Great State: Drag Boat Cop

Great State
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OKLAHOMA CITY AND BLANCHARD, OKLAHOMA -- He works out of the Lake Hefner station. Jimmy Parsons grew up on Lake Eufala. He's been around boats and water all his life so it's no surprise that Officer Parsons patrols the waters of lakes Hefner and Overholser. "It's a big sail boat lake," he says as he launches his patrol boat from its slip.

Most of the time it's pretty quiet, a boat in trouble here, someone fishing without a license there. "Good thing it's not a party lake," suggests a passenger. "Yeah," smiles Parsons. "That's good for me."

Officer Parsons may be happy for a peaceful day on the job, but there is a part of him that likes a little speed and some noise too. Not many people on this lake know it but fans of drag boat racing know Jimmy as 'the fastest cop on the water'. "I know a few of them do," he says. "But most of them don't."

He's been racing drag boats for 20 years. Parsons started out small and kept moving up. He won the Pro-Modified class at the Oklahoma City race last year. He has a garage wall filled with awards, but this year he moved up in class again. His race team bought a bigger boat in North Carolina. "526 cubic inches," says Jimmy.

Bigger engine, a different class of racing altogether. "We put a new blower on it and new props and now there's no telling what's going to happen. I hope it goes straight," he chuckles. "That's half the fun," says his visitor. "Yeah. That's half the fun. As long as we don't sink we'll be okay."

He raced his new boat once already this spring but a hole in the bottom slowed him down some. He says, "It's not worth crashing or sinking." No flashing lights on this boat unless you count the flames that shoot out the exhaust pipes.

The name painted on the side says Domestic Disturbance II. It's about the only link to the policeman's job that helps support his hobby. "That's what it can cause in your family life too as much money as these things cost," he says.

No one gives out speeding tickets on a drag strip but 'the fastest cop on the water' has a new boat. This one isn't built for pursuit. It's built to pass.

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