Friday, March 02, 2012

Berkeley Police: Bad cop, Good cop!

Concerning various recent criticisms of the Berkeley Police Department regarding the tragic death of Peter Cukor recently, I would like to balance said critiques with a report of my own personal experience with Berkeley's Finest -- wherein an officer acted in a manner that was above and beyond the call of duty, the BPD at its very best.

On Ash Wednesday, I took my granddaughter Mena to St. Joseph the Worker church -- but Mena was having none of it and wanted to go play in the park with her friend Max instead of just receiving ashes. But I was determined. But Mena was even more determined than me. So I patiently sat on the front steps of St. Joseph's for over half an hour while she screamed bloody murder and kept trying to run away.

Now Mena is usually a really good kid, but apparently she was tired and hungry that day -- and totally determined not to go into the church. What to do? On the one hand, I wasn't about to leave without my ashes but, on the other hand, Mena wasn't about to relinquish her stance either.

I don't believe in spanking or yelling at children (threats never work in the long run anyway), yet young Mena was definitely not listening to reason and was even refusing really tempting bribes as well. We were at a stalemate. It was beginning to look like the O.K. corral.

But then along comes this tough Berkeley cop, wearing a gun, handcuffs and all, and she begins to completely and kindly talk my peace-disturbing granddaughter "down from the ledge". And within minutes, Mena and this wonderful police officer were happily discussing the merits of Dora the Explorer vs. those of the Cat in the Hat. Thank you officer! (And I also received my ashes too.)

As far as I'm concerned, this was the Berkeley Police Department's finest hour, its best-ever example of how Berkeley cops sincerely do try to "Protect and Serve".


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