I think it is extremely valuable for leadership to do so.

I learned a lot from those few hours in the patrol car. I quickly observed that officer Lewis had extensive training for doing his job by the way he executed each task. For being only the second night on duty by himself, I would never have known it unless I had been told. This speaks to excellence in the department and a focus on training. He informed me that they have sixteen weeks of training before they go out alone. The mentality of the officers on duty together as a team was interesting to me as well. Not only was it evident that teamwork was essential, but the overall mindset was that the goal was to keep people safe, even when it was a traffic stop and it was the person who had violated the law. Much thought was given to performing their duty with precision and proper protocol.

It was an eventful night but not too eventful. Routine traffic stops, checking a dropped 911 call, patrolling areas that are potential places of frequent crimes, a fender bender at the high school parking lot hangout, etc. The fender bender was because some kids thought it would be funny to prank someone by pushing their vehicle up against the other. But it turned out that there was a slight downhill grade and it got going faster than they anticipated. Oops!
 
Finally, keep in mind that these officers that are protecting us see and experience things every day that they carry with them when they clock out and go home to their families. So be in prayer for them, and most of all thank them when you have the opportunity to do so! Until next time, keep it classy and stay safe Neosho!
Ben Baker is the mayor of Neosho and writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.