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Stop the Violence

Domestic Disturbances:
My Ride A Long With Officer Robles
Author: Maria GarcŪa

It was a cold, windy Saturday morning in December. I 
was heading to the Watsonville Police Department to 
meet Officer Henry Robles. Officer Robles was giving 
me a tour of the Watsonville Police Department. When 
ten minutes into the tour he asked ďAre you ready to 
go on your ride along?Ē ďYes I am,Ē I said. 
A ride along is when you go with a police officer in 
his patrol car and ride with him for eight to ten 
hours to see what they do on a day-to-day basis. I 
went on a ride along because I am interested in 
pursing a career in law enforcement. I want to be a 
prosecuting attorney one day.
To participate in a ride along you have to be enrolled 
in the Police Departments Administration of Justice 
Class, or you can be a Junior Cadet, a club for youth 
who want to experience what itís like to be a police 
officer.  If youíre in the Administration of Justice 
Class, you can go on a ride once a year. If youíre a 
cadet you can go on a ride along as many times as you 
want as long as a police officers is available to take 
As I walked outside, I saw the patrol car. The outside 
was dirty from the dayís rain, which had muddied up 
the streets. I got in the car, and I saw all the cool 
stuff they have inside. Police cars have a computer 
through which the officers can talk to each other. 
Itís like chatting, but without all the chisme. The 
car has special buttons in between the passenger and 
driver seats when a ďcode threeĒ comes in over the 
Our first call was for a domestic disturbance. We left 
to the scene of the dispute. After the domestic 
disturbance was settled, we heard the dispatcher say 
that there was a possible homicide by the Pajaro 
Bridge. Officer Robles turned to me and said ďLetís 
Go!Ē When we got to the Pajaro Bridge it turned out to 
be an actual homicide.  When I heard this, adrenaline 
rushed through my veins. I didnít know what to do. I 
was in shock.
When I saw the dead body, I tripped out. I had never 
seen a dead body. I mean, Iíve seen a dead body in a 
funeral before, but not like this, not out on the 
streets. I saw a lot of people on the bridge wanting 
to look at the dead body and wondering what had 
happened. The police officers found a witness who said 
he saw the man drown,  then he changed his story. We 
received another call and we were back on the road.
After that, we drove around Freedom, and received a 
couple more calls. Officer Robles told me that he 
needed to write some reports on the arrests he made. I 
asked him to take me home. At 3:45 pm, I was outa 
there and in my house.
From my experience, I learned that Police officers 
actually do something every day. And itís not true 
what people say that they just sit in their patrol 
cars eating donuts or bagels. They are actually out in 
the community making a difference and securing the 
streets for us. So itís like the saying goes, donít 
judge a book by its cover until you actually read it. 
In other words donít judge anyone if you donít know 
them. I canít wait for my next ride a long.