I start the day in our other zone again with a quick breakfast. The morning gets off to a fairly routine start and I have time to conduct a few traffic stops. Surprisingly the theme of the morning was 3 drivers with no driver’s licenses. All 3 had been cancelled or revoked for one reason or another and all 3 were stopped because they had very obviously committed driving offenses in front of me.
The afternoon wasn’t so calm, I was dispatched and arrived first on scene to an injury MVI. A motorcycle and car had collided. Fire personnel were on scene treating those involved. My job as the first police officer on scene is to ensure we have everyone on scene and that they are able to get the care required as soon as possible. I requested the next responding units close the road off to protect the scene, the injured and the first responders. EHS requested that we setup a landing zone (“LZ”) for the Air Ambulance to medi-vac one of the injured out.
These scenes are quite a lot to manage. We need to make sure the injured get assessed, there are Fire fighters and Paramedics running around focused on their tasks. Witnesses that we need to get statements from, loved ones we need to inform. We have to call Transit to detour buses, advise the media so the public knows the roads are closed. We also have to protect the scene and preserve the evidence so that our collision analysts can do their job. In a serious crash where people are seriously injured or killed it’s our responsibility to investigate the cause to the best of our ability for their sake. Some times people come across a closed road that is, without a doubt, an inconvenience and are quite upset by it. At times we need to find a way to remind them that if it was their loved one on the clam shell stretcher that was just loaded into the Medi-vac, they’d expect no less from us.
I stayed on scene until the collision analysts were done. For a shift that was supposed to end at 6pm, I arrived home just before midnight.
Day shift #2
The bosses told me to adjust my shift today in order to get enough sleep after the unexpectedly long day yesterday so I started 2 hours late. I spent the better part of the morning cataloging exhibits from the crash and cleaning up the report.
The afternoon I had to get out of the office though. While on the road I was dispatched to the report of a 6yr old that had knocked on someone’s door and was lost. You can imagine the fear a child must feel being separated from family and as a parent I can imagine the feeling of not knowing where my child is. While the homeowner was on the phone with police he tried to invite the boy inside to keep him safe until we arrived but the little boy remembered not to go into strangers houses and ran. I came across him with a neighbor just down the street. The little guy was scared and upset and wouldn’t tell the strangers his name. I got him calmed down, moved the gear in my front seat to the trunk and he hopped in my police car with a smile. Just as this was happening his Dad was on the phone with 911 to report that his son had gone missing. My partner met the dad a couple blocks away and it turned out they were visiting from out of town and neither knew the area, there was nothing suspicious about the circumstances. As I drove the little boy back to his dad he said I was “cool like Batman” which, without a doubt, made my day. After father and son were reunited I shook his little hand, over his dad’s shoulder, as he was wrapped up in a hug. It was one of those calls that was simple, wrapped up in 10 minutes but was a great, positive interaction with people.
The very last thing I did before the end of shift was stop a lady for speeding on my way back to the office. I had over 30 minutes left before the end of shift and plenty of time to write a ticket but decided not to. After writing over $1,000 in fines yesterday the discussion I had with the driver was refreshing. As I always do, I walked up to her window, identified myself and told her why I pulled her over. Instead of an argument, an excuse or an indignant remark she said “I’m sorry” and gave a very brief explanation that showed me she’d taken responsibility for her actions. When we talk about police discretion and the public interest, if a person has no history of violations, takes responsibility for their actions and is mature about it, a warning may very well satisfy the public interest. This isn’t to say that an apology and being polite will always net a warning. Arguing, giving excuses, pleading for a break, flirting or being rude and obnoxious do not show me that the driver has taken responsibility for a mistake and in my experience a warning will likely not satisfy the public interest.
Night shift #1
I knew I’d be in another zone for both night shifts this block so I started a little early and headed out for briefing at our other office. It was a steady night with a wide variety of calls. I took a fraud file just after the start of shift with someone who had a significant amount of money taken out of their bank account. These files are pretty quick to start but usually turn into a fair amount of follow up over the coming weeks with the banks to try and track down a suspect. Tonight I just took the initial report.
As I was writing up the initial fraud report another officer was dispatched to a traffic hazard around the corner from where I was so I took a copy. The dispatched call was initially a little mixed up and came across as a car that had a couch on the roof with the occupants of the car all holding the couch on, the second update was that the couch had hit and pulled down a power line. I couldn’t pass up seeing what kind of couch that was being held onto a car could take out a power line. It turned out to be two separate calls, one traffic hazard for a car traveling down the street with an insecure couch, the second a commercial vehicle with an over height load that snagged a television cable line. I never did find the couch but unfortunately for the commercial vehicle driver, I did find him.
I sat writing my files again and another unit got a report of a suspicious male selling liquor to minors in the same parking lot I was in so I stopped typing again and found the male for them. I assisted with a few more calls through the night including an ongoing investigation that involves a person with a knife and an assault.
Remember the Impaired getaway driver from June? I recognized the driver as they drove the same car past me with some of the same friends. I also recalled that they would currently be prohibited from driving. At least the driver was sober this time when I arrested them (this time for driving while prohibited).
Night shift #2
Another very steady and busy night. I love nights like this, they just fly by. The beginning of the night was a mix of routine calls. While sitting on the street writing a bylaw call for a barking dog, I had 6 neighborhood kids come up and want to talk, we had a good fun talk, I turned the Police car lights on for them, let them look around the inside of the car and listened to a story how they had a neighbor get arrested for drugs recently. Sometimes we only get a chance to wave at kids as we pass by on the way to a call, whenever I have a chance though it’s great to stop and chat with the kids. We need to try and find opportunities to have positive interaction with the public and especially the youth.
We had 3 separate reports of potentially impaired drivers come through the night. It seemed I was in the right place at the right time as I was able to locate all 3 drivers. Unexpectedly all 3 were 100% sober and either driving very tired or were distracted. I had discussions with all 3 about the dangers of both but was pleased that none were impaired.
Later into the night I was flagged down by a motorist that had just been assaulted and another who had their vehicle damaged. The two suspects were running away. I love my platoon, I know when a call like this happens, everyone wants to jump in and be a part of the action. Everyone flooded the area and the K9 unit was making their way. I stayed with the victim and witnesses to determine what happened and my platoon mates were all on the hunt. They ended up catching the first suspect pretty quickly while the K9 tracked the second. Our Staff Sergeant (the boss) ended up finding the second suspect several blocks away. Great team work. One of the suspects had a warrant and kept giving us a fake name, unfortunately we’re pretty used to having people lie to us. We figured out who he was and he was held in custody to go before a judge in the morning.
All in all it was a great block. I’m on holidays next block but have some training days and a couple other shifts scheduled.