Work and Vocation Essay
The night was almost over. Ray Lopez and his field training officer (FTO) had just pulled into the police station’s parking garage. “Just as I was about to park, a half-dressed woman came running toward us, screaming her head off. Clearly, she had been a victim to a crime,” Lopez described as he recalled his last night in training. His FTO got out of the car to try and calm the woman down, but she did not stop screaming until a red Cadillac busted through the back gate. The tires came to a screeching halt and the smell of burnt rubber filled the garage. As soon as the man in the car saw that there were police present, he put it in reverse and fled the scene. “I knew that this was the guy who had harmed this woman the second he burst through the parking garage,” Lopez went on with the story, “Being an officer in training, I was not allowed to do anything without my FTO present or without consent from him, but my instincts just took over. Before I knew it, I was out on the streets going after him,” and the chase was on. His engine grew louder and louder and suddenly, he was going 80mph and saw nothing else except the red Cadillac in front of him. The man eventually crashed into a telephone poll and Lopez handcuffed him. When his FTO had arrived on scene, Lopez thought he was going to be in trouble, but his FTO was happy with his instincts even though he was not supposed to pursue any course of action. “I’ll never forget my first car chase,” Lopez said with a huge smile on his face, “As scary as it was, it gave me quite a rush. But hey, it’s all part of the job.”
Maenza, Nicole, "Behind the Badge (2012)" (2012). The Valpo Core Reader. 34.