Day shift #1
I spent the morning returning voicemail, making phone calls and following up with some investigations. In the late morning I was dispatched to a Break and Enter involving an apartment building under construction. Several suites had been damaged and the building itself sustained a significant amount of damage from several water leaks caused by the thieves. I spent the rest of the shift going through the building with the owner and construction manager and then our forensic identification section. With some potential leads this will be an ongoing investigation, especially when you consider the amount of the theft and substantial damage. This was no doubt a part of the perpetual cycle of crime to feed a drug addiction.
Day shift #2
Aside from covering on a couple calls I was able to spend a good part of the day following up on a few ongoing investigations including the B&E and Theft from the previous day.
Night shift #1
Early into tonight’s shift I was dispatched to a report of someone pointing a rifle at someone else. The victim was no longer on scene and the initial information I had was that no one else was in immediate danger. I had time to slow things down and conduct an investigation before approaching the suspect. After interviewing witnesses and the victims I briefed my Sergeant. We developed a plan and briefed the watch commander as well.
For those that have followed this blog it’s likely no surprise that I have an interest in the tactical side of policing. My NCO’s (bosses) are incredibly supportive of this. We developed a plan with several other platoon mates to make contact with the suspect that would keep us and them safe. With the Sergeant’s approval and the team in place I made contact with the suspect and took them into custody without anyone getting hurt.
Now we had several statements including independent witness accounts that matched victim statements and a suspect in custody but no hard evidence. A platoon mate took the suspect to cells and booked them in while I sat down to write a request to obtain a search warrant. Other platoon mates sat outside the residence to ensure no one else went inside until I obtained the warrant.
We take entering a person’s home as part of an investigation very seriously. I had to write an account of the investigation so far and justify my request to enter the home and search for evidence. I submit my request and spoke with a Judicial Justice of the Peace who authorized my request to search.
We went back to the house and began searching for the hard evidence of the crime. After performing a thorough search we found a rifle that matched the exact description provided by witnesses and victims.
With the evidence in hand, I went back again and began writing the report to crown counsel explaining the charges and investigation while a platoon mate lodged all of the evidence that we’d seized into exhibits. The suspect was held in custody over night and went before a judge for a bail hearing in the morning. The rifle would be sent off to the lab for testing.
On patrol it’s fairly rare that we have a chance during the course of one shift to conduct an investigation, make an arrest, obtain and execute a search warrant and hold someone in custody like that so from an experiential point it was a great opportunity. I was happy to be able to call the victims and let them know the suspect, whose actions endangered their lives, was in jail.
It took a number of platoon mates help to make it run smoothly and was a great example of the team work that makes us so successful.
Night shift #2
I had one of our new dispatchers on a ride along with me. It’s great that from time to time we have our dispatchers come out on the road. They can see the other end of the call and they can fill us in on what they’re doing on their end of the radio. It’s a great opportunity for some knowledge transfer and team building.
We responded to a few routine calls that included a domestic dispute. From what was said on the phone by the complainant, the call takers and dispatch would have assumed one of the parties was arrestable. When we got there and spoke with everyone and determined both sides of the story no one was going to be arrested.
We also responded to a report of an assault in progress 2 blocks into Surrey and we were the closest police car, as we got there the information changed over the radio and it became a “man with a gun” call. This completely changed our response and our dispatcher saw how one minute we’re responding to ensure the victim is okay to backing off and gearing up for a potential firearms threat. It turned out there was no firearm and the victim was lying to the call takers on the phone. Surrey RCMP members had arrived on scene and took over the investigation. We may be from different agencies and work in different cities but the reality is when someone needs help, we’re all Police officers.
The last significant call of the night was responding to a commercial alarm and being the first member on scene to a break and enter that had just occurred. It was great to talk about what we do on scene and how to help co-ordinate resources including a K9 track.
All in all a busy block but quite an interesting one for me!