Formerly the Swole Sergeant, the newly promoted Lieutenant Michael Batchik, allows FYF to RIDE SHOTGUN!
What's up FLEX FAM? It's been a minute since we chatted. Speaking of a minute...
Welcome to FYF WitnessWear's MUSCLE MINUTE SERIES: SEASON 1, EPISODE 1
In this installment of our FLEX YOUR FAITH #MuscleMinute series, recently promoted Lieutenant Mike Batchik (formerly Sergeant) treats us to a fun day-long patrol cruiser ride-along from the headquarters of the Northeast Ohio based Uniontown Police Department, near the well known (and recently American flag crazed) Professional Football Hall of Fame. This inaugural FYF Muscle Minute Series launches our YouTube channel, expanding on the popular segments from our FYF Instagram account where we answer questions and dole out fitness fundamentals (emphasis on the fun, Michael Scott). Before you watch and read, follow us over at: www.instagram.com/flexurfaith
YouTube video link: https://youtu.be/4y2iWxBTynI
As we both set out on the mean streets of Uniontown, Officer Batchik handed me a standard issue Glock 40, and explained it's functionality. I immediately tossed it carelessly on the floorboard, and reached behind my left shoulder from the passenger seat to unlock the short-barrel shotgun, gave the pump action a sturdy pull and release, looked over at the newly christened Lieutenant, and with a stone cold face and 1,000 yard stare...I lowly growled at him: NOW I'M RIDING SHOTGUN.
THE SHORT & SWEET [Notes from the day]
-Stun guns with tasers (which can't be ejected without piles of paperwork) are worn on the left, whereas the read FIRE POWAHhh sits cozy on the boy in blue's right hip (tumbleweeds, I dare ya to blow across the street)
-Big Mike has to calibrate every week for the official breath alcohol machine by using a bottle of solution. Not sure what was in that bottle, but when I chugged a few gulps, I felt tingly and funny all day.
DID YOU KNOW: Officer field tests are not court admissible as real deal "put him in the slammer judge" evidence? Shucks, and I've been sober for over 30 years for nothin' I guess
-Weekly arrests spike when kids get out of school, which is why this local hero (more on that later) has three holding rooms (cough, cells) and an open holding room with a bolted bench and two egresses. It's just Uniontown's way of showing criminals (oops, alleged criminals) two ways they won't be escaping. GOTCHA! Nailed the joke.
-Among twenty-eleven other responsibilities Mike has, the Lieutenant often gives nutrition and fitness advice to other officers...as the resident "health nut" he's bombarded with requests to aid other officers' fitness quests. As ALWAYS, Batchik is the gentlemen and scholar, and pleasantly offers his quite substantial advice with pretty high frequency round the ole' watering hole (Mike is a very dedicated athlete, crediting nearly all of his recently lost-and-not-found 30+ pounds with his CrossFit consistency
-Mike always carries full combat gear in his cruiser, vigilant and much like the Boy Scout Troops across America, he is prepared for active shooter scenarios (and undergoes constant intense training)
-Mike's a certified and station-head taser + radar firearms instructor AND payroll and scheduling manager, WITH hand to hand combat training (Redman gear) and often works from home to get everything done...no, ladies, he isn't single. He's happily married, with a gorgeous family. He just finds a way to DO IT ALL
Mike's hero status was always on display as a day-in day-out dependable officer, father, and husband...but we were all clued into his courage when 50,000 and counting views proved his bravery in a fiery car rescue. Just ONE of several chance and horrifying encounters the Lieutenant has dealt with, in a quaint clean and quiet town called Hartville he was the first-responder on the scene to pull an unconscious man out of a vehicle engulfed in flames. Shortly after Mike's brave act, he was rightly recognized in our state's capital, Columbus, presented with an award for his service in saving a man's life while putting his own on the line. Mike DeWine personally thanked Mike for being the type of officer that sets the example, keeps the bar high, and on several occasions, keeps the citizens of the Buckeye State alive.
