Amarah's Corner: Deputy shares heart-wrenching experiences
Jesus said in Matthew 25:40 (KJV), “Whatever you’ve done unto the least of these (kids), you’ve done it unto me.”
“Kids like me” are kids and adults of all ages whose parents are, or were, drug addicts, and alcoholics; kids who have suffered, or who are suffering, abuse and neglect on multiple levels; and kids who are victims of bullying.
Reminder: FREE BOWLING at Alamosa Bowl, 204 Victoria Avenue, for Kids Like Me, 1-4pm, April 1st (Easter Sunday)! Go in and complete an application. Thank You, Alamosa Bowl!
Hey kids like me! Today is the second-column of my Friend, Deputy Evan Dick, Part 2:
I took an oath years ago that I would serve my community and my country with honor, dignity, respect, and integrity. I swore in that oath to lay down my life for a stranger and I swore to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
The hardest aspect of my job is when an adult has made poor choices or has fallen into terrible situations and finds himself/herself dealing with law enforcement, while their children are with them, and I have to remove the children from their parents.
The pain these children suffer is horrendous. I hope the situations I share with you may offer some thought on what it’s like from the law enforcement perspective.
I cannot include names, dates, charges, or any identifying information.
My most recent encounter was with a parent who was using illegal drugs. She was a mother who had active warrants and gave a false name to try to prevent her arrest. She was caught in her lie and instructed to get out of the car while her daughter who was about 3 years old was in the back seat, unbuckled, with no child-seat in the car. At this time the mother was cussing at me loudly and tried to slam her door on me. Then, she turned to her daughter and said, “The bad man is coming to take mommy away!” and that she would be leaving for a while. Her daughter began to cry and the mother said I was, “…taking mommy away” but she would be back because, “…the bad people can’t hold me forever!” I offered my cell phone to the mother to call someone to come and get her daughter. I did not handcuff the mother until her relative arrived and took custody of the daughter. I gave them an opportunity to say goodbye to each other. I waited to place the mother into custody because I do not think it is fair for the child to see their parent being arrested.
Another time a few years ago I had the unfortunate task of dealing with a complaint of child abuse in a trailer park. I arrived on scene and found a home that would barely be considered a ‘trash can.’ There were piles 4-feet tall and 5-feet wide of trash bags full of trash, the sink full of microwavable dinner containers, water had been shut off months before, the toilet had multiple unflushed trips to the restroom, there were holes in the floor and I could see the ground below. The entire family of five slept on a twin-size bed. The parents had forgotten their children existed and focused all of their energy on getting a “fix” while in the meantime the house turned to shambles.
The children were asked if they felt safe and happy and all three replied, “Yes” they loved their home. I pulled the refrigerator away from the wall and literally hundreds of roaches swarmed. I asked the children how long it had been like that and they said, “…always.” The home was so bad I couldn’t let the children stay another hour. The issue was that there was a family member who also lived in the same trailer park and was happy to take the children. But, the family member was aware of the living conditions and had continued to let the children live with their parents. The parents were charged criminally and one was taken to jail. This situation is uncommon but all too real. I still feel for those children and hope the family changes and gets those children to the safety they deserve.
These children are dragged through the wreckage of their parents’ lives and poor decisions. We as a community need to acknowledge the problem and help end this unnecessary pain for our children in our communities. Deputy Evan Dick, Patrol Division, Alamosa County Sheriff’s Office.
Thank You, Deputy Dick, for being courageous and strong for kids like me! It would be awesome to have a dad like you!
Thank You for reading my column. Write to me at Amarah’s “Kids Like Me” P.O. Box 354, Alamosa, CO 81101.
My goal is to help kids like me, and I want to help their parents, too. Until next time, remember, Jesus Loves You, and JESUS IS LORD!