Police officers just seem to know when something is wrong

Published 10:03 am Monday, May 22, 2017

My house Saturday morning was bustling with activity as my daughters and I searched for shoes, combed and brushed hair and dressed four children, getting them ready to head over to the Oxford Police Station.

It was the department’s annual Fun Day.

At about 9:30 a.m., it started to rain and we weren’t sure when it would stop. The event started at 11 a.m.

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At about 15 minutes before 11, the sun started to peak through and we loaded everyone up in my daughter’s minivan and headed to Molly Barr Road.

Being early, the crowd was minimal still and the kids could head right for the bounce houses.

OPD started holding the free event about four years ago as a way to give back to the community and to create a stronger bond between Oxford citizens — young and old — and police officers.

Along with the bounce houses, there was a dunking booth, an obstacle course, face painting and other activities.

OPD cooked up free hot dogs, served popcorn and cold drinks and snow cones.

The children got a chance to pet a horse and watch a K9 in action.

The obstacle course and face painting were held inside the police department.

As we head back outside for another round of bounce house fun, I noticed my 5-year-old granddaughter, Alexandrea, was not with us. She’s a wanderer.

My daughters headed toward the bounce houses and I said I’d go back inside to look for her.

I wasn’t in complete panic mode. We were in Oxford and surrounded by police. However, there must have been a look on my face that said something wasn’t right.

“Lose one?” a police officer said breaking through my thoughts.

I nodded, amazed that without saying a word, he knew exactly what was going on.

Within seconds, several officers joined the search, inside and outside.

What seemed like an hour, was really only about 5 minutes. I saw Alex, holding a fire hose trying to put out a “fire” — an event sponsored by the Oxford Fire Department.

I turned around and again my face must have given me away.

“Found her?”

I nodded again and thanked the officers for their help.

Alex got a good talking to about walking away from us. She said she went to the “bouncy house because we were being too slow.”

When she was allowed to go play again, I was standing a few feet away from the dunking booth where Alex was trying her best to sink an officer who just moments earlier was searching the grounds for her.

Chief Joey East saw her and walked up to her quickly, thinking perhaps she was still missing.

“I’m here, Chief,” I called out and he nodded and smiled and waved.

Most of the officers there were out of uniform, wearing red T-shirts. However, an officer on duty in full uniform walked past us and my grandson, Adam, also 5, stopped and stared at the officer for a moment before pointing to him as he walked away.

“That’s a real cop!” he exclaimed. “That’s kinda cool.”

“Yes, it is,” I replied.

Thank you OPD for all your hard work on Fun Day and every day.

Alyssa Schnugg is Senior Writer at the Oxford Eagle. Email her at alyssa.schnugg@oxfordeagle.com