This is What Police are Doing in Anaheim, California

honda-center-of-anaheim

Our night was suppose to be fun and exciting. We went to Disney On Ice in Anaheim, California and saw Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy skating. Athena had anticipated going to the show for over a month, but our whole night changed when we had a run-in with a police officer at Subway Restaurant after the show.

Disney On Ice began at 7:30 pm at the Honda Center in Anaheim. We left Aliso Viejo in plenty of time to get there even though traffic was at a stand still for over 30 minutes. Athena was getting irritated in the car because we weren’t moving and she was already tired.

Disney On Ice - Honda Center

We finally made our way to our seats after yet another freak out session by Athena because she couldn’t buy any of the toys that were being sold at the entrance of the Honda Center. Once we were in our seats, Athena’s whining continued because I wouldn’t let her have both cotton candy and popcorn after she’d already had a salted pretzel. The evening wasn’t going as planned.

UnBirthday Disney On Ice

At last, the show was about to begin. Athena settled in her seat and her attitude completely changed. She was smiling and laughing as Mickey and Minnie made their way onto the ice. She stood up and danced when Pluto and the gang skated around for the Unbirthday Celebration and all was well again. This is exactly what we had hoped for.

Disney On Ice – Let’s Celebrate explores the holidays including Halloween, which was the third major scene. With all of the Disney villains, like Cruella Deville, skating to scary music, Athena was petrified. She climbed up on my lap and said, “I’m scared. I don’t like it. I want to go home.” The long anticipated Disney On Ice just wasn’t our thing at this age. I’m certain in another year she’ll be begging me to go again but it didn’t work out for us this time. At intermission, we left.

I convinced Athena to go to Subway in Anaheim before the drive home. We ordered our food and sat in our seats. We were the only patrons in the restaurant when I noticed a police offer enter the door. Like always, I smiled at him. I know that there are both good and bad police officers out there, like there are good and bad people in all walks of life, but if something goes wrong, they are the first people I want at my side. I respect that they are willing to put their lives on the line for us and I feel safer in their presence.

Athena looked up and saw him too. She said, “Look, Mommy, there’s a police officer. He’s so cool.” I smirked at her and asked her not to yell. She continued, “Hi, Police Officer. I like your car.”

He turned to us and said, “Really? Do you want to see it? Is that ok, Mom?”

Athena in a Police Car in Anaheim

Excitedly, we followed him out to his car. It was dark and no one was around, but we were with a police officer. We were safe. He opened the door and let her get in the seat. Allowing her to push the buttons and turn on the lights and siren, she was more happy that she’d been all day. He talked to her and explained all of the gadgets in the car. She listened respectfully and only touched the things she was told she could touch. Maybe not in the traditional sense, but he had saved our night.

Back inside, I offered to pay for his meal as a thank you, but he wouldn’t allow it. He said he was glad that she was so wowed by police officers and their cool cars. She talked about it the entire drive home.

The backbone of our nation, and the reason I sleep soundly at night, are those in law enforcement and emergency services. Our heroes should be those who risk their lives every day to protect our world and make it a better place. As I watched the way Athena interacted with this police officer in Anaheim, I realized she got it right. At only two and a half years old, she knows who to look up to.

***I mean no disrespect to those who have lost a child, a spouse, a parent, or any other family member because of police brutality. I realize there are bad police officers who take advantage of their position, but I would never wish the life of a police officer or a police officer’s family member on my family. Now more than ever, we need to support our officers. Who would we have replace them?***

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71 thoughts on “This is What Police are Doing in Anaheim, California

  1. I’m with you, if I’m ever in trouble I want to have a “uniformed presence” at my side or on my side whether it be a police office, a fire fighter or military personnel. I’m glad Athena was able to have a good encounter so in the future we will not hesitate of call on an officer if she is in need.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So very much needed – one nice a positive story! Thank you!!! I have lived in a country where we were harassed by police, afraid of it because they had the absolute power over us working for the communist regime. I have the biggest respect for US police, never had one problem with them, always respectful and very professional, when they approach. Glad your girl likes them too!

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    • I actually haven’t had much interaction with police officers throughout my life. I’ve never even had a speeding ticket or a serious enough accident to warrant an officer, but I find comfort in being able to dial 911 and know that someone will answer on the other end.