BODY CAMERAS (no, not like in a weird way, weirdo)
I was curious about the use of body cameras that have permanently made their way into all types of law enforcement and military missions. These are sophisticated, much more than a selfie camera on a shirt, they include several mics and automatically record from both body and within the cruiser when the lights turn on; offering two perspectives in case someone would cry wolf about the arrest process or whatnot. I assumed officers might see that as a constant nanny cam, when they've done nothing wrong, but in fact I was enlightened when he explained why he FULLY supports their use. Everyone has a camera nowadays, what with youngsters and iPod shuffles, and of course much of the content the 'Tube isn't meant to be flattering to the officer. While others can cut and edit sequences to look unfavorable on law enforcement, these cameras provide a true start-to-finish perspective for court room file for discovery with the prosecutor's office. Regular Joe's can also petition the department(s) for public information too, so if you're ever super bored...
BULLET PROOF BATCHIK
The Swole Sarge wears bullet proof vest always on duty, to my surprise this is common place with all officers now. Kevlar material has advanced to lightweight construction, well not that this stud of a soldier officer couldn't lug around the heaviest body armor. Hey, he could wear medieval knight armor, and still out police most police...he could too! He so could, uh huh! Oh, also he mentioned those vests get uncomfortable in summer, on account of the heat I presume. "Kinda hot in these rhinos..." -Jim C., Ace Ventura
POLICE STATION BY THE NUMBERS
-Staff: 8 full time officers with 14-part time and 3 secretaries/dispatchers
-Overseas area with a population 12,000 across 9 square miles inside of a township known to locals as the village of Hartville (probably because that's its name), Uniontown is a police district inside of Lake Township in the city of Green, Ohio since 1966 when the police district was founded. It's a lot like an Oreo, mixed inside of a sandwich...never mind. The good news for folks in the area is the setup makes for quick movement on decisions (board of trustees) because they wanna to get reelected; vote Tammany! Also, sheriffs can be slow to move because they're under contract like a gun for hire. Old west style. Remember that Will Smith movie with Salma Hayek, neither does anyone else.
-Mike's been cocking and rocking the Glock on the force (grew up and lives in area) for nearly 20 years now...he wants the BEST for the community because they pay for it AND SO DOES HE; so please, if you're one of those bone heads that says (or snidely thinks) 'My taxes pay your salary,' um, no. First of all, you ain't Donald Trump, and second, Mike pays taxes on his own income, which also funds his salary. Wait, what? That can't be right. Let me check........ YEP, that's right. Talk about incentive.
MO MONEY, LESS PROBLEMS
Sheriff offices are only meant to maintain jails but get contracted to beef up patrol presence in townships around Ohio...but they're independent, sort of detached. 911 can be tricky, especially with cell phones! They only ping off nearest cell phone tower. They could spend all day trying to find the source of a call especially if there's a sign of a struggle. They work their magic though. Harry Potter stuff, you wouldn't understand. FORTUNA MAJOR, EXPECTO PATRONUM!! -Harry Potter
State bidding on vehicles keeps cruiser costs down. Vehicle costs inflate by $2 g's with push bars (wish I had one). Pursuit rated means they don't mess around! It's like Mad Max, Fury Road. Oh, and in case things really get hairy, the tactical shotgun brought the crazy cousin to the party, AR-15 is ready to roll. YEAH, GET SOME, GET SOOOMMMEEEE!!!! You have to requalify yearly fir that, but uh, Mike's the instructor, so he's kind of a big deal.
ZEN, YODA, ANALYST, COP - ALL AT ONCE (you thought your job was hard)
Everything is a constant evaluation of risk and reward, and it's all on the fly. The public can be merciless and make snap judgements so often, but there's a lot of moving parts! For the most part, people wave from their front yards (and Mike waves back - so did I)
THE PROMOTION MOTION
Ranks: Patrol, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Chief (detectives don't outrank anyone because it's just a specialty, although some depts. have deep levels of ranks based on force size. Like New York's finest)
The former Swole Sarge admits some of his past life's missteps before coming to know Jesus. For example, before he was renewed by his relationship with the Saviour, he used to tend to let those four-letter words fly free. Like so many other Believers' testimonies, Mike felt that God started changing his heart, by softening it and making it sensitive to His work, over time. Like many of us who have chosen not to lead a "good" life free from profanity and other vices that can harm our effectiveness in building the Kingdom, Mike's experienced some friendly ribbing from fellow officers. For those Christians out there working in a secular office or job, we know the feeling. Slowly but surely after spending 40 hours a week near coworkers, they start to notice "something is different," and eventually will be approached by one (or all) of their colleagues. This is a fantastic way to witness and share your love for the Creator who first loved us, by the way. Back to Mike, he was concerned about saying bad word on his body mic, which is interesting because even in a rapidly devolving secularized world, is still a benchmark of unprofessional-ism. It's curious how a lost person (judge) or world at large, has and will always borrow from original Biblical principles and teachings to construct their own workplace policies, ideals, and perceptions. Food for thought...
