Last month, Linda and I spent a couple of days in Puerto Morelos to attend the annual beer festival called Soy Cerveza. If you are a regular reader of the blog, you may remember seeing a post about that event.
After a fun filled afternoon of sampling artisanal Mexican beers, we decided it was time to leave the event and walk back to our hotel a couple of blocks away. As we neared the exit, a municipal police officer — with a big smile on his face — told us in English to have a nice day. Since we were in no hurry, I stopped to chat with him a few minutes.
I was instantly impressed by this young officer. He had a very positive attitude and he really seemed to enjoy his job. He told me that he was studying both English and Italian for the sole purpose of being able to better communicate with tourists. He commented that it is difficult to help someone if you cannot understand what their problem is.
Before leaving, I took the opportunity to ask a couple of questions that I had about Mexican law and he was able to answer them without hesitation. He was articulate, professional and knowledgeable.
Prior to starting my new life as a beach bum in Mexico, I was a deputy sheriff for 25 years in Florida. That is why I am always interested in learning more about the law and the legal system in Mexico.
A common custom among cops from all over the world is to trade uniform patches. I know officers who have collected hundreds of patches over the course of their careers. Although I don’t collect patches anymore, I still carry a few with me in case I meet an officer who does.
When we got back to the hotel, I grabbed a patch and headed back to the event. We met with the officer inside the police station and I gave it to him. He was extremely grateful and he apologized for not having a patch to give me in return. I told him not to worry about it.
He offered to meet with me the next afternoon to give me a patch; however, I told him that we would be leaving early in the morning. He then did something very unexpected. He took out a pocketknife, carefully removed the police patch from his cap and handed it to me.
I was so surprised that I tried to hand it back to him, but he refused to take it.
This officer not only exemplifies the positive qualities of a good police officer, he also exemplifies the generosity of the Mexican people.