An arresting questionI HAD an appointment to ride along...

Sometimes Scene in the County

July 26, 1998|By TaNoah Morgan Winging it

An arresting question

I HAD an appointment to ride along with Anne Arundel County police this week on a late shift with two officers distinguished in the department for making lots of arrests in the western part of the county.

I had to break the date at the last minute, so I called the police station.

"Are officers Vane or Kohlman in?" I asked the officer who answered the phone.

"No, it looks like they're out on the street. I can take a message," the anonymous uniform replied.

"Ahhh, no, I was just calling to tell them I wouldn't be in tonight, but I guess they already figured that," I said.

The officer's response: "What, were you supposed to turn yourself in?" COMING off the Baltimore-Washington Parkway onto Annapolis Road in Jessup, motorists stopped in courtesy to geese crossing the street -- like law-abiding citizens -- at the crosswalk beneath the flashing yellow traffic signal in front of the Jessup fire station.

Just in case anyone might not give right of way to this web-footed pedestrian traffic, the gaggle brought along an apparently injured colleague whose left wing protruded to help halt traffic.

TaNoah Morgan

'That's called maturity'

AS part of his endorsement of a regional effort to get small groups of people to talk about race and racism, County Executive John G. Gary agreed Friday to participate in an observance of the 35th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, a landmark of the civil rights movement.

"I was one of those white folks who was afraid to march in the 1963 march," said Gary, who was 19 when Martin Luther King Jr. led marchers and delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech.

"Maybe this is my chance to make amends," Gary said.

Gary, 54, said that though he believed in the civil rights movement as a teen-ager, he grew up in a blue-collar Pasadena neighborhood where blacks were in danger of harm if they were caught in the community after 6 p.m.

"I was a little young to have strong philosophical beliefs," he said. "I developed my strong feelings when I began to see that there was more strength in the country for the beliefs that I had. I think that's called maturity."

Gary waited more than a year to become an official sponsor of "A Call to Community: An Honest Conversation About Race, Reconciliation and Responsibility." He said he wanted to make sure project organizers with Interfaith Action for Racial Justice Inc., an alliance of Baltimore area congregations and lay people, were legitimate.

Tanya Jones

Pub Date: 7/26/98

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