Once again I apologize for the late posts, this one is not quite as action packed, but here it goes…
7/9 and 7/11- Animal Protection
Both of these days I had the opportunity to ride with Henrico Police’s Animal Protection Unit. The goal of this unit is to provide protection to animals throughout the county, domestic and wild. Henrico Police has their own animal shelter and this is also run by Animal Protection. On 7/9 I had the pleasure of riding with Sgt. Glascock, and lets just say the he is a man of many, many words. He kept me entertained the entire day with his advice, stories, and comical opinions. Here is a brief synopsis of how the day went down; Follow up on a dog bite, chickens in the road, black snake under a porch, dog in a car, chase and catch 5 mean chow mixes, shoot a raccoon, catch a hawk, pick up a dead fawn, and set a trap for feral cats. Needless to say the day was quite packed with calls and we stayed busy the entire time. Animal protection calls work differently than patrol calls for service. Animal calls are stacked by the dispatchers and the officers respond to calls in any order they please, giving preference to more urgent calls. So, the primary goal for the day is to respond to your list of calls and clear, advise, or take specific action. On 7/11, I rode on an evening shift, and the type of calls we received were relatively similar to the previous day. Things seemed to slow down as it got dark, possibly due to people not being outside observing possible problems. The best part of this day is that we were able to pick up 2 dogs that had been found by people. One was a pit bull and basset hound mix (weird looking dog) and the other was some sort of terrier mix. Overall, Animal Protection is an important job within the police department, but I do not think I could do it every single day.
7/24 and 7/26- Community Policing
On these days I rode with the Community Policing unit of the Division. This unit is designed to fill in the gaps within the community that patrol does not have the time to take care of. This can include, interacting with citizens on a regular basis, checking on apartment complexes, and finding ways to prevent crime before it ever happens. Henrico uses the same philosophy and crime prevention models that I wrote an extensive literature review on and presented information on (SARA Model, community partnership, information sharing). On 7/24 I had the pleasure to ride with Officer R.R. Arjona. Let me tell you, this guy also kept me quite entertained. Aronja and I did routine patrol as well as checking up on apartment complexes and stopping in and talking to business owners. The most action packed call of the day was a domestic between a lesbian couple, where the more “manly” girl assaulted the other girl and split her lip open and left choke marks on her neck. After that she fled the scene before we could get there, so all we could do was collect evidence and take pictures of the injuries. Believe it or not, the most informative part of the day was lunch. We went to this hole in the wall place called Pinewood. A husband and wife owned small restaurant, it was the place to be for police officers. Seven of us sat in there for lunch (yes 7), and the conversation consisted of their advice to me and the do’s and don’ts of being a young police officer. On 7/26 I rode with Officer Donnie Green, and did the same type of community oriented patrol but in a different area. Our day consisted of following up of an on going investigation relating to theft of gasoline and the fraudulent sale of the gasoline. We also went by a local mall to provide them with brochures for a safety meeting they were holding later that day. We also checked in on the apartment complexes in Green’s zones. Overall, my experience with community policing was a good one. The concentration on community relations and crime prevention was extremely interesting and informative.