It has been a while since I have put my thoughts down in words. I have fallen in love with photography and videography; the 550D that STA Travel has generously supplied me with has been a major contributing factor. It is definitely time for a good old blog post.
I have had a rather eventful couple of weeks. There is a great variety of things to do in Washington D.C. The key is to do something new every day-off from work and most importantly meet the locals! As with any travel experience I have found that the locals unlock a world of opportunity.
I was recently invited to participate in a Police Patrol ride-along. I jumped at the opportunity and headed out to Fifth District with a college student from D.C. The area we visited reminded me of Mitchell’s Plain, Western Cape.
The patrol itself was an eye opening experience. It is an organised program that any member of the public can sign up for. It involves performing a routine patrol route with two policemen. Officers’ Love and Henry were kind enough to take us out that evening.
Whilst out on patrol one is constantly reminded of how close D.C. central is to ‘the hood’, thanks to the towering National Monument seen in the near distance. Two polar opposite areas are separated by no more than a dozen blocks.
The D.C. police force is an impressive unit. The South African Police Department could certainly learn a thing or two from these guys. Each patrol vehicle is fitted with a laptop and internet connection that allows for instant search and checks on license disks and detailed information of people in question. Feedback and report filing is then immediately made and sent to the Police Department for analysis.
No arrests were made during our patrol but we followed up on two house calls. The first involving a missing person incident that was quickly resolved and the second involving a drunken man whom had kicked down his own front door for no clear reason. After the house calls we attended to a flurry of alcohol related incidents. Most of these incidents ended up with the perpetrator heading off in an ambulance to the local clinic.
I walked away from the Police Patrol stocked up on adrenaline and with a new perspective of D.C. It was great to break away from my comfort zone and do something completely new and different. I highly recommend this experience.