Recently I participated in a large outdoor book festival put on by the Visalia Library with lots of help from Leadership Visalia. It was their first annual and one of the best organized of these events I’ve attended. Besides many authors and other vendors, lots and lots of people came and it’s one of these people I want to talk about.
Near the end of the event, a young man came up to my table and looked over my books. “I see you write a lot about law enforcement.”
I launched into my usual spiel about my son-in-law being a police officer who came to our house after his shift to tell me about his adventures. I added that he took me on a ride-along, and when I moved to Springville, I also went on a ride-along with a female officer in the town of Porterville.
He asked, “Do you remember the name of the officer?”
I didn’t and he told me the name of his aunt who had been the first female office in Porterville. And it was the lady cop I did the ride-along with! I told him how great she was, she let me follow her around on every call she made, including all the bar checks. The only time she told me to stay in the car was for a domestic dispute. Her sergeant came to check on her and only listened at the door of the house.
He came back and told me that she was the best at calming volatile situations—which she did this time too.
The young man was pleased to hear all this about his aunt.
I also told him that from 3 a.m until 6, she didn’t get any other calls and as we patrolled the streets of the city, she told me all about being a single mom and the only female in the department. Through the years I’ve used so much of what she said in both my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series and my Rocky Bluff P.D. series. He promised to let her know how valuable her information had been to me.
I did sell a lot of books at the festival, but this was definitely the highlight of the day.