An observant eye will quickly identify when something is out of the ordinary. A car parked outside for an extended period of time, someone grabbing their hip or fidgeting in their pocket, or someone with darting eyes who avoids meeting your gaze – without situational awareness, these irregularities often fly under the radar. If someone exhibits signs of drug use, it is imperative that our Security Officers are able to recognize them. It is equally important that they understand the proper steps to take when they suspect that someone is under the influence. Officer Calcie Lucier learned first-hand how active vigilance reinforces the safety of those around her.
“We’re done here”
On July 11th, Officer Lucier was conducting security checks within the courthouse she works at. She made note of a vehicle that was circling the parking lot and eventually halted to a stop out front of the facility. Lucier documented the vehicle make, model, and color before the woman behind the wheel exited her car. Visibly uncoordinated, stumbling around, and unable to walk in a straight line, Lucier suspected the woman was under the influence of something.
Upon entering the courthouse, the woman was “extremely hyper and fidgety… [she] followed instructions to enter [Officer Lucier’s] security line to be checked, but seemed very confused when told she would be searched.” Lucier explained that the protocol is a safety measure that everyone within the building must undergo before being allowed in. The woman asked, “why?” before she began to empty her purse. Officer Lucier noted in her report that the woman was shaking, her eyes were wide and dilated, and she could not stop moving around. Attempting to help the woman, she offered to use the security counter to help her remove the contents of her purse. Disconcerted, the woman stated, “we’re done here” before taking her purse back and walking away from security.
Precaution – Safety First
Officer Lucier exhibited caution; clearly, this woman was not in a sober state of mind and was very easily agitated. Instead of following the woman and escalating the situation, Officer Lucier maintained a safe distance before exiting the building. With the woman wandering the lobby of the courthouse, Lucier quickly went outside to take a photo of the license plate on the woman’s car. She then dialed 911 to report a disorderly person exhibiting signs of drug use who was refusing to comply with safety procedures.
As Officer Lucier was reentering the facility, the woman quickly exited and made a break for her car; she got behind the wheel and took off in a hurry. Two Public Safety Officers exited the courthouse and pursued the vehicle in a patrol car. A few minutes later, the group returned to the courthouse – including the woman – with a Police Officer in tow.
Thousands of Dollars of Controlled Substances
The Police Officer conducted an extensive round of questioning and administered field sobriety tests. The woman (not so surprisingly) failed the sobriety tests and was placed under arrest. After a search of her vehicle, Police and Security Officers uncovered a substantial amount of cocaine, meth, and various other controlled substances; multiple thousands of dollars of drugs were found.
The Police Officers thanked Officer Lucier for her adamant, responsible, and smart forward thinking that led to the arrest of the woman. They also included Officer Lucier’s name in the official report. From the very beginning, Calcie Lucier’s situational awareness and strategic approach to the situation was exemplary. Her professionalism, responsibility, and quick-thinking resulted in a safer environment and one less criminal out on the streets.