Officer Rescues Stranded Teenagers with Flat Tires
May 05, 2016 05:06PM
● By Bryan Scott
By Travis Barton | [email protected]
West Valley - At a time when there are sometimes negative feelings toward police officers, Det. Mike Lynes, of the West Valley Police Department, proved there are still strong relations between civilians and police.
On March 16, Lynes saw two teenagers stranded on the side of the road near 3600 West and 2200 South with not only a flat tire but also a ruined spare tire. Lynes paid for the flat tire to be repaired at a local tire shop nearby and the teenagers were on their way back to school.
Lynes said he spotted them as he was driving by.
“You could tell the tire was blown, and they needed some help,” Lynes said.
The teenagers had changed the original tire from driving over a nail when the spare tire “blew up” a few blocks later.
Lynes, a member of the community response team, said the driver didn’t want to bother her mom at work, and she didn’t have any money to take care of it herself.
“I know kids don’t have a lot of money, and I didn’t want to make her mom leave work and maybe not get paid,” Lynes said. “So I just thought let’s get it fixed for them, get them back on the road, and then they don’t have to worry about it.”
With tensions sometimes high between police officers and civilians due to recent shootings and other incidents, Lynes said having quality relations with the community is more important now than it’s ever been.
“Every police officer is nothing more than a human being,” Lynes said. “Like doctors, dentists or people working at McDonald’s—they all make mistakes. But lately it seems whatever a police officer does becomes a big issue in the news.”
Lynes said his primary job as a community response unit member is interacting with the community at safety fairs and neighborhood watch groups.
“We meet with the community and try to explain that we’re no different than anybody else” he said. “There are going to be people who make the news every once in a while. But for the most part, we are just trying to make the world a better and safer place.”
Lynes said more stories like his exist, but generally stories like this don’t sell in the news.
Lynes said he was reading a report the other day about an individual who shot himself accidently.
“Apparently one of the news channels had called, but when they realized it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the person said, ‘Oh, we’re not interested,’” Lynes said.
Lynes said he experiences calls like that often where the news will lose interest if it’s not dramatic.
“I just think right now in society that’s not what people want to hear; they want to see maybe the blood and guts and the bad stuff,” Lynes said. “And some of the good stuff we do gets pushed off to the side.”
Lynes said he thinks the body cameras will help give better training perspectives for the police officers, but it will have some growing pains.
“It’s like everything—it’s a roller coaster,” Lynes said. “One day, people like us; the next day they don’t.”