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  3. this is, to the letter, what privilege looks like. as you feel safe around cops (and are encouraging your daughter to feel the same), the world is mourning the murders of eric garner, oscar grant, eleanor bumpers, amadou diallo, tamir rice, kelly thomas, james chasse and countless others- people who did not have the privilege to ‘feel safe’ in the presence of their murderers… not to name the numbers of people who were intimidated, arrested, beaten and attacked for simply using what is said to be a ‘constitutional right’ to film officers. to not even consider in your analysis that certain communities historically have never felt safe around cops is flat out privilege.

    if there’s a such thing as a ‘good cop’, why is it that these ‘good’ cops are not out there protesting/organizing with the rest of us recognizing this injustice? why are they not saying, ‘we will not do our jobs until those we work with stop senselessly murdering innocent and unarmed people’… ‘we are going to do a mass walkout until our training stops requiring us to target and dehumanize specific communities’? of COURSE that isn’t going to happen; the system is not set up that way. there have been cops (such as frank serpico) who broke through that ‘blue code of silence’, and paid dearly for that… so much, that he had to leave the u.s., because he was targeted (and shot). no ‘good cop’ would consciously remain silent, protecting those who supposedly make their profession ‘look bad’.

    there have been plenty of kids who looked up to cops (because their parents said they were okay to trust), who were murdered by the very organization they looked up to. imagine the parents of those very children reading this piece. if the biggest problem you have is your young child crying because of cruella deville; if you don’t have to worry about whether or not your child is going to come back from practice without being stopped and frisked, tasered, or worse, murdered; that is privilege. if you’re not worrying about your child being caught in the ‘wrong neighborhood’ with a car that is obviously too nice to actually be theirs- that is privilege. if you don’t have to worry about being kicked in the stomach and have your partner assaulted because you live in a box- that is privilege. if you’ve never been ridiculed by cops when reporting the sexual assault that just happened to you- that is privilege.

    it is amazing, as much traveling as you’ve done around the world, i’ve never read a post from you where observe ANY signs of injustice done to people- by police, by governments, etc. the point of traveling is to be amongst the people, and not just be a visitor. perhaps you have, but your privilege allows you to avert your eyes to it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jamilah,

      I appreciate your response; truly, I do. And for anyone who is mourning the loss of someone in their life, my heart aches for you. My grandparents lost two of their children at young ages and I still see their hurt and suffering more than 30 years later. If I could take that pain away, I would do anything to make it happen. Similarly, if someone ever hurt Athena, I would stop at nothing to make sure they suffered. I wouldn’t show forgiveness.

      If I am privileged because none of the things you mentioned have happened to me firsthand, than I am privileged but please don’t assume that my biggest problem in life is my daughter crying because of Curella Deville. And, even more importantly, people don’t assume that all police officers are horrible, power hungry people.

      I do want to bring my child up in a world where she looks up to police officers, fire fighters, and others in emergency services. Would you have no one in that role? Can you see what is happening when all officers are prohibited from doing their jobs? Would you prefer to live in a lawless society?

      I wish you well and encourage you to continue commenting and sharing your ideas.

      Lesley

      Liked by 1 person

      • to answer your question, i would prefer to live in a society where COMMUNITY protects each other, not an organization paid to protect landowners and property. the u.s. supreme court voted (in 2005) that the police have no ‘constitutional right’ to protect the people. and within the past year, the supreme court (under people’s beloved obama) voted that police can stop and detain someone under ignorance of the law they are stopping someone for. the POLICE do not have to know the law they are stopping you for. and when YOU know the law (and decide to speak up), they attack you.

        we are conditioned to think that it is only cops (or government) who are there to protect us, when historically, they do not. the policing system is an extension of the slave patrols. why do you think, if there’s no cops, that there will be a ‘lawless society’? if you look at what happened in ferguson as of late, the less cops there were, the less ‘crime’ there was.

        i support a society where there is COLLECTIVE responsibilty, where neighbors know each other, and if there IS a supposed crime going on, the community assures that ‘crime’ no longer occurs. all you have to do is look at the panthers. this actually happened. when they were at their strongest point, they lived in communities where the people were fed, people had medical care, there were no drug dealers, or cops. and crime was minimal.

        and what happened? the government infiltrated them.