Mike went on to share that he actively (much more than a lazy cliché) tries to LEARN from his mistakes of the past, both as a man of Faith and as a devoted enforcer of the law. Like anyone, Mike confesses to sometimes over-correcting his decision-making process, but only because his heart is so focused on providing outstanding service to his neighbors and community. Something we were left with during our day in the patrol car with the Lieutenant, was his overwhelming passion for his dutiful allegiance to upholding the law and his reputation. Admirable and rare, Mike showcases what represents the best of us, even knowing that we're all sinners who have fallen short of God's standard, Mike is a striking example of a gentlemen in every sense of the word, all while carrying out one of the most criticized and demanding careers literally under the scrutiny of the public. Calling his balancing act impressive is a pathetic understatement.
FOOLED YOU COPPA' JUST TRY AND CLOCK ME - I HAVE A DETECTOR!
More and more with advancements in technology and anti-technology, as humans we're programmed to find loopholes and exploit them. One example would be the past couple decades of Radar advancements and the accompanying flux of anti-radar devices people with a heavy foot and some horsepower have used. Mike explained that rather than the golden day era of "GOTCHA!" radar detectors they could leave on until a speeder zoomed by, they now implement the "instant on" tech, which means no radar detector can sense it ahead of time because it doesn't transmit between vehicle clocks. Oh, those sly boots in blue! Some people will demand to see the radar screen, and while officers don't have to grant that, it can create a hostile environment and allowing people to get out of car is never good. Radar/Lidar calibration is constant and a best practice according to courts and prosecutors, it's best to start and end of day and after every stop as a safeguard with a readjustment. Basically, that means if you really want to go up against Ohio's finest (or any buff badge fella) in court, you "could" argue that the gun was not properly calibrated to clock your accurate speed. This is a last-ditch effort, and a pretty transparent one at that. If the judge doesn't roll his eyes while citing you at fault, you'll still end up with hefty court costs and a wasted afternoon. So, you know, stop speeding silly head!
CAMARADERIE & COLLABORATION WITH OTHER DEPARTMENTS
Mike's station works well with other departments, even collaborating often for cross-training, support, and backup. Police have made great strides at developing mutual relationships everywhere. It truly isn't like Hollywood would have you believe, where the leather skinned tough-as-nails detective claims jurisdiction like some fist-pounding czar when he's first to the scene. Honestly, it's just like any other job...results come from a willingness to work as a single unit. Solidarity for the win baby! Speaking of which, Mike has undergone EXTENSIVE force on force training by the "ALERRT" Group based in Texas. He's experienced high-stress simulated situations at local high schools in preparation for active shooter scenarios, which is unfortunately necessary in today's world no matter how quiet or seemingly innocuous a township may be. Mike has directly worked with teachers' preparedness programs, and fired blank shotgun shells within school buildings in a controlled environment of course, so educators could hear the shot and feel the panic as they locked doors. They go through these exercises and are timed by their superiors, all while working with surrounding police forces.
WRAP IT UP AND GIVE IT TO A KID ON CHRISTMAS, CAUSE WE'RE DONE!
The one takeaway that remains fresh after all the information and enjoyable hours both in the station and in the interceptor, is how MUCH work goes into keeping things calm and safe on the surface. As a civilian, it was not just eye opening, it created a MASSIVE until-now-unknown sense of appreciation and respect. We've always respected the men and women here and overseas that risk EVERYTHING for a greater good and a powerful selfless purpose...but with just one day, it became clear far more goes into that commendable mission than driving around and doling out speeding tickets. To Lieutenant Batchik and his fellow officers I was pleased to meet, thank you for your welcome into a world not often seen. We are amazed at the level of devotion that is poured into our local townships, districts, and cities by these often-un-thanked ladies and gentlemen of the law. Please pray for their safety, because their lives are spent protecting yours. Until next time, clothe yourself in Christ and wear your Saviour on your sleeve!! www.flexyourfaith.com
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