Tripple Overtime: Not another Kevin James movie
By now you may have heard of the “Skateboard Cop.” And before you make any assumptions on what that is if you have not heard of it, let me clarify — it is not the sequel to “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” featuring a portly Kevin James, who needs to learn how to skateboard in order to save yet another mall from yet another absurd premise, solidifying my long-held theory that Adam Sandler isn’t even trying anymore and is, in fact, just messing with us now.
While I’m sure that one day those movie rights will inevitably generate millions of dollars in revenue, for now, the “Skateboard Cop” isn’t Kevin James — it’s Green Bay, Wisc.’s Joel Zwicky.
A police officer for 10 years and skateboarder for four, Zwicky now patrols the streets of Green Bay on a custom longboard set with police lights and a GBPD logo, in a full police uniform with gun and all. Oh, and don’t forget the helmet — safety first, when you’re dropping into half-pipes with a loaded weapon at your hip.
OK — so maybe he’s not dropping into half-pipes, but he is patrolling the streets and claims that the board enables him to not only offer a police presence in places that may have otherwise gone neglected but also makes him more approachable to the public.
While I have no idea why any police officer, or any person for the matter, would ever want to make themselves more approachable to the general public, I do think it’s a good idea — especially for some of our local beach towns.
Why not, right? Is it any more dangerous than riding a bike? Anyone who’s ever crossed Coastal Highway on Fourth of July weekend can tell you that it’s not.
You’re just as likely to have a texting, tweeting Pennsylvanian mow you down in their minivan on their way to Sunsations while riding your skateboard as you are riding your bike, or anything, really — maybe with the exception of Razor scooters, which are clearly too aerodynamic to get hit by a car.
Like Green Bay, Fenwick and Bethany aren’t exactly hotbeds for violent crime. Think of the calls that an officer typically gets in the summertime in those towns: noise complaints, maybe a stolen bike, loitering skate rats at the local surf shop.
I know when I was one of those loitering skate rats, I would have been much more likely to listen to safety tips from the Skateboard Cop than I would be from someone who just rolled up in a squad car and interrupted me and my skate rat friends while we were trying to score free french fries at Ocean Side.
Plus skaters are notorious for their rebellious attitudes — that’s kind of what the sport was built on. Maybe some of them just need something they can relate to: another skateboarder.
Skateboarding would no longer be a crime. Instead, it might just help prevent it — at least the typical misdemeanors that happen every day in small towns like the ones in our area: vandalism, loitering, disturbing the peace… You know, hood rat stuff.
I know that I would have been less likely to light fireworks off behind the beach stand or try to bribe innocent liquor store patrons to buy me and my friends a 30-pack if I knew the Skateboard Cop was silently cruising the streets and could show up at any moment. (Disclaimer: If any long-tenured Fenwick Island police officers are reading this, I am purely speculating here and didn’t do anything of these things when I was a kid. If not — then, yeah, I totally did all of those things.)
That’s what the Skateboard Cop would be perfect for, though — keeping kids from doing stupid things that are going to annoy adults.
I doubt Zwicky, or any officer around here that were to follow suit, would be of much use in a situation were a serious crime is being committed. If you’re chasing a bank robber (Does that still happen?) then by all means ditch the board, turn your safety back on and jump in the squad car. Unless you’re Kevin James, in which case, by all means, attach the fireworks you confiscated from 16-year-old me to your trucks and launch your way to saving the day and landing another poorly written Adam Sandler script.