        in terms of ‘crime’? why do you think that exists? it comes down to protection of property. it comes down to ownership of resources. if every person in society had equal ownership of resources, you’d see less crime (and less destruction of ‘property’). the crime we see exists because capitalism perpetuates its existance. people steal things for status, in order to maintain their habits, or to protect someone else. the cycle continues when people get arrested and are held in these private prisons. it’s important to remember that the 14th amendment does not protect those in prison… they are still slaves, who have no rights. now observe this and see why the private prison market is growing, and why police are assigned to pay attention to numbers/quotas when arresting and giving tickets.

        the people who don’t have actual ownership of resources or land who usually steal or kill, and are held in pens (prisons)- we see them as blights on society. think about why people do what they do for a moment. the ones who steal or colonize the major resources (such as land/water/coltan/etc.) are the ones we DON’T see as criminals. the ones who steal tax dollars to murder innocent people overseas through drones and bombs tend not to be seen as the real criminals. we are conditioned to see each other as enemies instead of collectively organizing.

        think about why the numbers of murders and other crimes have grown, and there’s no reported connection between the growing amounts of psychotropic drug use and economic disparities. think about the connection between who’s funding these pharmaceutical companies, the media organizations and the wars. they are all connected. think about how there’s NYPD offices in israel, and the targeting of muslims in NYC.

        people look at what i am saying and think this is crazy, or this is just a simple anti-cop rhetoric. any look at history wilol tell you what is going on now is history repeating itself. the cops are simply the overseers- we have to look at who is running them.

        and yes, as an european, you historically have been protected by the overseers (aka the police). historically, people of non-european descent have not. and of course, the history still plays out to this very day. in the present time though, the overseers are attacking even those of european descent who openly descided to speak out. so NO ONE is protected, if you don’t own resources.

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    • You really don’t know about oversea work so don’t call them drones of innocent murders. Don’t call the military murderers if you know nothing about them and don’t tell me Panthers are so cool. No drug dealing that is not heard of. Don’t be a whiner. Most of those cities, tell me who does the drugs?. who is stuck in their world and wishes for everyone to change but they won’t .Who blames the everyone for their problems? Protesting for a kid who was attacking cops is not the right thing to believe and the chanting for innocent cops to be killed is evil that is a criminal ..mind .Ya protest your voice is ok but hurting others goes to far. That crosses the line. I felt sorry for when some had died because the people wouldn’t let the ambulance in .Go ahead and waste your time with your hated for that is all you shall be.

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  4. Hi, Lesley: I’m glad I made it through this whole post- as the title had me thinking “Don’t tell me SHE’S gonna go off on the cops, too”. Your first paragraph followed along, though- as you mentioned how Athena had looked forward to the Disney thing, but gave the impression all was great until a cop came along and messed up your life or something.

    As I said, though, I’m glad I read on to the end to see both your and her respect for the police- 99% of whom are great folks. We must never forget as you indicated that they keep us safe as we sleep- and they’re the ones who run toward what others run from…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Poor Mommy 😉 Some plans work out while others are a flop. We’re still having the best time together.

      Happy holidays. I hope they are filled with joy and laughter. You have become like a family member over the last couple years. I truly appreciate you 🙂

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      • Thank you, Lesley. That’s the highest compliment anyone can receive. Glad you are all still enjoying your time together.
        May your Christmas be joyful and the New year healthy, happy and prosperous. ❤ ❤ ❤ A heart for each of you.

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  5. Good story!

    And to Jamilah…

    This is not my blog and everyone has an idea on what they want from their site. Some just want it to be a light travel blog with some personal insight and others want it to be something more. She was nice enough to hit the post button and gave you a voice.

    People such as your boss and the police are employees. They chose to sign up for a job. A police officer is a person working a job and for most of us at work; we want an easy day. If they took off their uniform and protested with you…you would not know. They would be like any other citizen.

    You seem to be just as one sided as what you believe the police to be with your comments are if there are good cops. People are not cartoon characters. Everyone is not 100% evil or 100% good. In my city we actually have black cops! Isn’t that crazy! I even saw black attorneys and judges at the court house. All doing a job they chose. Enforcing the law…all people just like you and I.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Thank you for sharing this. I realize that there are a few bad police officers that seems to always make the news, and that makes it rough for the Good ones. I work with our local police and I see first hand all the good things they do, and are never acknowledge for it by the local media. Have a blessed and Merry Christmas from Texas. Jim

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      • I volunteer in what is called the Handicap Patrol. We have 16 different people who go out in pairs. We are sworn in by a judge then we go out in a specially marked patrol car. When we find a car parked in a handy cap spot and it does not have ether handy cap license plates or a HC placard hanging from the rear few mirror then we write a parking ticket which runs around $500.00.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Nope. That’s what everyone expects, but it’s important to recognize the good in people as well. Even though it’s a complicated subject, I wanted to share my experience too. I know our country is hurting right now, but there are always two sides to every story.

