The Richmond Register

Local News

January 28, 2013

Even routine traffic stops can hold hazards for police

Reporter gets new perspective from ride-along

RICHMOND — Journalists and police officers are never going to be best friends. That natural friction comes with the territory of being a crime and courts reporter, a beat I’ve covered at the Richmond Register for the past year.

However, we strive for a relationship of respect and understanding, and part of that for reporters is learning what police work actually entails. It’s one thing to read police reports, day in and day out, but to actually see what it’s like on the streets is a whole different reality.

I recently got the opportunity to accompany a Richmond patrol officer during his eight-hour shift. I elected to do the ride-along on a Friday, hoping that was a good night for some action.

When I arrived at the police department, I learned I was riding with Officer Paul Lay, who has been a patrol officer for about a year.

The RPD has split Richmond into four patrol quadrants, and Lay was assigned to cover the northwest corner of town during his shift.

From 3 p.m. to nearly 10 p.m., we cruised the streets of Richmond, and I learned several important lessons about police work and officers’ interactions with the community:

There are several wrong ways to react to a traffic stop.

During my ride-along, Lay pulled over a car that was traveling 41 mph in a 25 mph zone. After Lay activated his lights, the driver pulled over onto the left shoulder of the road, directly into the lane of oncoming traffic.

Lay immediately instructed the driver to pull into a nearby parking lot.

After talking to the driver and obtaining her information, Lay returned to the cruiser to write up the speeding ticket.

After about five minutes, the car’s passenger got out of the vehicle and started rummaging around in the back seat.

“What in the world is she doing?” Lay exclaimed. He quickly jumped out of his cruiser, and while standing behind his car door, he told the woman to get back in the vehicle. She said she was getting her cell phone out.

Based on all the police reports I’ve written over the years, my initial thought was the woman was trying to hide drugs. However, Lay said as a police officer, his first thought in that situation is someone is going for a gun. That’s why he stood behind his cruiser’s door.

He told me if things got hairy on the ride-along, I should duck under the dashboard.

That’s when it hit home that even a simple traffic stop can turn deadly. I know that police work is dangerous but seeing first-hand how unpredictable people are made me truly understand that fact.

Text Only
Local News
  • May 30 last school day for students

    After 16 snows days and two weather delays this winter, the Madison County School Board decided Thursday to end the school year on Friday, May 30.

    April 19, 2014

  • 4-19 TechExtra1.jpg Students showcase projects in Technology Extravaganza

    Madison County School students showed off just how tech savvy they can be during the district’s sixth annual Technology Extravaganza on Thursday at Madison Central High School. After the showcase, more than 350 students were honored for their work.

    April 19, 2014 7 Photos

  • 4-19 SchoolBoardJesseWard.jpg Ward honored for service; tech center named after him

    Retired Madison County educator Jesse Ward was recognized Thursday for his many years of service. To honor him, Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the board’s decision to rename the district’s technology training center on North Second Street in Richmond the Jesse P. Ward Technology and Training Center.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Brian Smith.jpg Berea man indicted on 24 child porn counts

    A Madison grand jury has indicted a Berea man on 24 counts related to child pornography.

    Brian J. Smith, 26, is charged with four counts of distribution and 20 counts of possession of matter portraying sexual performances by a minor.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Gregory Powell.jpg Police apprehend burglary suspect

    An observant witness was able to help Richmond police catch a burglary suspect shortly after a break-in Thursday afternoon on Savanna Drive off Berea Road.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18 PackTrack1a.jpg Walkers, runners of every age ‘Pack the Track’

    Waco Elementary and Model Laboratory schools students raised more than $8,000 (and counting) for the annual Pack the Track event at Eastern Kentucky University’s Tom Samuels Track Thursday, said Kim DeCoste of the Madison County Diabetes Coalition.

    April 18, 2014 14 Photos

  • 4-18 George WilliamsWEB.jpg Suicide attempt fatal for inmate

    A Todd County man died Tuesday at a Lexington hospital following a suicide attempt at the Madison County Detention Center, according to Madison and Fayette county officials.
    George Kenneth Williams, 50, of Allensville, was transported Monday afternoon by Madison County EMS to Baptist Health Richmond, according to EMS Director Jimmy Cornelison. He was then transferred to Baptist Health in Lexington where he died Tuesday, according to the Fayette County Coroner’s Office.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • CCDW instructor indicted on charges of failing to provide training

    A Madison County grand jury has indicted a carry-concealed weapons permit instructor on charges he falsely claimed to have provided instruction to one person for a CCDW permit and provided incomplete training to three others.
    Christopher D. Fins was indicted April 9 on one count of CCDW instructor not providing firearms training and three counts of providing incomplete firearms training.
    Fins faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of all four felony charges.

    April 17, 2014

  • EKU dorm sprinklers may have been activated maliciously

    Fire-suppression sprinklers went off about 2:30 a.m. Thursday in Eastern Kentucky University’s Martin Hall dormitory, prompting its evacuation.
    Fluctuating pressure then caused a campus water main to break, according to EKU spokesperson Mark Whitt.
    The cause is uncertain, but university officials are investigating to determine if the sprinklers were activated maliciously, Whitt said.
    The residence hall houses 260 students who were placed in other university housing or stayed with friends. All were able to move back in later in the day, he said.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sixth person charged in motel meth bust

    A sixth person has been charged in connection with a methamphetamine-making operation discovered last week at the Bel Air Motel in Richmond.
    Roger M. Million, 24, Moberly Road, was charged Wednesday with manufacturing methamphetamine.

    April 17, 2014

AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should the Richmond City Commission stop rezoning property to allow construction of apartments?

Yes.
No
     View Results