So you think being a cop in Racine is always like “The First 48″ or an episode of “Cops” from the minute they go on duty to the minute they get off? There are bursts of that and some “Hill Street Blues” mixed in with a touch of “The First 48″.
I had the pleasure tonight of riding along with a COP Officer I am working with from Jacato Drive. He was patient enough to show me the ropes (thank you for that). Did I think it was going to be kicking in doors, locking up goons left and right or foot pursuits? I know better than that from doing this website for for years, but we did have our little burst with responding with lights and sirens.
Officers just don’t jump into their squads and tear off lights and sirens blazing, they have to go over their squads, get all the necessary equipment (and there is quite a lot of stuff they carry on duty), they have to sign onto multiple software systems before they even hit the streets (and that is after roll call where so much more is covered).
I am happy to say that the north side of Racine was pretty quiet tonight, I learned how to do traffic stops, run plates, block of a fire call, handle civil troubles and investigate them, and see how the Racine Police interact with the community and try to reach out to the residents in the areas they patrol.
Being a COP Officer is a little different than a regular uniformed officer. They are more concentrated around where their C.O.P. House and other COP House areas, but they are always ready to assist if needed in any area. A COP Officer is assigned to a specific “House” for 3 years. There are 6 COP Officers assigned to the 6 COP Houses and another 6 “beat” officers who respond to those areas and other areas as back up. At any time they can be given special directive by their supervisor and be put on special assignment for a variety of things. They aren’t like a normal 5 on 2 off, 5 on 3 off schedule, etc. They can work, morning, afternoon and even night hours, weekend and holidays included. They are available basically at all times.
When I rode with the officer he stated that he primarily went into law enforcement for children. Their priorities are building relationship and community safety. The biggest thing he speaks about is teaching people and children about making good decisions in life. He engages the residents in areas, will step out to speak with people, check in on the young people in his area alot. He wants to know who is out in his neighborhoods and what they are doing.
The first thing that we did was hit every street in and around the Jacato COP House. A lot of times its watching the screen for calls, listening to the dispatchers, acting as a cover squad as we did when other COP Officers were out with a wanted party who was climbing out the window. We got to respond with lights and sirens, told to slow it down and the party was taken into custody. We patrolled others areas, checking behind buildings and in parks.
We responded to a civil trouble. I will be the first to attest that officers are peacemakers, relationship counselors and psychologists. They respond to the calls for parties having a bad break up or not getting along. Officers have to get to the bottom of all issues, offer reassurance and possible solutions if no chargeable crime was committed, and if a crime was committed take the appropriate action. They often listen to someone’s life story in a matter of 5 minutes, have to put the pieces of the puzzle together and go from there. That’s probably one of the most frequently problem called into police, people not getting along whether is a couple a family or friends. Racine Police respond and try to diffuse the situation peacefully.
We did a lot of riding around, in the area, there were complaints from residents in a certain area that people were running stop signs so we sat and observed the area for awhile, sure enough it happened. Not all officers are out to issue a million tickets a month (as much as everyone would like to think.. There IS NOT A QUOTA). Depending on what you are stopped for and what your attitude is, you could be given a warning, not saying that will happen in every case, but think smart if you are pulled over. Being a police officer you learn to spot the littlest of things. A person passes a squad, and quickly tries to put their seat belt on, too late you have already been seen, I learned that tonight. I learned how and why officers do what they do and make the decisions they do, sometimes it takes asking a few extra questions to learn the real truth. At any given minute it can go from peace to total chaos, officers have to be ready in a seconds notice.
We spoke about what residents can do to make their neighborhoods better. Don’t complain that Racine Police don’t do anything, especially if you are one of the parties that NEVER CALL POLICE. Police aren’t psychic, if you see or hear something going on that needs attention contact them, it is the responsibility of residents to be proactive and make the calls to them.
Most importantly officers are human beings too, normal people who took an oath to protect and serve, even those that don’t like the police but will call them in a minute when trouble starts. Thank you to the men and women of the Racine Police Department who patrol our streets, investigate our crimes, help the victims and lock up the goons day in and day out!Share on Facebook