I’ve never had to do a job before with a bulletproof vest. 4th of July weekend, I was up in Helena, MT filming a Wardens TV show. I’ve filmed a few of their shows before, so I kind of knew what to expect, but Game Wardens operate a little differently in Helena. There are only two Wardens for the Helena area and they are required to respond to a lot more of the Deputies’ calls. This means that we dealt with a lot more DUI’s and domestic violence calls rather than checking hunting/fishing permits.
The first thing the Warden told me was to pick out a bulletproof vest. I raised my eyebrows and he said it was my choice, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. He told me a couple of stories where he’s had close calls and was glad he had the vest, so I picked out my vest.
We started work around 2 pm and would work until 1 am because most of the calls are later after people have been drinking. We gave out a few DUI’s to people who definitely should not have been on the road. It was kind of scary seeing how drunk some of these people were behind the wheel. We did check a lot of fishing licenses, but everyone was legal. We also went out on the Wardens’ boat to make sure people were being safe on the lake. The wardens used some positive reinforcement by giving families free ice cream gift certificates for wearing life jackets.
As it got later in the day, the calls started getting a little more intense. We responded to some domestic violence calls that were really sad. We also went “code” (sirens and lights) to a campground where shots were reportedly fired. By the time we got there, 6 or 7 deputies had already arrived and one guy was being taken away to jail. There was still a pretty rowdy group of campers and they had to run an investigation on what happened. All in all, it was a pretty exciting 4th of July weekend.