My first police ride along

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.

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