Monday, July 13, 2009

What a Way to Start the Day...

I had a ride-along yesterday who commented that "Man! You sure have a lot of stuff to do before you hit the street."

I guess I never really thought about it, but yeah, I do have a lot to do at the start of my shift.

I show up and open my locker, obviously.

If it's Monday, I hang a uniform on the locker door and put my badge and other accouterments on my shirt. I put my notebook and business cards in my shirt pocket, along with my cell phone and a little cash for the day.

Next, I put my body armor on. Then I plug in my radio earpiece and put it in my ear before putting my uniform and boots on. After that I put on my duty belt, with keepers.

I check my duty weapon and holster it. Spark check my Taser, and holster that as well. Check my flashlight and clip it on. Gloves and folding knife into their appropriate pockets. Extend and collapse my ASP baton, then back into the scabbard. Check both pairs of handcuffs to make sure they didn't mysteriously double lock themselves overnight (hey, it has happened). Shake the OC can and put it in it's holder.

One last glance in the mirror, then it's out to the office where I check my voice-mail and e-mail. Then I pull my citations for traffic court, if I have traffic court today. Grab a portable radio, put it in my radio holder and plug my earpiece into the speaker mic.

After briefing, I grab my duty bag and a radar, and maybe a new book of tickets. Check out a rifle and shotgun, then head out to the parking lot to find where the last person parked my car. Function checks on the rifle and shotgun, then into the racks they go. Function check on the radar and it goes between the seats. Duty bag in the trunk, cite book on the front seat.

Walk around the patrol car to check for any new damage that may have mysteriously appeared during the night (that happens too). Look for flat tires.

After all that, I start the car (if I'm lucky), turn on the computer so it can start booting up (also if I'm lucky), and turn on the emergency lights. Get back out and look at the lights (oooooooooh, pretty flashing lights....), making especially sure the steady burning red (the only really required light) is working. Back in the car, blip the siren to make sure it works (and piss off all the neighbors), then flip the lights off. If it's dark, check the spotlights.

See if the car needs gas, and if so, hit the pumps.

The whole time I've had an ear to the radio to make sure there isn't some emergency going on that would have the channel locked up. Now I'll log on to the computer, if there's no emergency traffic I'll key the radio and log on with dispatch, and we can finally hit the streets.

It sure does sound like a lot to do, and it must seem endless to a rider, but for me it's just another day at the office.

Then the real fun begins...

16 comments:

Front Porch Society said...

All important to do before the shift really "begins." Equipment failure amid answering a call can really suck!

David Woycechowsky said...

Do you check your dashcam when you check your overheads, or do you do it after that?

Also, when do you chack your GPS?

*Goddess* said...

"One last glance in the mirror..." LOL! Ya gotta look good:)

Expatriate Owl said...

I have an analogous situation when I teach my classes. I have to check up on the latest news to see if there are any new developments in the subjects (law and taxation), which, in any given week, there always are. It might be new legislation in Congress, a new court decision, or some new rule posted in the Federal Register, but there is always something germane to the lecture in any given week. And I've got to keep current, if for no other reason than I cannot let the students know more than the professor.

So you can surely imagine the agita in my stomach whenever I hear someone say that part-time faculty members such as myself just go in, teach their classes, and then leave for their real jobs (or, in my case, my law practice). Or when we are accused of just presenting the material from the textbooks, but not being immersed in scholarship like the full-timers (never mind that some of my published law review articles have been cited by judges in their judicial opinions).

One quote attributed to Lincoln (whether he actually said it or not is another matter): "If I had four hours to cut down a tree, I would spend three hours sharpening the saw."

To do the job correctly, you've got to spend time sharpening the saw.

Officer "Smith" said...

David:

You don't read well, do you. I've already addressed those non-issues in prior posts.

Goddess:

They don't call it RALB for nothing.

(That'd be Riding Around Lookin Bitchin)

David Woycechowsky said...

Maybe I am not using the blog search function correctly. I tried "dashcam," "dash cam," "camera," and "GPS."

Some interesting posts came up, including some scathing criticism for shopkeepers who don't check their in-store cameras often enough, but I didn't see anything about your dashcam or your GPS unit.

Carteach0 said...

I teach high school seniors in tech school (and adults). It's the same there, only different :-)

Show up an hour early, even though contract time says fifteen minutes early. Scan the e-mail fast for any last minutes class disruptions that magically appeared overnight. Go over the days lesson, and prepare the demonstrations. Copy 50 sets of handouts and task sheets (if the copier is not wasted once again). Etc.....

copswife said...

After my husband spends all that time putting his gear on he hates having to go to the bathroom. It is a major pain to take the duty belt on and off.

Officer "Smith" said...

David,

I have told you before, in response to your comments about dash cameras, that my agency does not have them.

We also don't have GPS. If I don't know where I'm going, which is exceedingly rare, I consult my map.

Perhaps the fact that I didn't mention a dash-cam or GPS in this post should have been your first clue that they don't exist in my patrol car.

Is there any specific reason you have led my readers off on yet another meaningless tangent?

Front Porch Society said...

I want to say something SO very bad to this douchebag of a patent lawyer that keeps making insanely stupid and ignorant comments....but I have had enough with idiots this week. I have a LOT of targets to shoot up at the range tomorrow morning........DEEP BREATHES.....

David Woycechowsky said...

I think the GPS is good because it can tell the stationhouse where the policeman is when the policeman can't for whatever reason. To me, it is an officer safety issue. Also, if a bad person tries to say that the policeman was somewhere that he wasn't, the GPS records can show that the policeman was exactly where he said he was. It is also protection against false reports.

It might be better to hold off on dashcam until they make ones that can stream video back to the base. I think those are coming and it will be a good officer safety innovation.

Me said...

Death to slaps who put a cruiser away at EOT with less than half a tank of gas.

Oh, and David, it sounds like you want us all to have our own personal supervisor--or better yet, a member of some civilian review board--riding along with us.

Why not just come out and say that you don't trust us and want us all to be heavily monitored and robbed of any semblance of independence or discretion?

BTW, I think that lawyers who bill clients by the hour or fraction thereof should be able to be watched on camera and have their computer monitored by those clients at all times, just to "keep the lawyer safe".

David Woycechowsky said...

Oh, Me! Your comment reminds me of a driver who will not consent to a simple vehicle search. Nothing to hide means . . .

Mrs. "Smith" said...

Ok, Davey, everyone has been been polite until now and not been wanting to say anything. I'm tired of you and frankly, I don't give a poop what you think of me so here goes. Would you get over your rectal-cranial inversion and realize you are a puffed up, self righteous, misconstruing, obfuscating, obtuse, non attention paying, self important buffoon that no one wants to deal with and go the fudge away?

You hid access to your blog by coming up with a second profile so no one could post inanities on it the way you do here and other LE blogs. Why don't you go be a troll under your own bridge and rot there.

BootedCop said...

Checking all that crap pre-shift is another reason to be a motorcop...we just have to look in the mirror--twice.

You know why motors always pass by a pretty girl twice? To let her get a second look!

Not a Granny said...

I work for a DV center and we require each of our new employees to do a ride along with our local Sheriff's office. Not because we are on the look out for DV, but because we want each employee to have a very deep respect for what each LE officer goes through, not only trying to get ready for their shift but some of the inane and idiotic things they have to put up with each and every day.

Then you come here, some place to relax I would imagine have to put up with more idiots.

Thank you for what you do and I'm sorry the internets can be so stupid!