A Friendly Hello and Off to Jail
By Robert Cox.
I was a new police officer recently released from field training with the Oxnard Police Department when I was given the honor of being Mark’s partner in a two officer patrol car in the Colonia area. Mark was a very easy going guy who had a way of putting everyone at ease. We had been riding together for several months. During that time he had exposed me many times to the fine art of making something out of a simple “hello.” We were working morning watch, which started at 2100 hours, and decided to try and make an impression on some street level drug dealers at a corner in
the Colonia. I watched Mark spring into action immediately after he exited the patrol car. He approached a couple of the dealers customers and asked those famous words of his, “Hi. How are you doing tonight?” It wasn’t long and he was asking questions about their sobriety. Somewhere during the conversation he would ask, “So when was the last time you had a taste?” Well, it didn’t take us but 5 hours to arrest 15 people for being under the influence of cocaine. I’m not sure if that is some kind of record for Oxnard, but it sure was for me. We spent the last half of our shift doing the paper work and collecting evidence. Mark’s work ethic was unmatched.
His compassion and understanding was even greater.
Mark, I want to thank you for showing me how a good police officer does his job. You are certainly one of the best police officers I have ever had the honor of calling my partner. You taught me so much about the business and about people. Through all the twists life gives us, you have come through and shown us all what a great person is. I will be forever grateful.