Guest column: The cheerful man in uniform

During these COVID-19 times I think everyone needs to be reminded of the little moments that can make someone’s day.

There are still many people who are good and spread joy where and when they can; a fact that many, I believe, need to be reminded of.

I moved to Dayton in 2014 from California and I have loved making Northern Nevada my home. I have met so many wonderful people and have enjoyed the communities in Dayton and in Carson City as well. My "run in" with Trooper Clifford of the NHP was no exception.

I got pulled over a couple of weeks ago while I was on my way home from my place of employment, in Moundhouse. I was pulled over right before Baldwin Lane just leaving Moundhouse where the speed limit changes.

I was greeted by a cheerful man in uniform. I immediately told him that officers make me incredibly nervous and that my wallet was in my diaper bag which was in the back of my car. He told me not to be nervous and to just take a breath and we would just chat for a minute.

Just then my 5-year-old daughter chimed in after unbuckling her seatbelt to get a better look at the officer. He very kindly asked her to please keep her seat belt on for her safety and started asking her questions about herself. How old she was, what her favorite color was, things that any 5-year-old would be simply delighted to share.

Then he asked me where we lived and if I owned my vehicle, of course. My daughter asked him if he had any stickers and he said he was sorry, but he did not. Then he sparked an idea, he asked me if it was all right with me to give them a quick tour of his cruiser. I immediately said yes, and my girls were elated.

We were on the side of the highway so was sure to request them to take extra care and be mindful about safety. They came back invigorated from the experience of learning that Trooper Clifford uses one of the seats in his cruiser for a garbage can, which is the thing they tell people the most about the experience.

After he brought my girls back to the car, he told me that he understood that usually people speed up right there. He asked me to please be mindful not to speed and sent me and my thrilled children on our way with no ticket!

I just again wanted to share how much I appreciate that this community has people like Trooper Clifford in it and how much it meant to me that he let me go with a warning and took the time that most wouldn't these days (it seems) to really connect and leave a really dazzling memory for my kids.

Thank you, Trooper Clifford.

Rachael Roesner lives in Dayton.


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