Byron Goes Extra Mile
This account is from “Police Beat,” the newsletter of the Mission Street Police Station in San Francisco. The writer had permission to use the name and life account that follows:
Byron Miles, a 42-year-old ex-junkie, jumped out of his shining black sports car to greet me on 24th Street recently. His eyes were bright when he said, “Thank you for arresting me.”
Miles told me he had been working as a manager at The Salvation Army Thrift Store in Redwood City since July l, 1996. Miles looked healthy and sounded happy. He has put on weight since I last saw him about a year and a half ago, when I arrested him for drug possession.
Some of you may remember Miles. He was tall, gaunt, and would approach you carrying an old plastic spray bottle and dirty rag to clean your car windows when you parked at Bell Market.
After I arrested him, Miles was held in county jail for five months before his case was “dispo’d” and he agreed to enter a live-in drug treatment program at The Salvation Army. Miles says that after he joined the program, he worked as a carpenter for five months, then was made assistant manager. He transferred to the retail side and the thrift store, where he became assistant manager within one month, and then the manager of 10 employees.
Miles credits God with his continuing recovery. He said his new philosophy was PHD: Praise Him Daily. When I asked about the difficulties he’d experienced, Miles said, “I don’t think there was a hard part. Once I realized that God was missing in my life, my real recovery became my spiritual recovery.” His message to addicts is: “Surrender yourself to God. The rest will follow.”
Miles now lives in Vallejo, and practices what he preaches by working daily with the New Hope Ministry. In fact, he invited me to speak at a future Monday night meeting. At best I had my reservations. Then I figured I’d do okay–I’m a recovering Catholic.
“One more thing,” Miles said before leaving. “Tell your readers to visit my store. It’s on Veterans Boulevard in Redwood City.” So now that I’ve told you, will you go the extra mile?
Until next time, be safe and I’ll see you on patrol.