I have been pursuing a career in Law Enforcement. I have a friend who works for the department and has been trying to get me to apply. Though I was already in the process with another department and that has fizzled at the moment, I decided to apply. So, why not do a ride-a-long.
Last night, I went on an evening ride-a-long with A Police Department from 18:00 – 00:00. For the night time ride-a-longs, their policy is only 6 hours and or no later than midnight. I assume this is for safety reasons because the overnight crowd, is well, more temperamental lets say.
Let me just start off by saying the personnel are all amazing from the officers to the Sergeants, Lieutenants to even the Dispatchers.
To begin the night my buddy gave me a tour of the station, which is super amazing, and his car and gave me the play by play in the unlikely event that something should go down and what HE wanted me to do rather than what I would do in the situation. Basically saying, defy my instincts to assist and take cover. He knows me all too well.
One of the things I realized is that everyone we came in contact with whether it was a traffic stop, transient laying on the side walk, folks in a restaurant, or even folks just driving by, everyone was more positive. I guess what I mean is, the nature in which people conducted themselves around us was in a positive manner rather than skiddish or looking at us out of the corner of their eye or trying to hide or get out of our way to avoid making some kind of contact with us.
We pulled over a couple of people. One dude was clearly NOT wearing his seat belt as he passed us trying to get to work, he was advised and not cited. Another vehicle blew a stop sign in a residential area right in front of us. He was advised and not cited. Anniversary gift from BPD to them. The last one we stopped was more interesting because my buddy and I looked at each other at the same time like WTF! We were behind a vehicle with a Arizona License Plate. The thing about it and reason we pulled him over was to check it out. It looked fake, like it was printed on a piece of paper. There was a sheen to it as if it was a paper plate you get from the dealership. It was not 3D like a regular license plate would be from any other state. Clearly, this is a new thing they were doing now in AZ. Plate came back real and authentic. The driver was not mad or upset about it at all, in-fact we had a few laughs and he went on his merry way.
Intoxicated dude. While doing a patrol in a neighborhood, where it is predicted that on our shift a crime would occur, we were flagged down by a concerned resident about some random dude who seemed under the influence of something and acting strange. Sure enough. We found the teenager in a state I call SUPER HIGH, to the fact that he seemed drunk just by looking at him. He was standing at the top of some stairs that lead to apartments. Immediately, we noticed he was holding himself up on the railing eating a bag of something. I did not go near per my buddy. I stayed at the car in a tactical position in the unlikely event I needed to take cover somewhere. Basically, this dude was SUPER HIGH and waiting for his friend to come out so they could go to his girls house. This dude was just not being honest about anything… I won’t even get into it. Basically, thanks to prop 49, unless they are caught smoking weed, no point in wasting time arresting them. For safety reasons, back up was called and arrived in under 2 minutes just to babysit the other guy while my buddy was chatting with and giving a life lesson to a know it all teenager. End of the call, we cleared with no arrest and everyone left peacefully without incident.
Domestic Dispute calls are the reason I didn’t really want to join a police department, however, I do have a knack for talking to people and assist them with resolving their issues in a manner in which does not include violence or hostility toward anyone. The first one was a dude angry that another dude and his family were “Taunting” him and flipping him the bird trying to get a reaction out of him. The first dude has a restraining order on the other dude and family because of a long time feud which I still don’t understand. I suppose the only reason is because the first dude is Cuban and the other is Mexican and the Mexican family hates the Cuban family and is trying to get them to relocate. The next one was in regards to a custody dispute where the dad came over to pick up his Son and Daughter, while the mom was getting the daughter ready to go, dad just left with his son. The mom was having an issue with the fact that dad was not answering his phone or texts when she would try to contact him. He was late bringing him back and disliked the fact that he didn’t take his daughter as well. This seemed more of a cultural issue, without sounding racist in any way, its just what it is. In the end, mom had to physically come to dad’s apartment to get her son. Granted, by the time we got there it was about 21:00.
We did get a trespassing call where 4 teens were near and around a house that was under construction and smoking pot. Unfortunately, they were Unable To Locate. Oh well.
All in all, we had a great evening and it was an experience I will remember. I really enjoyed the contact I had with all the officers and brass and would feel very comfortable working for this department.