LOWELL (CBS) – Next time you’re lamenting this Arctic weather, think of Kevin Garneau. He’s the only Lowell police officer who was willing to ride around on his bike when the temperatures went from single digits to teens on Thursday. In fact, he insists on the outside bicycle beat every work day.
“Bad guys sometimes look for the cruisers. They don’t always look for the guy on foot or the bike, because they don’t relate that an officer would be out there in the extreme weather,” he explains. If he were assigned a cruiser? “I would respectfully decline.”
Even in the bitter cold, he says being outside gives him an edge. Some question his sanity. “Your face must be freezing,” said one of the regulars in the neighborhood he patrols. “It’s not too bad right now,” he insists. Then he noticed someone leaning against a building in an unusual way. “You alright kid?” He took the man’s pulse and called an ambulance. He says he may not have noticed him if he were driving by in a warm cruiser with the windows up.
The cold keeps him awake, alert, and connected to his community. “I feel trapped in cars,” he said. And the bonus, “I don’t get stuck in traffic at all.”
Remember that next time you’re cursing these temperatures. Mind over matter.