Cop Corner

By Officer Ken McNeill
Pleasanton Police Department

When a police officer calls for “Code 3 cover,” it means “I need help right now!” When our partners call for help, we come running at full speed. How about yours?

Who is coming to help you when you call for Code 3 cover? Hopefully, your friends would be on their way. Of course, if you call 911, the police will show up. And for some reason, we also always happen to show up if you’re in the park after dark or just somewhere you shouldn’t be.

I heard in a song once that when you’re feeling down or need some help, it doesn’t take long to “Find out who your friends are.”

Take an honest look at the people you choose to hang out with. When you’re at your weakest, do they offer a hand and treat you with respect? Or do they take advantage of you, talk down to you, or even worse, make sport of you? Unfortunately, I’ve seen the worst of what could happen when so-called friends prey on others who trusted them.

Why would you hang around those types of people? You deserve better than that. Real friends boost your confidence and make you a better person. False friends are available to you only when it benefits them.

Step back and examine your relationships. If you see your friends are a bad influence, then separate yourself. Find positive things to fill your time so you can make yourself unavailable to those people. Go out for a sport, join a club, spend time with your family, or even … spend extra time doing a better job on your homework.

Also, the Pleasanton Police Department has some opportunities in which you can get involved such as the Teen Academy or the Police Explorer program. You also should take advantage of the many classes and programs available through the City of Pleasanton’s Parks and Community Services Department.

The people with whom you associate are usually an accurate reflection of you. They’re also a reflection of your own feelings of self worth. Unfortunately, as police officers, we have seen plenty of teens make bad choices because of the negative influences of others.

Cop Corner will have plenty of future columns to teach you about safety and not getting your property stolen, but you could really set yourself up for success by surrounding yourself with a positive circle of friends.

One of the hardest choices you could make this year might just be to choose better friends.

You can contact Officer Ken McNeill at 931-5233 or

Posted Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010