A police officer friend welcomed me to ride along for the latter half of his 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. patrol this Saturday, and I eagerly accepted. After providing and filing paperwork a few weeks prior, I climbed into his Crown Victoria and took to patrolling a relatively quiet college town, particularly so, considering the college was on spring break.
I was left with a few take aways:
- I found myself trying to parse what culture, rules and protocol were local to his department, state-wide or universal — and all came into play.
- Patrolling was much more of a team sport than I expected.
- There was more action than I expected for a sleepy college town during spring break — a few car stops, a couple pedestrian interactions and a car stop and search.
- Aggressive cops, of course, get more stops, while simultaneously stopping more innocent people too. Where the line is for all of that is about as American and challenging a debate as we have.
- Dunkin’ Donuts coffee is pretty good
Photo by Flickr user 10-42Adam.