Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Not aimless

If routine patrol implies driving around aimlessly burning fossil fuel waiting for a dispatcher to give you something to do, then what is the alternative?  

Friday morning, prior to my Academy class, I encountered a good example of an officer who’s patrol was purposeful rather than aimless.  I was out for my morning bike ride at about 5:30 AM, when I encountered Officer Bob Smith parked on 22nd Street, checking out the Union Plaza and the Antelope Valley recreational trail.

We’ve had some problems in this area, and Bob was spending a little time doing two things: deterring the problems, and making the early morning runners and cyclists feel better knowing that the police are around on occasion.  Reassurance begets more use, which in turn makes the space less attractive to those who would cause problems—public urinators, overnight campers, drinkers, grafitti artists, and so forth. 

Bob’s patrol, rather than being aimless, was targeted towards a specific place, time and problem.  That’s the kind of officer Bob Smith has always been.  I guarantee you he does not drive around waiting for the next call.  He’s focusing his time on where the crime or issue can be anticipated, and that’s one of the reasons he is so effective.  He gets a big bang out of his gallon of gas.

Bob, by the way, had his windows down: he understands the value his sense of hearing adds to his patrol.  I remarked about how much nicer the weather had been lately, because we had suffered through some nasty humidity this summer.  “Yes,” he replied, “I’m sure glad it cooled down for Pike’s Peak last weekend.”  “How many is that?,” I asked.  “Fourteen,” he replied. 

Fourteen races up a 14,115 ft. mountain.  That’s a police officer that you don’t want on your trail you in a foot pursuit.


Anonymous said...

Chief,how about a short post on the 4.5 PSO's leaving on 9/01/10.

Anonymous said...

C'mon Bob... when ya gonna do the full marathon????? Just kiddin' 14 trips up is very impressive!

Anonymous said...

I have know Officer Bob Smith for many years. He is truly one of Lincoln's finest! Way to go Officer Smith!