Well, that’s one way to do it

Last week a man in my ward was driving with a coworker (the coworker was actually driving) between areas here at the military base where we live and work. They were driving a long stretch of road – straight, unpopulated, no stop signs. One of the security vehicles followed them closely for a few miles. They didn’t think much of it because there aren’t exactly a lot of options for getting from one area to another; there is usually just one road, so they figured the security guy was just going to the same place.

Eventually the flashing lights on the security vehicle went on (I’m not sure if he also used his siren). The coworker expressed dismay because he was going the speed limit and couldn’t imagine what he had done, but they pulled over.

The security guy got out of his vehicle and approached them. The coworker asked the security guy what he had done.

“Oh, I don’t want to talk to you. I want to talk to him,” the security guy – who also happens to be the first councilor in the bishopric – said, pointing to the passenger, who was the man in my ward. “I wanted to know if you and your wife would speak in church this Sunday.”

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About Tanya Spackman

Tanya was born in Provo, Utah, on a warm July day. After escaping childhood with nothing more than a few scrapes and bruises (except for 5 stitches - oh, and that incident with the staple in the thumb), she graduated from BYU with a degree in molecular biology. Before graduation, she served a mission in Chicago. As graduation neared, she decided lab work really wasn't her thing, and she had no interest in research or teaching (but really, molecular biology is interesting), so she decided to attempt the world of technical writing. Thus, she now works as a technical writer/editor for the Navy in Washington, DC. She loves to read and travel.

17 thoughts on “Well, that’s one way to do it

  1. HA!!! Good one!

    On a side note, and perhaps even a slight threadjack, there was an officer who worked for the agency I work with who pulled a woman over to ask her out on a date. Bad move! He lost his job and had is certification suspended one year for malfeasance.

  2. I had a police friend in a previous ward who pulled a car over early one morning, only to find the stake president’s daughter on her way to Seminary. Felt obligated to throw the book at her. Fortunately her father was supportive (of the cop.)

  3. You mean the counselor hadn’t assigned it 2 weeks in advance? Really? What kind of Church are they running in that ward?

  4. I hope the counselors in my bishopric don’t read this – they’re all going to start wanting security cars with flashing lights so they can find speakers for sacrament. :)

  5. queuno, that is one of the great complaints in my ward – not sufficient notice. They tend to ask people the Thursday before. It causes much stress.

  6. Our ward has the topics decided 2-3 months in advance and discussed in ward council. The speakers the bishopric wants to assign for a particular month are discussed at least a month in advance and our exec secretary makes the assignment 2-4 weeks in advance (he tries to avoid too much notice, because that can be counterproductive).

    As with most “my ward is bad” arguments (like you read on BCC or FMH), it’s all local.

  7. Okay, so am I really the only person who sees a blatant misuse of police authority here?? By using his flashing lights, the officer detained these people under color of law. This is completely inappropriate, and would likely have gotten the officer reprimanded (especially on a military base), had his superiors been aware of it.

  8. queuno, that is one of the great complaints in my ward – not sufficient notice. They tend to ask people the Thursday before. It causes much stress.

    I’d say no. It’s the only way they’ll learn

  9. My police officer friend was also my home teacher for awhile. He occasionallyl showed up in his police car, and he once amused my boys (and the other neighborhood children) by flashing the lights and briefly hitting the siren.

    I have no doubt that this was technically a violation of multiple rules, and a sufficiently officious supervisor might have reprimanded him for it.

    Lighten up.

  10. No Nick, I think you must be the only one who saw any abuse here. After all, there’s certainly no way that any of us could have seen this for what it was.

    You know us Mormons. We’re pretty-much oblivious to any abuse of authority, no matter how egregious. We think Stalin probably would have made a great Sunday School President.

    But I appreciate that you’re always vigilantly standing guard for us. Thanks for taking the time to save us from ourselves.

  11. #9 Kent
    Actually, what you describe wouldn’t be a problem. That kind of interaction is often encouraged, and is considered good community relations. Getting kids to like “Officer Friendly” is thought of as a deterrent to future crime, etc. Besides, he wasn’t detaining anyone, in the sense of stopping a motorist, was he?

    #10 Seth
    Wow, Seth. Was that really necessary? Is there a reason that you had to interpret my criticism of one officer’s improper action into some sort of slam on all LDS members, or LDS-ism itself? An officer’s athority to use lights and siren to stop a motorist aren’t provided to serve the officer’s personal convenience, let alone his religious activities.

  12. Nick, if he had been an EQ president in search of home teaching stats, then we would have all been up in arms. But everybody knows and sympathizes with how tough it is to get sacrament speakers. :) But seriously, I don’t think anybody disagrees that it’s not a good use of police facilities to pull over people like this. But we don’t know all the circumstances and it makes a less amusing story if Tanya were posting about the fascist state. We like the fascist state here at M*, as long as it supports Church activities.

  13. LOL!
    He should have asked if the officer was going to arrest him if he said no! ;-)

  14. Nick, this place is just bizarre. At the moment we have a post commander who is trying to direct contractors how they can schedule annual leave for their employees, which is a very large leap over boundaries (and, I think, the law), a final editor for all documentation with an inferior grasp of English (leaving me, her underling, feeling homicidal), and the command group trying to fight off the UFO nuts who are always trying to get on post because they’re certain we’re hiding alien activity (okay, this is actually very amusing to me). So the first councilor’s actions are really kind of minor compared to most of the drama around this place.

    It’s just weird here. In so many ways.

    Though I do agree with your point that the security guy misused the flashy lights. But it still makes me laugh.

  15. I imagine the man was quite relieved that being asked to talk in church was all it was about.

    I remember in the singles college ward I was attending (about 15 years ago), I was serving as the executive secretary. I called a girl in the ward up to ask her out on a date. She said yes with a lot of relief because she thought I was calling about her giving a talk or serving in a calling. That’s another way to do it.

  16. I know it’s late on this post, but it reminded me of our first speaker yesterday. She really thought that she was supposed to speak last week, since she was asked on a Thursday and did not believe that she would actually be asked to speak more than a week in advance.

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