Hello. This is the recently retired Sgt. David Sussman. While I was working with the Lakewood Police Department, I wrote safety articles for many years in one of the town’s direct mailers and occasionally for The Lakewood Scoop. I’ve been asked to continue to write for TLS in order to share stories/lessons from my 25+ years on the job. It is very nice to have an opportunity to stay in contact with the town that I spent 45 years living and working in.
We’ll start off easy and talk about something that I spoke about at my retirement ceremony and I know is still a daily issue with the officers on the street: Road closures.
Ladies and gentlemen, if there are cones across a road, a police car parked across the road, and/or a road closed sign in the road it means that the road (or at least one lane) are…..wait for it…….closed!! Often, because the road work is being done far from the intersection, there is a chance you can get to a house or business a few hundred feet down the road but if you want to talk to the officer, don’t just pull around the car/cones/sign and point wildly down the street. Pull your car to the side of the road, get out, walk up to the officer, and ask if you are able to go to such and such address safely.
Also, don’t assume that if you got through once, earlier in the day, that the work location hasn’t moved closer to the closure or that the officer will automatically remember you and your car.
The men and women in blue get a little frustrated when someone makes assumptions and goes through obvious signs of closure. Frustration leads to possible loss of patience and then no one ends up happy. I know that most of the officers try their best to be friendly and understanding and if the drivers do the same, everyone’s day ends up safer and happier.
If you have any subjects you’d like to see me address, please contact TLS and they will pass the info along to me. Thank you for your time.