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Phoenix officer recovering from scooter accident

PHOENIX — After an accident on a remote country road just hours after being married, a local police officer is mostly disappointed she'll miss the first days of school.

Phoenix-Talent School District school resource officer Janet Bailey was hospitalized after a scooter accident near Fossil earlier this month. With a broken elbow and metal rods and screws throughout her right arm, Bailey returned home this week and is facing at least a month's time to heal.

Contacted by phone on Wednesday, Bailey said she had attended an annual Oregon School Resource Officers conference in Bend (Aug. 4-7) and had planned a mini-vacation with her new husband, visiting friends and performing a show in Seattle.

Bailey, 59, and her new husband, a friend of 20 years, had a small wedding ceremony Aug. 9 at her favorite childhood park near Condon. A few hours later they went for a ride.

"We have a Vespa scooter, and our rear tire blew out on a really hot day, so down we went. Luckily we had slowed down or we could have been more seriously hurt. It happened literally three hours after I got married. That was my honeymoon — being air-flighted to a hospital in The Dalles, then transported to RVMC (now Rogue Regional Medical Center)."

An active western folk musician, Bailey said she was grateful the accident did not cause more damage than to put a temporary kibosh on work, music and horseback riding.

Bailey's husband, who asked not to be named, suffered cracked ribs, scrapes and bruises.

Bailey, who shares a combined 18 children with her new husband, spent a number of years as detective and patrol officer for the Ashland Police Department and has served over the years in various law enforcement capacities, including as an investigator for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and a number of stints with United Nations peacekeeping forces.

Phoenix police Chief Derek Bowker said an officer would be assigned to Phoenix schools in Bailey's absence and that the department would utilize reserve officers to fill voids in patrols.

Phoenix High Principal Jani Hale said Bailey, who has served as school resource officer since 2007, is an important part of Phoenix schools and will be missed.

"When you do what she does, you have this day in and day out life with these kids," Hale said. "She's not just somebody who comes to school wearing a uniform. She's part of our Phoenix family.

"She's very funny. She's got a great heart, great courage, and she cares a great deal for these kids."

Bailey, who also serves as the Police Department's child abuse and sexual assault investigator, said she was eager to begin using her right arm and to get back to work and to school.

"I love the beginning of school and getting to know the kids. I really feel like I'm missing out.

"But I'll be back to work soon. And I'm really just grateful it wasn't worse."

Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer living in Medford. Email her at buffyp76@yahoo.com.