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  7. I’m so glad that this story turned out the way it did, I was fully expecting another bad-cop situation, which seem to be the norm lately, I think Athena will now have a long-term respect for the police after this officer took that time and sowed the seed of what good community service is all about. “To Protect and To Serve”..

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  8. I think it’s cool your daughter’s name is Athena. If one wishes to invoke the presence of ancient Greek thought, gray-eyed Athena is cream of the crop.

    My sister was a campus police officer for several years, and my sister-in-law currently serves as an officer in a suburb not too far from where we live. I know they both entered the profession with the best of intentions and have been using their power to serve civilians.

    At the same time, jamilah is right, this is a story of privilege. And I, halfway across my country from the location where this touching story took place, am privileged too.

    I think the best thing to do is acknowledge privilege, work for social and economic justice, and not give blanket support OR blanket disapproval to any profession. Acknowledge that people in positions of power are just that – people first, capable of working good or evil, and that while power magnifies the ramifications of those works, it does not inherently make them more good or more evil. Until the day comes that all people are both able and willing to take up the awesome responsibility of caring for themselves, police officers will be necessary as a social force. It gets tricky, though, because on a psychological level, people don’t want to become obsolete.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I want to thank you for this post, not only for writing it, which in and of itself is a great thing, because it helps strengthen the idea that not all police officers- or even MOST police officers are the guys you see on TV with an inflated sense of entitlement. Those guys DO exist, but damn it, they’re NOT the microcosm of law enforcement that some would like to believe.
    I also want to thank you for your own actions regarding your daughter and the police officer. I wish I could tell you how many times I’ve heard a parent say something to the effect of “Look, there’s a police officer. If you’re not good, he’ll arrest you!” – Instead of encouraging positive interaction with law enforcement. Far too many people are instilling fear in their children from early on, so that when their first encounter with the police happens, it doesn’t go well because they’re scared and act rashly, and the house of cards tumbles down from there.
    Allowing your daughter to interact with the police officer in such a manner as you did will serve her well in the long run. Believe me when I tell you that the vast, overwhelming majority of police officers really enjoy interacting with the kids they meet. All kids. No matter their background, age, race, creed, or preference for ice cream flavors. We know that fostering a solid, trust-based relationship with children is the best way to create sturdy relationships later on when they’re adults. Parents who use the police as a tool of fear and leverage to control their kids are causing more problems than the police themselves. So, again, thank you. on two levels. You’re doing it right.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was a school teacher for 8 years. I understand that certain careers have a bad reputation, but that doesn’t make everyone in the career bad. Not to sound self-centered, but I was a great teacher and cared dearly for my students and their education.

      Happy Holidays,

      Lesley

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    • Thanks! I worried when I hit send. This could have gone very differently, but I appreciate the comments and the respectful way most of them have been delivered.

      Happy Holidays to you and your family. I hope they are filled with joy and good company 🙂

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  10. I appreciated the article on many levels. I am not a police officer but I do have some insight into what their life is like. It is hard to stare at the dark side all day without being affected. It is why, after starting out in criminology, and even being accepted by LAPD after the Marines, I elected not to. So I became a follower. I got here because you started following my blog, but that probably came from the magazine side.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Brilliant post. Very true, you get the best and the worst people in every trade. I was once aspiring to join the police in France to work in the crimes on children unit, this officer you met demonstrates what police should really be: law enforcement but most important, civic mediation, amiability, coolness and the ability to make peoples’ lives better whatever the way.

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  12. It is very uplifting to me to hear a positive story about our police officers these days. Isn’t it funny how kids sometimes love those types of experiences even more than the big spectacles? It reminds of kids who get toys and then play with the boxes.

