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Highs and lows of authority

September 22, 2010 - Karin Elton

The weekly Ask a Trooper column talks about school patrol this week. I remember when I was in elementary school and was at the top level of the school — sixth grade, finally old enough to do school patrol.

I was issued a leather belt with diagonal strap and an orange stop flag. On the strap was a school patrol badge. How fabulous! All that lovely equipment plus I got to stop cars at will.

A couple summers ago, I volunteered for Sounds of Summer parade line-up wrangler duty. John Paxton handed me a yellow vest and a clipboard. Another highpoint. A National Guards guy was a late entry and I got to tell him and his men where they could line up. The power!

My previous SOS volunteer gig was not so exhilarating. My job was to sit near College Drive by the Landmark Bistro and not let people into the alley. I sat schlumped in a chair in my white Sounds of Summer XL T-shirt for a good part of the day. A young man in a passing car mistook me for someone he knew because he yelled out, “Jenny Craig!” to me.

If I had had my leather belt with the badge and orange flag I could have stopped his car and maybe hit him over the head with a clipboard.


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