Music Brings Officer and Community Member Together

Recently, Officer Trainee Michael Morey II, who graduated from the police academy two months prior, went to work in his new career not knowing what his day would bring.  After arriving, Officer Trainee Morey was placed with a relief Field Training Officer (FTO) because his assigned trainer had taken the day off.

Relief FTO, Senior Corporal Larry Bankston, and Officer Trainee Morey were assigned to patrol the Central Business District. During their shift, the officers marked out on foot patrol at S. Lamar and Elm Street so that they can engage in first-hand community policing. As they were walking the beat, Officer Trainee Morey noticed a woman holding a guitar attempting to play. As Officer Trainee Morey approached the woman, she immediately became irritated and expressed her dislike towards law enforcement. However, her dislike did not discourage Officer Trainee Morey from trying to build a positive relationship with the woman. Officer Trainee Morey expressed his love for music and particularly the guitar and that he would like to hear her play. The woman informed the officer that her guitar was not tuned. (This is where the bridge was built) Officer Trainee Morey, who has a Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of North Texas, seized the opportunity and asked permission to tune the guitar. The woman agreed and handed the guitar to Officer Morey.

In all of 20-30 seconds, Officer Trainee tuned the guitar and began performing and giving tips to the woman on how to play the guitar. Everyone standing around was highly impressed with his skills on the guitar. The woman and Officer Trainee Morey talked about music for the next few minutes and the mood change from hostility to a more relaxed environment. “It felt special that I was able to connect with a member of the community,” stated Officer Trainee Morey. 

As the night went on and the officers resumed patrolling, they received a call about a theft offense. Little did they know that the complainant on the theft call would be the same woman they encountered earlier playing the guitar. The woman had become a victim of a crime and when Officer Trainee Morey and his Relief FTO Bankson arrived, the woman did not hesitate to speak to them and provide information about what had occurred. The officers were able to assist in locating the stolen items and have them returned to the victim. She expressed her gratitude and thank them for their assistance. 

This video captured Officer Trainee Morey’s contact with the woman.