It’s been a busy summer ladies and gentlemen. I’ve had my latest Boot with me all summer and it’s been a great 3 months of training. I thought I’d catch up with a bit of a highlight reel (for lack of a better term).
On June 27th, we participated in the Twitter “Global Police Tweet-a-thon” marked by hash tag #poltwt. It was a great success from a social media perspective and I had a lot of good feedback from the community. If you missed it, have a look at my feed starting here:
Our focus for the summer was to get the Boot to as wide a variety of calls as possible and introduce him to the process and investigative avenues available to him.
We went to everything from neighbour disputes and bylaw complaints, to thefts and frauds, to high risk calls involving assaults with guns and knives. In between the calls, we managed to pick up 8 impaired driving investigations for him.
He got to experience everything from walking into a restaurant in uniform and having everyone watch him, to talking a distraught lady off the railing of a bridge, to chasing a suspect with a K9 handler, to a high risk vehicle stop involving guns.
First foot chase
During the Boot’s first block out, the shift responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle in someone’s driveway. The license plate came back to a stolen vehicle. As we were all coming into the area to setup on it, the driver got spooked and ran, taking the Boot on his first foot pursuit. After a tumble in someone’s front yard, the Boot recovered and caught up to the suspect taking him into custody. We recovered the stolen vehicle, some items from multiple break and enters and a replica handgun. A great catch!
We received a report of a distraught person that was on the outside of the railing, mid span, on the Alex Fraser Bridge. While driving through traffic in an attempt not to scare the distraught person, we discussed our approach, safety considerations and crisis intervention tactics. We located the distraught person and quietly walked down the guardrail. There was no doubt in our minds that the person was trying to convince themselves to jump. I took the lead in making contact and we convinced the person to come to us and took them into custody for their safety. Once safely in our custody, the Boot took over contact and built a rapport with the distraught person and we took them to the hospital for help.
Code 5 (High risk) vehicle stop
We were called to a house where someone inside had presented a knife and made threats to people inside. The suspects had just left in a vehicle as we arrived. We took off after them and stopped them several blocks away. As there was a report of weapons being used, we conducted a high risk stop and employed tactics and layered force options to keep us, the public and the suspects safe. With several police officers present we layered our force options and had less lethal bean bag shotgun, taser, a police dog and lethal overwatch including a carbine present.
I gave commands for the suspects to exit the vehicle one at a time and come to us, where we took them into custody and searched each one individually. After I demonstrated with the first couple occupants, I turned the verbal commands over to the Boot so that he could get experience. In the end, we took all of the occupants into custody and recovered several weapons including a pistol.
Along with several members from the platoon, the Boot and I responded to a report of a distraught woman who was found running down the sidewalk. Through the investigation, we learned that her husband had forcibly confined her in their home, assaulted her, prevented her from leaving and destroyed her clothing. As a platoon, we took this on as a complex, domestic violence investigation.
While providing compassion and counselling, we had to obtain an audio/video recorded interview. After the interview, the victim had to be relocated to a safe house for the night. We developed an immediate safety plan.
The suspect was arrested and interviewed, then held in custody.
Our Domestic Violence Unit and Victim Services were involved for ongoing safety planning and support.
The unfortunate reality of this career is that great learning opportunities often come at the expense of someone’s wellbeing. While this file was an eye opener for the Boot, demonstrating many facets of an investigation, a tragedy had to happen.
We took the time to try and connect with the community where we could-between the adrenaline and the report writing. One sunny afternoon we happened to come across a group of kids and their lemonade stand.
Impaired Driver in a Stolen Truck
While working a counter attack shift, I was roadside, walking up to and talking to drivers as they arrived at the check point. One such driver refused to stop for us, almost hit 2 of us and then sped off from the check point almost hitting another car.
We gave chase, as we’d just been informed the vehicle was reported stolen and involved in a hit and run with a driver that was possibly impaired. It was in the public interest that we stop the vehicle before anyone else could be hurt.
Within a couple blocks the driver lost control and crashed into a tree. Luckily no one was injured. The driver was impaired by drugs and taken into custody.
This really demonstrates the diversity of our role in Patrol. On any given day we can be shifting from crisis intervention and talking someone into changing their mind about suicide, to giving advice at a neighbour dispute. We may find ourselves holding the hand of a child who’s been assaulted or even sexually assaulted then be called right into a bar fight. We may have just attended a collision where one driver is impaired and the other has a life altering injury and then locate an armed suspect and make a high risk arrest with guns and layered force options present. We don’t get to chose our calls and we have to be able to switch mental mindsets in the time it takes to drive from one call to the next.
Squamish Valley Music Festival
As a member of the Lower Mainland Integrated Tactical Troop, I had the opportunity to work all 3 days at the Squamish Valley Music Festival. The Boot stayed in Delta and had an opportunity to ride with a different field trainer and get a different perspective.
The Music Festival was a great break from regular patrol. For the most part we spent 3 days filtering through the crowds getting high fives and posing in ‘selfies’ with festival goers. While we needed to make our presence visible, our intention was not to disrupt the festival, only to keep the participants safe. As could be expected, the sun, alcohol, drugs and 38,000 people meant we had to unfortunately arrest a few people and assist with some medical interventions.
Overall the participants were great and the weekend was fun!
Courtesy of CTV, Walking my team into the day time crowd at the main stage Tantalus
The crowd for Eminem. We’re in there.. somewhere..