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When the cops really get it right
This is the text of a note sent to the Chicago Police Department from a very grateful Active Trans member (the member prefers to remain anonymous). Enjoy! It's your feel-good story of the day.
I'm not sure in which district this incident occurred, so I'm writing to both to express my deep thanks for quick response and assistance on the evening of Friday, April 8.
I failed to get the badge numbers of the officers who responded, so I'm hoping that if I describe the situation these officers can be identified and thanked on my behalf. At approximately 6:50pm on Friday evening, I came into conflict with a driver as I attempted to make a left-turn onto Damen Ave from Division St (east bound).
I was just beginning to make a left turn as the next driver going westbound started abruptly from a stop behind the crosswalk to make it through the intersection before the light turned red. He was stopped because until a second before I began to turn, the traffic across the intersection was backed up and there would have been no where for his vehicle. Though no collision occurred, there was a moment of panic on both my part and the driver's part as he realized he was about to hit a cyclist. We both slammed on our brakes and I lost my balance, falling in the middle of the intersection.
There were two officers present as this incident took place, and though no collision occurred, they pulled the driver over and ticketed him (I think) for running the red light. Additionally, they were incredibly sensitive to the frustration and panic I felt as a cyclist nearly being hit by an inattentive driver despite following all the laws and riding very cautiously (helmet, reflective tape, signaling before turning, waiting my turn, etc). The female officer who talked to me as her partner pulled over the driver informed me that they were also on bicycles that day, and was very reassuring and sympathetic.
I hope that this message of sincere thanks makes it to the responding officers, and that the Chicago Police Department will continue to encourage officers to take the endangerment of cyclists very seriously.
With great appreciation,
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