Walking through a store downtown, I saw an employee engaged in a rather intense conversation with a uniformed police officer. The officer had a very stern expression, and as I began to walk by the two people, I heard the employee say, “…if I see her enter the store again, what should I do?” The officer was about to respond, when a 20-something-year-old young professional passed by. The young man did a brief double-take, then paused, smiled, said, “Hi mom!” and waved.
Instantly, the police officer ceased her stern demeanor. Her stare softened into a broad smile, and in a very sweet tone she responded, “Hi son!” She watched for half-a-second as the young man continued walking past, then turned back to the store employee, picked up her stern face right where she left it, and continued, “The next time the suspect approaches, you should….”
It was really cool for me to see this woman transition in and out of roles on the turn of a dime; and it was a great reminder to me that police officers are more than just the uniform – they’re people, too.