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A Day as a Boise County Sheriffs’ Civilian Ride-Along Partner

Photo by Edith Williams

Editorial

Written by Edith Williams –  BCC Staff Writer – Horseshoe Bend

Living in rural Boise County, I wanted to find out just what exactly “Policing Boise County” entails. Last Friday, the stars aligned and I was able to go on a ride-along.  While communications between the Sheriffs’ office, the constituents and the deputies could probably be streamlined for efficiency, I did eventually meet up with Corporal Dave Anthony, and off we went, but not before Cpl. Anthony used a tuning fork on his Radar unit.   I had been on several ride-alongs with other agencies, but had never seen an officer use a tuning fork. Cpl. Anthony explained that the tuning fork’s vibration is gauged at 20mph. Placing it within the Radar’s sensors should give a 20mph read-out. If the read-out differs, then the Radar unit will be taken out of commission and sent in for recalibration.  “Our” Radar was on…

Photo by Edith Williams

Photo by Edith Williams

The first stop was serving papers in Garden Valley, to be followed by responding to a slide-off on Deadwood Bridge on the Banks-Lowman Highway.  This was the 3rd such accident on that bridge in the past few days. Cpl. Anthony explained that this particular bridge gets no sunlight, but experiences a lot of extra moisture and cold air flowing over and under it from the Deadwood River, which makes it prone to icing over and very dangerous this time of year. There is signage reducing the speed limit to 40mph, but even as we were waiting for Mustang Towing, with the cruiser’s flashing overheads and a traffic cone set in the middle of the road as a warning, motorists kept fish-tailing across the bridge.  It might be in the County’s best interest to explore additional safety options before there is a fatality. The elderly couple in this slide-off was very lucky. They were not injured, and, thanks to Cpl. Anthony carrying hand lotion in his rig, Mustang Towing was able to hook the muffler back up and send them on their way.

“We can’t thank you [Cpl Anthony] enough for hanging around until the wrecker came.  We were a little rattled even though neither of us were hurt.” – Marlene Erlandson

Photo by Edith Williams

Photo by Edith Williams

Photo by Edith Williams

Photo by Edith Williams

Our next call for service was a 911 hang-up on a disconnected line in a very rural, residential area of Lowman. Once on location though, I could not help but wonder what all was going through Cpl. Anthony’s mind as I watched him tense up a bit, grab his flashlight and head for the home. This home was on a hillside below a very narrow road, on a terraced lot lacking an open view of the driveway, yard or the residence – I stayed behind in the car, admittedly a bit nervous.   It turned out that the gentleman living there had disconnected his phone, but was checking to see if it still worked… The homeowner was very apologetic about the inconvenience caused and also very concerned that he might have kept Cpl. Anthony from responding to a “real emergency.” After a few minutes of Cpl. Anthony reassuring the home owner we headed back to Garden Valley to have lunch and a great visit with the folks at the Garden Valley Fire Station, then an uneventful return trip to Horseshoe Bend.

What were my biggest take-aways from this ride-along? Aside from Cpl. Anthony’s very humble personality and him never tiring of answering all of the questions I could think of, sharing his insights and knowledge, I would say the respect he gives and receives from those he interacts with is something that I will try harder to aspire to.

These hours flew by unbelievably fast, and I can only hope that I will have many more opportunities to ride with our Boise County Deputies.