Thursday, November 8, 2007
Badge of Honor
This is the Oklahoma Centennial Badge, isn't it pretty? This badge was issued to police officers to wear all over the state since this is Oklahoma's 100th birthday. In fact November 16th, 1907 we became the 46th state to join the Union. I love this badge. It represents the old days or the Marshalls who guarded the families trying to settle in the west. I was born to late. I would have loved living back in the old days. No, maybe not. I being female would have had to stay at home doing the laundry by hand, make my own bread, gather water from the well or stream, and maybe even kill my own chickens to eat. Ok, I was doing good till the chicken part. I still think I would have loved living that life. I would not have known about microwaves, dishwashers, washer/dryers, TV's, or electricity. Life sure would have been simple, yet very hard.
Isn't that badge really pretty? Think about what it represents. My life. My whole adult life has been the badge. At the age of 26 I joined the Enid Police Department. Being one of only about four females I had a lot to prove. So I thought. At that time I was small, about 135 pounds, 5'4" and naive. Mary Poppins was my nickname. They would go around singing "A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down!" Ha Ha Ha. Thank goodness that was all of the song they knew.
That badge represents me seeing my first dead person. One murdered person before I had a year on the department. Doing CPR on him trying to save a man's life that I did not know. Well I knew him a little. Two weeks prior to that call I had worked a domestic on him and his "girl friend". They were at the hospital because she had hit him over the head with a bar stool. OUCH. He was 60 something and she was 43. She had even stabbed him years prior to that. I don't remember if she ever served any time or not. Seems like he would never press charges or would not cooperate in the investigation, I don't remember. But two weeks after that she killed him. She shot him dead with a .357, unloaded it on him. Hit him twice, 2 out of six is not real good shootin' but it served it purpose. She hit him once in the elbow, the fatal shot. He put his coat on and left the house walking to the alley as she left the house with her brothers to run from the law. It was a Sunday afternoon in February. Neighbors called in saying they heard shots from this certain area. I was the second officer on the scene. But the first one was going after a car seen speeding away from the area. I waited for some backup and we checked the house. We found blood and followed the trail, what we could see, to the backyard. Out of the yard and to the alley. And there he was Old Man Meadows . He was leaning against the corner post while sitting on the ground, all hunched over. Sgt. Blakley pulled him over, laid him on the ground and said " Well that's the look of death if I have ever seen it." I just stood there. My first murder, and I knew who did it. Donna. I knew she would kill him, and there he was laying on the ground dead. I looked at Sgt and said, "aren't we even going to try and save him?" " Oh Lisa, do you know CPR? " Of course I do. I had only been out of the academy for about 7 months, not even a year. My first compression had the ribs sounding like shotgun blasts. My heart was racing, my Adrenalin was flowing like crazy. Is this what I had signed up for? What in the world was I doing? "I broke all his ribs Sarge." He looked at me and said ,"Lisa, it really doesn't matter now does it? Keep going." Then the suspect came back. She really came back. All the officers ran around to the front of the house to apprehend her. I told them she did it! She was violent, she was mean, I knew she did it. And there she was. Coming back to the house in the same car the officer saw speeding from the scene. They all left me in the alley alone with this dead, old, drunk, black, man. All alone. My heart was racing, for I felt it was a trick. She was sending her brothers to the back to finish ole Jessie off and there I was alone with him with both hands busy pumping life back into his lifeless body. My vision was getting blurred, as I kept trying to watch my surroundings and pumping on his chest like crazy. Forget the count and breath thing. I was doing the best I could. Where were they, where was my help? What if they were coming to kill me too? After all they killed an old man, why not me? I would be a witness too. People kill people, I can't believe this. Crap, what am I doing? What in the heck did I sign up for? Wait, I am saving a life, I am upholding the law. That is what I signed up for. I hear the sounds of the ambulance sirens. I hear a woman scream, "Lisa I know CPR I can help." It was a policeman's wife and I knew she was a nurse. Thank you God. We got a pulse back, he was packaged up and taken to the hospital. He was shot in the elbow I tell you. I didn't know it. He had put his coat on and I did not know that is where he was shot. Maybe a little tunnel vision. I saw the shot in the leg but not the elbow. Jessie died. About 2:00 that morning, he died. He made it through surgery, but he never regained consciousness. Jessie died an old man shot in the elbow by his 43 year old .357 toting girlfriend who didn't even know she hit him. She served time for this one.
Isn't the badge pretty?