Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hot or not?

I don't have to tell most Americans that it has been incredibly hot the last few days.  In Nebraska, we're talking 100 or better, with heat index readings in the 110-115 range.  There is not much relief at night, as the slight in temperature is offset by even higher humidity.

The stifling heat made me wonder about a topic I've blogged about on a few other occasions: the impact of weather.  It's been about the cold, previously, but now I'm interested in whether the same phenomenon applies to extreme heat.  Hot, or not?  I went back a month to the same days of the week during a milder week in June--the 19th, 20th, and 21st, when the high temperatures were in the 70s and 80s,and compared this to the past three days we have sweltered through: Sunday, July 17 through Tuesday, July 19.

               June       July
Sunday     306      312
Monday   369      389
Tuesday   341      359
Total       1016    1060

Not much of an impact apparent in this highly unscientific analysis. Here's the same data for Lincoln Fire & Rescue on the same dates:

               June      July
Sunday      53       57
Monday    67       49
Tuesday    56       63
Total       176      169

The impact of brutally cold weather upon our workload that is so obvious in our data does not, in this little comparison, seem to apply to extremely hot weather.  


Michelle said...

Interesting. With a big thunderstorm, our false alarm numbers go up. I haven't done a comparison of cold weather to hot--I'll have to consider that for some research.

ARRRRG!!!! said...

I have to stock up on air fresheners this time of year.

Mike Burda said...

Mr, Casady,

Have you considered that it is the amount of daylight that affects crime more than the cold?


LoupGarou said...

I have a question that is somewhat related but slightly off topic.

I'm seeing a lot of credit card thefts with fraudulent charges on Lincoln Crimestoppers.

How come businesses aren't being more diligent in asking for ID when accepting credit cards? I know you don't really have an answer on that; however, if businesses started carding more, I'm thinking less credit card fraud would be occurring. Every time I use my credit card I say to the clerk, "Aren't you going to ask for my ID to make sure I am who I say I am?" It frustrates me to no end and I will avoid commenting on said clerks educational achievements.

Maybe I'm thinking with my common sense cap on and we know that doesn't have a place in the world anymore.

Anonymous said...

The weather must keep the cops inside, because I saw two officers inside Meadowlark Coffee & Espresso yesterday around 745, and two other officers in the Starbucks downtown around 915(Yes I like coffee).
I guess I should complain to the mayors office since that would be taboo for any other city employee.

Anonymous said...

12:04 don't leave your card out in view of pirates, or they will take it

Anonymous said...

Thanks to all of the members of the Unicameral that voted against letting me decide whether I should wear my motorcycle helmet or not. If I was allowed to make my own decisions I would not be wearing it today.
Gun Nut

Anonymous said...

@LoupGarou: The same logic applies to the C stores. If they would require pre-payment for gas, then gas larcenies would drop to zero but they all won't do it.

@1207: Why complain? Did you feel safer with the cops around while you drank your coffee? They weren't driving a fire engine were they?

Steve said...


So, you're the only one allowed to get coffee at those times?

Anonymous said...

Well Steve I was not on the tax payers clock.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 12:07

GOOD GRIEF! Is it ok with you if an officer takes a restroom break? Anything else you feel the need to tattle about? Go ahead, call the mayor and get it off your chest. Feel all better now? Good.

Anonymous said...

Just because they get paid by the tax payers, doesn't eliminate their right to take a break and sit down and drink a cup of coffee.

Anonymous said...

its final no more drinking anything for police officers while they work, and dont even think about eating anything. If I'm not mistaken I believe officers get two 15 minute breaks and a 30 minute lunch, oh yeah and they are in service the whole time.

Tom Casady said...

12:07, 7:04, Steve,

LPD policy permits officers a 15 minute break during each half of their shift (or third, if they are working 12 hour shifts) during which they must remain in service, on the radio, and available if called. The rules limit the number of officers on break together to two--unless one is either a supervisor or a trainee.

I am not so naive as to believe that the time limit is never exceeded, yet I also know from personal experience that it is not infrequently enforced with disciplinary action. On balance, I thing the common sense of officers rules pretty well, although sometimes of late I have wondered whether common sense is common.

It is a little different in the fire service, where the vast majority of the firefighter staff works a 24 hour shift, and usually (but not always) has some time on shift and in quarters for such necessities as coffee, bathroom, workouts, meals, sleep and even a little recreation--sort of like a military detachment in barracks.

The two jobs are decidedly different, paradoxically, despite thier similarities.

Loup Garou,

You'd think. As noted, however, common sense seems to be increasingly uncommon.

Mike Burda,

That is an excellent point, and upon further review from the replay booth, I think you have just put your finger on one of the most important variables in public safety services. I wonder what the temporal distribution of calls for service looks like in someplace like Barrow, or Anchorage.

Gun Nut-

You need more ventilation. What can I say?


That could be a visual obstruction, if you hang it from your rear view mirror. (You know I could tag a link or two to "pirate rear view mirror" if I wanted to.)

Anonymous said...

"They weren't driving a fire engine were they?" LOL! Now, THAT'S funny!

Anonymous said...

Can't they bring their own coffee? Firefighters can't go to the store anymore. I miss seeing them I our store. I guess someone is playing favorites as expected.

Tom Casady said...


Well, it's a little different, isn't it? So are the jobs. Just to be clear, police officers can't grocery shop on duty, and they all know what would happen if they did. There's a list of things firefighters are allowed to do while on the clock that no other city employee would dream of being allowed to do, starting with nap. But every job is different, and no one else works a 24 hour shift, either. And no one said a firefighter can't take a coffee break--I see plenty of it every day, and partake myself.