As I have said previously, I met some very interesting people while working as a police officer and County Sheriff, and during that time I heard some very remarkable and utterly strange answers and statements from people. Here are just a few . . .
• “You don't need any bullets. We'll give you some when you get back. They won't know it's not loaded." (from the Chief Deputy, after he gave me a gun on my first day on the job, and I had to go on an emergency call with another officer.)
• "I am hitchhiking to China. I am joining the Communist army. I talked about it with Mao Tse Tung on a park bench in Indy last week. He said everyone over there is treated equal. I may wade across the Pacific if it's not too deep." (from a fellow I found sitting in a yard near I-74 one winter afternoon . . . he had escaped from Central State Mental Hospital.)
• "Well, Officer Dale, the flying saucer just took off toward the Big Dipper. The aliens knocked on my door, but I did not let them in." (from a lady that had too much vodka . . . for the last 50 years.)
• "I am working on my car. It backfired. I don't need a light. I can feel the parts." (from a man who had fired off a shotgun at 2 a.m. and was hiding in a barn that had no lights on inside.)
• "I have only had the usual amount of beers I drink every day." (from a man I arrested for domestic battery. I discovered later that he drank a CASE of 24 beers every day!)
• "Officer, I think I may need to go to the hospital." (from a man who was in the middle of the street and waved me down late at night. He had been knifed, and his intestines were protruding from his abdomen.)
• "I am just going down here to 26th Street to get a bite to eat. I walked here from Dayton, Ohio." (from an elderly man who was walking down the middle of Big Four Arch Road in his pajamas at 3 a.m. He had wandered off from a nursing home.)
• "Well, I don't think I am going with you . . . so just what are you going to do about it, Mr. Big-Shot Police Officer?" (from a guy who was wanted on an arrest warrant when he answered the door. He looked like the Hulk. I was nice, and he came with me. I didn't even handcuff him.)
• "That dog usually doesn't bite anyone." (from a lady whose son sent his pitbull to attack me when I tried to arrest him. The dog clamped on my lower leg and would not let go.)
• "I'll send you your money back as soon as I arrive home. Thanks so much, Officer Dale!" (from several stranded motorists through the years after I loaned them gas money. I never heard from any of them again.)
• "I only had a couple." (from EVERYONE I ever arrested for drunk driving.)
• "Hi, Officer . . . we were only talking." (from a young man who was parked behind Northridge Middle School one cold winter night. Both he and his female companion had no clothes on.)
• "I am going down to the Courthouse to file. I am running for Governor of Indiana!" (from the SAME hitchhiker....a year later....near the SAME spot on I-74....who had previously wanted to go to China. He had escaped from Central State AGAIN!)
If you think you want to be a police officer, be prepared. You never know what you may hear.

John "Butch" Dale is a retired teacher and County Sheriff. He has also been the librarian at Darlington the past 30 years, and is a well-known artist and author of local history.