by Scott Creighton
After writing my latest article about Malala, I was finally able to take my dog Church outside for a short little walk. He’d been begging me to go out while writing and he obviously really needed the relief.
So we go out and it’s just starting to get a little dark down here in Tampa and we usually only go out in the front yard for a bit then off to the back yard for him to do his important business. And I notice up the street a little way, something that looks like a lump on the sidewalk in front of a wheelchair parked next to a dumpster.
My eyes aren’t what they used to be and I couldn’t figure out what it was. Turns out after a closer examination, it was a man lying on the sidewalk.
He wasn’t moving. I tried saying something to him and he didn’t respond. Didn’t move a muscle.
I was without my cell phone so I returned with Church back to the house and called 911.
After a few minutes explaining that I didn’t know if it was an emergency or not, they put me in touch with Fire and Rescue and I explained to them what I saw. They asked if he was breathing and I told them I couldn’t tell but he still hadn’t moved an inch since I first saw him.
Less than 5 minutes later a rescue truck pulled up accompanied by two officers from Tampa PD.
I don’t know exactly what happened. Whether the man was intoxicated or in distress.
I do know they talked with him and established something was wrong because they stayed with him for 30 minutes or so until an ambulance arrived on the scene at which time they helped the man onto a gurney, gathered his belongings for him and loaded him carefully into the vehicle.
At no time did they seem belligerent toward him or treat him with anything other than respect. At least not that I could tell.
I stayed in my home, not wanting to get involved in someone else’s business anymore than I already had, but from what I could see, they treated him well and were taking him to get some form of help.
In these times when everyone is writing about one mishap after another involving police and civilians, I thought it might be nice to remember 9 times out of 10 the police across this country do their jobs and do them well, with courtesy, respect and professionalism.
I don’t know what will happen to the guy but I know for a fact he’s better off going to the hospital than he was lying on a sidewalk next to a dumpster. What kinda shocks me is he seems to have been there for a little while and I was the first to call someone to check on him.
It’s nice to remember these days that for most police professionals out there, “to protect and serve” is more than just a slogan, it’s a mission statement. I’m not saying there aren’t those out there that don’t see it that way. I’m just saying there are clearly many who do.
The fire and rescue team and the cops who responded to that call this evening helped that man out. They literally picked him out of the gutter and got him the help he needed, whatever that might be.
Anyway, thought you might like to know.