I had a visit from a police officer Monday night. Since my beat is crime and courts, usually it’s me reaching out to them. It was a little weird.
But about 10 p.m., our beagle sounded the alarm. We were in our bedroom upstairs, so it was good to find out our doorbell is quite faint up there. I barely heard it, but Zoey the guard dog convinced me that something was up.
I dashed downstairs and saw through the front door and the bay window that someone was shining a flashlight on the front stoop. Fears of an intruder subsided and, as I’d guessed, I saw an officer through the peephole.
Turns out, said officer is Charles Verdone, with whom one of our reporters, Josh Tolentino, went on a ride-along in December.
I felt safer knowing it was a cop. I felt confounded, too.
Turns out, when I’d gone back out to the car after work to retrieve something I’d forgotten, I’d turned the dome light on and forgotten to turn it off.
Without disclosing too much information, we live no more than a mile away from the area where several shots-fired incidents were reported this past summer and fall. We also have a carport alongside the house, and for the life of me, I can’t imagine how my eyes would have noticed a dome light on in a car in that little cranny of a space.
Verdone did, and this morning I feel incredibly grateful he did. First off, the car started, whereas it might not have had the dome light been on overnight.
But he stopped and, somewhat reluctantly because it was fairly late at night, rang our doorbell because he suspected the car might have been broken into.
Nope. Just an bone-headed operator error.
Look, if my car gets broken into, and if what few items of minute value are stolen, it would be an inconvenience. But on a grander scale, I’m comforted knowing that not only are officers patrolling our streets, but they (Verdone at the very least) also are being very thorough in their work.
That goes a long way toward peace of mind for a homeowner, a husband, and a dad. Kudos, Officer Verdone. We’ve had the pleasure of seeing you work twice now, and I hope the rest of the department is as diligent as you are.
• Christopher Heimerman is news editor of the Daily Chronicle. Call him at 815-756-4841, ext. 2221, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @CHeimermanDDC.