Behind the Badge – A day on patrol with the Lodi Police Department
by Mike Kermgard
My alarm goes off at 5 a.m. After hitting snooze a few times, I make it to work by 6 a.m., and hit the locker room to change.
I check a few voicemails and emails, then get to briefing at 6:30 a.m. Our sergeant briefs us on what happened the night prior, and items of importance which we may encounter throughout the day. We tell a few jokes, then head out of briefing in a good mood ready to start the day.
We say goodnight to our graveyard shift that is going home, and poke a few parting jokes at each other. We gather up the gear we carry with us for the day and head to our cars. We log into our vehicles’ computers, which is where we receive our calls for service and write our reports.
I log in and see we have calls waiting for us. A few theft calls, and one collision.
I head to my first call, which is a theft from a vehicle. The victim explains that he had left some electronics on the seat during the night, had forgotten to lock the doors, and a thief had helped them self to it during the night.
I take his information for a report, then onto the next call. It is in the same general area, and is another theft of electronics from an unlocked car.
I’m on my way to my next call, and hear another officer has made a traffic stop. He requests a back-up officer, so I go there first. While assisting that officer, a call comes out for a fight and a possible stabbing, so four of us head to that.
After we get that handled, I head to the theft report that has been waiting for an hour now. I apologize for taking so long, and handle the call.
Another call of a fight comes out, involving a guy with a knife. Other officers arrive quickly, and get the suspect into custody.
It’s after 10:30 now, and I could use a cup of coffee. I’m heading to the closest coffee shop, and I get dispatched to a collision. It’s a pretty standard one, so it doesn’t take too long to handle.
I’m back enroute to the coffee shop again, and dog-gone if a guy doesn’t fly through a red light right in front of me. I pull him over and break the bad news to him. He’s not too happy with me, but he understands.
It’s about 11:30, and now I’m getting a little hungry too. I’m determined to make it to the coffee shop this time, but I fail again. Got another fight to handle first.
About a half-hour later or so, I finally get some coffee and a snack. Now I’m happy. I take about two sips and get a call of a guy who drove through an empty building, then took off.
Three of us go to that. I start gathering information at the scene, then relay that information to other officers so they can look for the vehicle. After a half-hour or so, I’m pretty much done at the scene, but we haven’t found the suspect yet, so I have some more work to do.
But first, I need to handle a few more calls. One is a fraud call, where someone’s credit card has been used, and one is a theft report.
I handle those calls, drink some lukewarm coffee, and park in the first shady spot I can find, because I have a good two or three hours worth of reports to type, and have about two hours left on my shift.
About 15 minutes into typing, I get dispatched to a family fight. A couple of us go to that, and about 20 minutes later, we have it calmed down.
I drive around the block, park and start typing again. I make a little progress on my reports, when I get dispatched to another collision.
After handling that, I look at my watch and realize the day is just about over. I do some quick investigation that I need for my earlier cases, handle one more call, then back to the station.
I park my car, gather up all my stuff, and head inside. A few of us make time for a little conversation, then hit the locker room to change. It’s 5 p.m. now, and we are heading home.
Tomorrow I will try to start out with what I didn’t finish today. Tomorrow could be half as busy, or twice as busy. You just never know.
I’ll hope for half as busy, and I’ll remember to bring my own cup of coffee and a snack from home this time.
Any comments, questions or advice for Behind the Badge can be e-mailed to Jeanie Biskup at firstname.lastname@example.org; mailed to Lodi Police Department, 215 W. Elm St., Lodi, CA 95240; or asked by phone at 333-6864.