I love a good search . . .
It seems like a very long time ago that my old partner, Mike and I sat in our squad one night while on patrol discussing our favorite type of assignments. I mentioned that I most enjoyed building searches. We had several factories and warehouses in the district that were burglarized regularly. He said he most enjoyed car chases.
Mike said he felt most in control when he was driving during a chase. He was an excellent driver and I always had the most confidence in his skills behind the wheel. However, I always worried about the car coming out of the driveway or alley that was oblivious to us. The random driver that could make things go south in an instant.
When I was searching a building, I moved slowly listening for hard breathing or movement that might give away the offender. I had very good hearing and many times the bad guy gave himself away by the sound of rustling clothes or heavy breathing as he tried to hide deeper in the shadows.
Moreover, I knew to stay in the shadows and not silhouette myself becoming a target. I knew how to slice the pie and go through the tunnel of death. (Turn a corner and enter through a doorway for the uninitiated.) I felt in charge.
Mike said he least liked building searches for the same reasons. Whereas he came alive and one with the squad when chasing a car. He felt every vibration of the vehicle, when tires got traction and when they slipped. He knew how to drift through a turn in an intersection. As a result, he instinctively knew when to slow because the bad guy was looking to bail out and run on foot.
We both enjoyed domestic arguments even though they could be messy. We had gotten very good at resolving issues, calming people down, and ending the disputes. Even though each domestic was different we had developed dialogues that defused situations. We used them so often that we often ended up ending each other’s sentences. It was as if we had developed scripts that we referred to often.
Later in my career, I supervised a group of officers who executed a lot of search warrants. Often as many as several a week. I loved doing that. We planned each warrant just as we should. Everyone had their assigned position in the entry stack or building security. We each had our assigned duties once we had entered and secured the facility.
Some were assigned to guard prisoners, some to secure the building, and some to simply search. We all enjoyed this, and no assignment was forced on anyone. We naturally fell into doing what we were most comfortable doing after a while.
I’m sure each of you has some assignments you really love and some you despise. I know a few officers who really enjoyed foot patrol. Getting out and walking the street, talking to the people he passed and getting to know the store owner. Others you had to force out of their cars to talk to anyone. I remember a few who loved to direct traffic.
What Do You Like?
Let us know what jobs you like. Tell us why you like them. Tell us what you really dislike and why. I figure if you really enjoy the assignment you might have a little inside tip on how to do it better.
If you really dislike a certain assignment perhaps you will see from someone else’s reasons a way to make it better for you. Please feel free to leave your comments below. If I get enough material I may be able to put together something everyone can benefit from.
Thank you, now run low and zig-zag,
– Bob Weisskopf