1. You do not need to tell us-“I didn’t do it.” We probably don’t think that you did do it. We probably don’t know what “it” is. We assume most people we run into during the average day didn’t do it, and neither did their friends.
2. Do not point at your friend and say-“He/She did it.” It was funny the first 389 times. Actually only about 4 times, but we are all about fairness.
You might not know that we have heard it before. Most of us will still smile.
3. Do not tell your children that we are going to arrest them if they don’t behave. Don’t. Do. That. We are not going to arrest them if they are not behaving. We are not going to scare them for you. We just don’t do that.
Kids have enough to worry about without thinking that each time they see a police officer they are going to be arrested. We don’t arrest kids. You are going to need to work on your parenting skills if this is one of your strategies. Stop it.
4. If you are drunk, you do not need to tell us you are drunk. We can usually tell. Just don’t drive a motor vehicle.
Otherwise, enjoy your altered state of mind. We don’t mind.
5. If you are not drunk, you don’t need to tell us that either. We know that people consume alcoholic beverages in many settings.
Most people who are drinking for the pleasure of having a drink are not drunk.
6. Don’t feel you need to tell us that you did not speed today. You don’t need to tell us the last time you got pulled over, or even if you never had a summons. We appreciate the way most folks drive. We are not thinking that you are a bad person when we show up in the fast food line with you. We think you are hungry. It’s all good. We’re hungry too.
We do not hold poor motor vehicle records against you while you are buying a burger. We know you will do better right after lunch.
7. Things we do like to hear are listed below-
“How are you today?”
“Could you give me directions to_______?”
“How ’bout those Sox, Patriots, Celtics, actors in this year’s Penobscot Theatre production of Beauty and the Beast?”
“Could you help me get to my car? It’s slippery and I am not doing well today.”
“Are you going to eat all those fries?”
“You are not wearing too much Old Spice today.”
Just some pro-tips to let you know that we are not suspicious of everyone we run into. We are not. Sometimes we are walking through public settings because we were called there for a problem. Sometimes we are there for other reasons. We enjoy talking to all kinds of folks. Please don’t assume we assume that you are bad person, a criminal, a fugitive from justice, or that you are a bad driver. We are just like you. True story.
A couple of weeks ago, we collected a truckload of gifts for nine local communities. I have to say it was awesome to meet everyone who stopped by our prisoner transport wagon parked at Walmart.
We did decorate with some Christmas lights and duct tape, but it was all of you who made it worthwhile.
Those gifts will be distributed throughout our area by our partners at the Salvation Army.
From Chief Mark Hathaway, Sgt. Wade Betters, Melody (Queen of the Front Desk) Blake and ol’ TC, we say thank-you very, very, very much.
Now, my favorite photo of the day. These two little rascals brought us toys and a couple of fantastic smiles and they let me in the photo.
To Paige and Simon, and to all the kids who stopped by, you are awesome.
I wanted to take off my elf hat for the photo but the kids demanded I leave it on. I know who is in charge!
Thank you to all.
Keep your hands to yourself, leave other people’s things alone, and be kind to one another.
We will be here. All we have is each other.
The Bangor Police Department’s Duck of Justice is published in BDN Maine Weekly on Thursdays. This installment is for Dec. 7.