About a year ago, Trooper J.E. Campbell; Badge # 1404; ID # 0615; Troop Unit A; came to our home and issued my son a traffic citation for careless driving. A copy is enclosed. The purpose of my letter is to provide him with some positive feedback and to commend him for his professionalism.
Trooper Campbell and I were both disappointed in my son because my son’s first response was to lie to both of us about what happened. I was especially disappointed because my son is an Eagle Scout and to my knowledge, he had never lied to me before that occasion. I was angered. Trooper Campbell was the cooler head that prevailed during this confrontation. He brought the truth out of my son and gave him sage advice that my son remembers till today. Trooper Campbell could have justly written my son a much more serious citation than the one he wrote. Instead, he chose to issue this ticket and give the boy a stern warning. His professionalism truly impressed my son and me.
Before Trooper Campbell’s ticket, my son had racked up a depressive list of traffic violations. His blatant disregard for our traffic laws stopped with the ticket issued by Trooper Campbell.
If you check the records, you’ll see that my son was issued a later ticket in Jan of this year…but the judge has agreed that he will set that ticket aside because it was the result of an administrative error and not willful disregard for our traffic laws on the part of my son. This January ticket was issued for driving on a suspended license when neither my son nor I knew his license had been suspended. The reason it had been suspended is because following an earlier ticket, he’d taken the driving course to eliminate the points, but his driving course completion certificate had never been posted…ergo the points remained and resulted in a suspended license. We never received a letter telling us that it had been suspended. Also, the records showed that his insurance had lapsed when in fact it had never lapsed. We provided the judge with proof of insurance and that he had completed the driving course that should have removed his points. So, as I say, the judge plans to expunge that ticket from his driving record. The point being that following the citation issued by Trooper Campbell, my son has not received another citation for violating our traffic laws. Trooper Campbell’s ticket broke that camel’s back; and I thank God and Trooper Campbell for bringing my son to his senses.
A couple of months ago, my son came home and told me that he’d joined the Army National Guard so that he will be able to get some additional funding to pay for his college expenses. When I asked him what job he’d signed up for, he said he wanted to be a military policeman. He said that he wants to go into law enforcement because of how he was treated by Trooper Campbell. He further stated that before Trooper Campbell’s talk with him, he thought that policemen just gave tickets without caring about the person that they were giving the ticket. He said that before Trooper Campbell he’d felt like he’d been singled out for harassment by cops just because he was young. He went on to say, “You know, Dad, Trooper Campbell gave me a second chance, and I want to be just like him. Because of him, I know that if I serve as law enforcement officer, I can make a difference in people’s lives. That’s what I want to do.”
Today, my son is in training to become a military police officer: “PVT RANDALL, JOSEPH; F CO. 795TH MP BN, UNIT 65, 3RD PLT; 1301 IOWA AVE.; FORT LEONARD WOOD, MO 64573.” Will he make it through his training and will he realize his goal of becoming a military police officer? I don’t know, but I’m pulling for him. His goal was set because he wants to emulate the professionalism shown by Trooper J.E. Campbell. So I am grateful because Trooper Campbell’s actions turned this boy around and got him on the right path to becoming a responsible citizen.
Trooper Campbell’s professionalism reflects great credit upon himself, Troop A, and the Florida Highway Patrol. Please pass to him my deep appreciation.
Charles M. Randall