Everyday police work generally begins by having "roll call", which is a briefing at the begining of your shift.
Everyone gets together and the Sergeant goes through any information which needs to be passed on to everyone.
It could include any incidents that took place while you were off duty, any wanted persons, officer safety issues, and any general information that is considered important.
Below is an example video. It's 20 years old out of NYPD, but you'll get the picture.
Detail assignments for the day are given out and then you head out to get your squad car.
You check the car for any problems/deficiencies and log anything that is problematic. You're expected to do this because you're responsible for the car, and the last thing you want is
to take over a car that has been smashed to shit by the guy who had it before you.
If you don't note anything in the log or report it, when you turn over the car to the next guy, any damage that is found will be put squarely onto you!
After you take over the car, you log in using an onboard computer which sends the information to the dispatcher. It signals to the dispatch that you are on shift and available for calls. At that point you can now expect to get any number of calls.
If you're working a dayshift and you need your caffeine fix, head over to the closest Dunkin Donuts (or whatever you like) and grab your coffee. (I know, it sounds like a stereotype, but drinking coffee in the morning seems almost like everyday police work ha ha).
But there's going to be some days that it's so crazy that you'll be sent immediately to an emergency call and you won't get a chance for that coffee.
It's always smart to have something in your pocket like a granola bar or anything brought from home cause if you're stuck on a call somewhere and have no way of getting something to eat its always nice to be able to have a snack at least.
When you are assigned a call it will come through on your onboard computer. You have to acknowledge that you have received it by a keystroke and then you get the details of the call. It will include the location, caller, type of call, and the specific details of the call.
Of course, the details on the computer will only be a part of the information. It will be up to you and your partner to get there and begin investigating to uncover the rest of the information.
Sometimes you'll get there and realize that all of the information in the computer is flat out wrong.
What often happens is that people will call Police and in their excitement or frustration will embellish or exaggerate their story. You'll get there and find out that some of what is in the
computer is just not accurate.
You may also find that there is just a misunderstanding because of the choice of words used when calling Police. They may say "send the police my neighbor just threatened me."
Well, when you get there you discover that both guys work at the same place. You also find out that there was a heated argument over excessive noise, and one neighbor threatened to call the
boss and rat out the fact that the other guy is secretly fucking his wife...(trust me, calls like this seem like everyday police work)
Well, as Police, when we hear "my neighbor threatened me", we are more concerned with threats of of assault or death. Threats of tattling to the boss that somebody is sliding their sausage into his wife is not a criminal issue and is not our
As you can see, getting on scene and finding out the details are pretty important, and although it is a part everyday police work, there will be times when it will be easier said than done!
When you're not on a call and have some down time, you can be out patrolling the area checking for any kind of suspicious activity. If you have areas where there is a lot of drug or gang activity, you can cruise the area and just keep an eye out for problems.
When there's not much going on there either, you can also check for traffic violations. As a cop, you may not like the idea of giving out
, but unfortunately it is a part of everyday police work. Enforcing traffic laws are expected of the police and writing tickets is a necessary evil. Who knows, you may even ** cough **
enjoy it, and consider becoming a
Another part of the everyday police work is dealing with the regular public. When you're out on the road people will always be approaching you and making some kind of comment.
Sometimes they will just say hello and thank you for the job that you are doing.
Sometimes it will be a snide remark.
Like it or not, some people just don't like the Police. It's just the way that it is. Get used to it because it will never change, and you'll constantly be in situations where you have to interact with some loud mouthed, stinky jerk wad who just can't shut his trap.
But remember, people will always be watching you. It's not easy to just give a blanket answer as to how to handle someone who is being a loudmouth. But whatever you choose to do, always remember that you are being watched from the moment that you put on that uniform.
Everyday police work also includes being prepared to field "the question of the day."
That's what we call it when someone walks up to your car or chases you down with a "hypothetical scenario" and wants to know who is right and who is wrong.
When you give them an answer that they don't like, they'll start to "tweak" the scenario to try and get you to say something else. Just smile and do your best. Remember, it's public relations.