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  13. Well said, Lesley, in every respect which I agree with.
    I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas! (by the way, I grew up in Anaheim and therefore, became a Disney fanatic; still am to this day!) 🙂

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  14. Thank you for this. I’m a paramedic and work in public safety. I work with police officers quite often–we depend on them to go into all sorts of bad situations before us all the time. Our ‘blue canaries’ so to speak. But they do it willingly…domestic violence calls, drug overdose calls, any kind of call that may involve a weapon…we always stage away until they clear the scene for us. We don’t have a way to defend ourselves and they barely do as the public is learning. They sometimes make mistakes because they must be constantly vigilant to possible violence towards them or someone else. They see the worse side of humans much of the time…and admittedly this can make one jaded. But they, for 99% of the them, serve and protect and keep the order in a totally crazy world. One that is becoming more and more violent and filled with people that are under the influence of mind altering substances. It’s scary. I’m so glad to see there is still some understanding, respect and even joy when around one of our ‘officers in blue’.

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  15. I really like when police take the time to do “community outreach.” At college one of the university police officers offered to let a bunch of kids tour his car, showing them all the tools that he might need in certain cases and talking about his job. It humanizes a group of people that is usually just seen as a uniform, and now I have a face I can recognize in the campus police force instead of thinking of them as antagonists.

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  16. Thanks for such a great story. Having been an RN for so long, I met the good and bad side of a lot of people. Some are locked into a stereotype and have no way out. It’s good to share what good police officers are doing. My thanks to all police officers.

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  17. It’s always good to hear positive stories involving law enforcement. Unfortunately, I think that our current enforcement culture is warped and many officers choose to take advantage of their liberties and capabilities, but that doesn’t mean that we have to demonize them individually. I’m personally horrified by current cases in the media, particularly in the realm of race relations and issues, but I passionately agree with Jon Stewart’s statement: “You can truly grieve for every officer who’s been lost in the line of duty in this country, and still be troubled by cases of police overreach. Those two ideas are not mutually exclusive. You can have great regard for law enforcement and still want them to be held to high standards.” Police conduct could be vastly improved, but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate the role they play in our community. I think it’s wonderful that your daughter had such a positive experience and I hope that other encounters will have the same overtones.

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  18. It was nice to hear a positive ‘cop story’ since so many have been bad lately. There are days I don’t even want to listen to the news because I’m just tired of all the sadness and mayhem flooding our country and the world in general. Although I can’t say I’m surprised since the Bible foretold of these things as a sign that Jesus is coming soon.

    Nevertheless, we still have to make the best of the time we do have left so I’m glad you and your munchkin had a positive experience. I too have tried to instill in my little one to have respect for the law and for persons in authority because her perspective of cops and firefighters etc is still one of awe and amazement. But my message is slightly different to my older kids:

    “Stay out of trouble, act like the intelligent boys I know you are and don’t give the police a reason to look in your direction or profile you wrongfully. Fix your hair, wear your pants right, avoid certain areas, and associate with friends who will lift you up and not pull you down “.

    With everything happening and as much as I know not all cops are bad, I can’t help but have a knot in my stomach because I know the bad ones are still mixed in and even if we’ve been lucky/blessed so far to not encounter them, we may not always be so lucky. Therefore, as a parent, I’m being proactive by encouraging my kids to aspire to a higher authority, God Almighty, and all else should fall into place accordingly: their thoughts, their actions, their quality of friends, their Future!

    For fellow persons of color:
    Our skin color or locale may not allow us the privilege others may have, and though that can be frustrating, we can survive, thrive and rise above the negativity if we aspire to the ideals of God, not man.

    Teach our kids to respect each other so that will carry into adulthood. I’m appalled and saddened by the names and terms I’ve heard (some) persons of color call each other. Why would someone else respect us if we have no respect for ourselves? Those words and terms are not used in my house and the sooner we start making these little but important changes the better our society would be.

    Be the change you wish to see in the world.

    Wishing you and yours:

    Merry Christmas

    Happy Holidays

    I

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  19. Thank you for sharing such a heart warming story and bringing attention to the good our police officers do. Watching the news and the way the media has depicted them you’d think there are no good officers out there. I’m like you, I have great respect for them and I know the dangers they face, my husband was a marshal.

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  20. HI Sorry for your little ones scare and Thank you for a nice post . Just tired of hearing media and the bad cop thing. It would die down if they stop talking of the protest I agree there is good cops and bad. Don’t worry about that one poster Jimlah or how ever she spells her name she can see and her mind is closed. That spoke person didn’t help much and killing cops just for whatever reasons is sick. .anyways Thank you for this post .Hope you had a nice New Year!

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  21. Sorry for that last post I got a little mad don’t think the military kills people because we don’t .I know plenty .Hope all is well. and keep teaching you child the right way. There is good and bad in everyone not just cops. Till then.

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