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Police and Fire Ride-along

On March 5, 2024, I had the privilege of participating in a Police Ride-along, accompanying Officer Manns during her shift from 8 pm to 11 pm. The experience was truly eye-opening! Throughout the evening, Officer Manns exhibited exceptional professionalism and kindness in every interaction.

From addressing a backpack theft at Bellevue Mall to handling traffic violations, a verbal altercation at Mary's Place, and managing a construction trespassing incident, Officer Manns approached each situation with grace and care. She tirelessly checked license plates, particularly focusing on Honda vehicles targeted for theft recently. Additionally, she diligently completed detailed reports for each incident.

What stood out the most was Officer Manns' genuine compassion and understanding toward the people she encountered. She possesses a remarkable ability to make individuals feel safer and more at ease after speaking with her. Her belief in brightening people's days, even during their toughest moments, is truly inspiring. She once expressed, 'Most of the time, we deal with the community on their worst days, so it's our job to make them feel better.' She also mentioned her compassion towards people facing expensive ticket prices, often opting to give warnings when appropriate.

Officer Manns' dedication to her job is evident in her interactions. She greets everyone with a warm smile and ensures their comfort. Her enthusiasm for her work is contagious and reflects the positive culture within the police department.

I believe Officer Manns embodies the values of our entire police department. The department's efforts in hiring, training, and fostering such a supportive culture are commendable. I am grateful to be a resident of Bellevue, knowing that we have dedicated individuals like Officer Manns serving our community.

A special thanks to Chief Shirley for his leadership and for contributing to making Bellevue a safer and more welcoming place.

On March 8, 2024, I had the privilege of participating in a fire-ride along, an experience that deeply resonated with me. Although the thought crossed my mind of pursuing a career change to become a firefighter, I recognize my own limitations.

The dedication demonstrated by the team at Station 1 was truly remarkable. Despite their unwavering commitment to their duties, they exuded a wonderful energy and were a joy to be around. I shared light-hearted banter with them, joking about how they'd make perfect companions for a night out, and I genuinely meant it.

Chief Keith, Lt. Steve, Sam, Mike, Aria, and Andrew are just a few of the names I remember from the team who graciously gave me a tour of the station. They showed me their sleeping quarters, common areas, workout spaces, and dining areas. I was pleased to learn about the plans for the new station, Station 10, which will feature separate sleeping quarters for different units. However, any emergency at Station 1 prompts an immediate response from everyone.

I had the opportunity to participate in their training exercises, including handling the firefighter hose. It quickly became apparent how physically demanding the job is, especially for someone unfamiliar with the techniques. Amidst our training, we received a call about an accident on the 405. Witnessing Sam and Aria's exceptional professionalism as they attended to the individual involved in the accident left a lasting impression. They provided comfort and care with utmost compassion.

Conversations with various team members underscored the importance of investing in ongoing training, particularly for new recruits, given the rapid advancements in technology. The ability to handle accidents involving electric vehicles, for instance, is becoming increasingly crucial. As an educator at UW and an employee at Amazon, where learning and development are highly valued, I recognize the significance of continuous training. I hope to see more resources allocated towards training initiatives in the future.

A heartfelt thank you to Chief Jay Hagen for providing me with this unforgettable experience and for leading such an amazing team of firefighters.

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