Now that the hysteria has died down a bit, I wanted to share with you more about the officer struck by the car.
For many people, a police officer wearing a uniform isn’t an individual. You have watched television and movies and maybe you think you know who the police are based on that. Based on how they look or how they speak. In fact, each one has his or her own story. Officer Mikolajczak emigrated to the United States from Poland as a young adult (not that long ago). (We actually have several officers who are naturalized Americans). He got a job translating in the various eastern European languages he knows when he first arrived. He put himself through the required two years of college and the police academy. After he finished he showed up on our doorstep looking for a job which we gave him. He is married and has a family. By nature he is a shy and humble person. After his recent notoriety he had numerous offers for interviews with national news services but didn’t want any of them. He doesn’t want to be used as an illustration on someone else’s agenda. His story is his own.
Two years ago he was in another, much more serious traffic crash on duty. He was getting out of his patrol car on an icy bridge when a driver who was going too fast for conditions lost control of his vehicle and struck the patrol car. Officer Mikolajczak had just put his feet outside of the car and was smashed between the door and the car. He had some serious leg and facial injuries from which it took quite a while to recover. He was back at work as soon as he could and never complained. He isn’t that kind of person. He is friendly to people and usually has a smile on his face as he talks to you.
He continues to work midnight shift. Lately it has been pretty cold at night. His sergeant, Jim Stoinski, tells me that on one recent night they were watching a specific area trying to capture some burglars.
Officer Mikolajczak stopped a subject who was wearing dark clothing and walking in the middle of the roadway. As Officer Mikolajczak spoke to this subject, we realized that he was homeless and was hungry. While speaking to him, Miko realized the guy didn’t have any gloves. Miko went into his patrol vehicle and gave the guy his own personal gloves. Wow, felt like Christmas to this guy.
Meeting homeless people is pretty common for the officers. They help them to the local shelters or buy food themselves. Not often do they give away their personal belongings –he also needed his gloves for that cold night. Knowing him I suspect he would say that the other guy needed them more.
Just a little bit more about an officer who just does his job the best he can every day.