To the editor:

Recently I had the privilege of doing a ride-along with one of Bloomington’s finest.

My host was Officer Kyle Maitrejean, a six-year veteran of the Bloomington Police Department. After a brief tour of the Bloomington police facility, we began our ride at 8:30 a.m.

During the next three hours, we did routine patrol of our assigned area in northeast Bloomington, cruising through shopping centers and hotel parking lots. There were several vehicle stops and a private property trespass call where the suspect was described as a large, angry man, likely on drugs. We also joined a search for a domestic assault suspect.

The suspect fled in a car that reached 100 miles per hour. The chase was terminated due to concern for public safety.

Here are my impressions of what I experienced. First, I was impressed with the calm and professional demeanor Kyle exhibited in every situation. During those three hours, he interacted with 10 individuals. While there was no violence involved, I could see that everyone he talked to felt better after their conversation with him. I would expect the same of his fellow officers.

Second, I’m amazed at how efficiently the police officers communicate with each other and their dispatcher. I was surprised to see how quickly they could swarm to a situation. It showed me how much police work is really a team effort.

Finally, having had this experience, I feel better and more secure as a Bloomington resident. I’ve lived in Bloomington for 49 years and I have always had respect and pride for our police department. My ride-along confirmed that.

I hope that every elected official in Bloomington does a ride-along with their police officers. In fact, I think it should be a requirement. This will give each of them a better understanding and appreciation for the tough and dangerous work our police officers do every day.

Dan Hallberg

Bloomington

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