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A cop’s cop goes the extra mile for kids

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A cop’s cop goes the extra mile for kids

Ripon school resource officer Scott Lindsay enjoys what he does – especially when he can touch the life of a teenager.

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

POSTED June 15, 2009 1:38 a.m.

RIPON- Scott Lindsay is a cop’s cop who cares about kids.

He’s a great match for being one of the two school resource officers in the community.

His quiet demeanor and his intense love for his profession is what his character is built upon.  When he responds to a call involving Ripon residents he often knows the people on a first name basis. One student told of his calming presence when addressing violence.

When he speaks at a school assembly he doesn’t just stand in front of the crowd and preach, but rather walks into the middle of his group getting them to take part – calling students forward to become involved and to talk on his roving microphone.   

Driving his small, compact Ford Mustang police car he can slip between the gates of the campuses and onto the grass at recess time and chat with the students – many enjoy inspecting the police unit and checking out its emergency equipment.   He often uses the opportunity to hand out badge stickers and his personal police officer trading cards.

Lindsay has seen his efforts to bond with children come back in positive reactions when they are confronted with fear in domestic violence situations. The little ones, especially, quickly learn that the police officer is their friend and will sometimes grab onto the leg of a responding officer for comfort and protection as their parents continue to fight – something he has witnessed himself.

While Lindsay is assigned to the public elementary schools, as well as Ripon Christian, he often works weekends on DUI saturation patrols when he is needed and responds to general radio calls when the need is obvious.  

He said when he hears kids are involved in a call, he makes a point to be there if at all possible.  Like the 20 plus other officers living in Ripon, he takes his car home, using it to go to the store and help demonstrate the police profile in the community – an effort to keep burglaries and car thefts to a minimum.

His patrol car is equipped with a “Low Jack” stolen car finder.  It alerted to a stolen car in the Bakersfield area several years ago when he and Bob Winget were headed to Southern California for a conference – they were instrumental in the vehicle’s recovery.  

In yet another instance Lindsay’s Low Jack aided the Manteca Police Department in recovering a stolen car – locating it in a body shop.   Patrol cars with the system installed have four directional antennas mounted in the center of the unit’s roof.

The general mistaken consensus about Ripon is that it’s always quiet – nothing happens, especially during the day.  Not the case when Lindsay and I met just inside the door of the PD.  The dispatcher came over the radio with two calls: a man down outside a grocery store on the north of the freeway and a domestic violence (DV) emergency call in the southwest area of Ripon.

It was a code 3 call – red lights and siren – response with a police officer.  Lindsay definitely knows what he is doing behind the wheel. Chief Richard Bull was the first to arrive outside the store and performed CPR on the victim outside the store.  

Also working as a field training officer (FTO), the Ripon officer said he had turned a hobby into a fulltime job after he moved to Ripon.  

“If you enjoy what you do, you never have to work another day in your life,” he mused.  “To me, it is the most honorable profession there is -- I couldn’t ask for anything better,” he said.

Lindsay said there are two educational classes at the department designed for teens, one for those who are cited for not wearing a helmet and a second for violation of the 10 p.m. curfew.  He teaches both sessions.  The 45-minute long classes generally stretch to an hour and a half because he manages to capture the kids’ interest and their curiosity.

“Let’s talk about it,” the officer tells the teens in his classes.  “We analyze every stop,” he said.
His personal message to youth is to choose your friends wisely.  “The friends you have can directly affect how you lead your life and how others perceive you.  Consider all the consequences of every decision you make.”

He began his career
in with Oakland PD

Daughter April is a staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force stationed at Edwards AFB in the Mojave Desert, serving in a medical-dental unit.  She also is assigned to the Shuttle Recovery Team when Edwards is chosen as a landing site.

Daughter Monique works in the lab for the Wine Group and son Johnathon just graduated from Ripon High School.  Johnathon is an aspiring landscape photographer.

Lindsay began his career as a reserve officer with the Oakland Police Department later joining the force at Stanford University.  His career would take him to Sacramento and finally to Ripon where he signed on as a reserve.  

He was being called out to work most every night, he said, making it clear that he was needed as a fulltime Ripon officer.  That was more than 20 years ago, he said.  He and his wife Cindy are celebrating their 23rd anniversary this year.  She is a nursing assistant at Bethany Home working in physical therapy.

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