We were given the opportunity to learn what 3rd shift Racine Police Officers experience during a complete shift on the job. I would like to personally thank Officer Edwardson and the Racine Police Department for allowing me to ride with and show what life is like on the streets.
It’s night time in Racine, a time when most people are done for the evening, tucking their families into bed for the night. Not so for the third shift of the Racine Police Department, their day is only beginning.
The day starts at 9:45 p.m.- We meet for roll call, upon entering the roll call room a very strong odor is present, second shift officers are out cataloging and testing a large amount of drugs that were seized when they responded to a Civil Call. Dozens and dozens of evidence bags are being used and at that point they appeared they were only partially done, laying along side the seizure was a gun that had been place in an evidence box along the drug paraphernalia and other items.
Officer all greet each other with a few jokes and a couple of laughs, the comradery is clearly evident. These officers not only are responsible for serving and protecting the community, they have to protect each other during calls. Officers are given any bulletins that are needed, any areas that need or are requesting extra attention and any information related to crime activity.
People become police officers for various reasons as I found out Friday night. They could have been impacted with an interaction with police when they were younger, they just want to serve the public, it could be as simple as a TV show or a movie they saw when they were younger. But they all have one thing in common…they protect and serve the residents of the City of Racine.
Its off to grab a squad, do an equipment check, a long gun check before the patrol even starts. It doesn’t stay quiet long, call after call went out to northside squads and southside squads alike, it’s very easy for non-priority calls to be held at Racine County Dispatch. There are only so many officers on duty and when a priority call comes out that needs multiple squads, things can be tied up at no fault of the Racine Police Department or it’s officers. Calls involving fights, shots fired, civil troubles, and other require at least 2 officers for safety.
We began our shift with assisting in a female search on Memorial. Officers had to respond to a call for civil trouble and a female officer was needed for a search. Upon completion of that we discovered what is termed a suspicious vehicle at Pershing Park. We stepped out the with parties, ID’d them, talked to each one to find out why there were there.
Officers responded to multiple 911 calls/hangups to a person who did not answer the door.
Next it was onto cover other officers on yet another civil trouble. Police aren’t only there to enforce laws, but in so many cases they have to be marriage counselors, family counselors, diffuse a situation and offer advice.
We were dispatched to a vandalism to property on Racine’s far south side. It was discovered through interviewing neighbors and checking the area the many mail boxes had been smashed. Based on witness statements suspects were seen running to a house. When officers from Racine and Mount Pleasant stepped out at the address it was discovered that an underage drinking party had been going on. Calls were placed by dispatch and officers to try to get a hold of parents and it was referred onto investigators for follow up.
At 1:45 a.m. calls came in for a suspicious circumstance, witnesses reported a party running in the 1500 block of Lathrop, that had jumped someones fence. The area was searched and the suspect was not located but during their search process, a female was found at the park on 16th/Lathrop, and had active warrants from another county. We assisted in the search and she was taken into custody.
We were dispatched to the area of 16th/Phillips for a disorderly conduct where callers has stated that possibly a male/female were fighting, the area was checked and residents from the neighborhood said that they didn’t hear anything. After clearing that call it was onto a traffic stop at 16th and Memorial where a vehicle was driving with no headlights.
Then a priority call came in dispatch was sending the Racine Fire Department for a call where a male party had fallen off a second story balcony and the caller was not cooperating with dispatch. Squads responded, rescue staged until Racine Police had the scene secure. Upon our arrival officers secured the scene and any parties that were in the apartment unit while the Racine Fire Department worked on the patient. Some witnesses aren’t always forthcoming, stories change, attitudes change, and police have to sort out everything that is going on and find out what happened.
The victim was found outside laying on the ground and was transported to All Saints/Wheaten Franciscan, officers also followed in hopes of interview the patient and find out out the extent of their injuries. We and other officers had to remain on scene until we were told the patients injuries were not life threatening and the scene could be released. A call doesn’t always end in less than 10 minutes.
We were dispatched yet again for a civil trouble that involved alcohol, officers were able to halt any further problems when the people involved were separated for the night and sent on their own ways.
We assisted for a wanted party that had been flagged for violent tendencies, the party was picked up without any incident and taken into custody.
Upon patrolling Racine I noticed how many areas are very dark without lighting, how many people are on the streets late at night and early in the morning, some of them clearly homeless and some that are probably up to no good. We responded to complaints for loud music also.
Our last call for the night was being flagged down by a party that had located their missing vehicle. It had been borrowed to a friend earlier in the evening and wasn’t returned. We followed the parties to the area of 11th and Villa, verified information and waited for a tow to come. During this time officers spoke with the victim, offered advice and ways for this not to happen again.
Here is every call that the third shift officers I was with during that shift responded to
1200 Melvin – Rescue run
3200 Republic- Loud Music
500 Wisconsin-Parking violations
Pershing Park-Suspicious vehicle
2000 Erie-Ordinance violation
500 High-Unwanted party
2700 Ohio-Civil trouble
Accident Property damage-Spring/Leudtke
1000 Lockwood-Unwanted party
2700 Hamilton Ave-Reckless driving
1400 Erie 911 hangup/disconnect
3700 Canada Goose Crossing-Vandalism to property
500 3 Mile-Noise violation
1800 Hamilton-Family trouble
500 Main-Suspicious person
1000 Villa-Suspicious circumstances
Edgewood/Saint Patrick-shots fired
1500 Lathrop-Suspicious circumstances
500 Wisconsin-Parking violation
1400 MLK Drive-Suspicious person
Myers Park-Noise violation
1600 Washington-911 hangup/disconnect
1800 Grange-Loud music
1600 Phillips-Disorderly conduct
300 Main Street-Fight
300 10th Ave-Rescue run
3400 Rapids Drive-Suspicious person
1000 College-Unwanted party
1800 Chatham-Civil trouble
1300 16th-Auto theft
900 Wisconsin-suspicious person
1200 Center-Loud music
1400 Lasalle-Unwanted party
1900 Quincy-Noise violation
1400 Superior-Civil trouble
1100 Grove-Wanted party
3Mile/Charles-Assist Caledonia Police
1600 Phillips-Civil trouble
1700 Howe-Loud music
2100 Rapids-Suspicious person
4600 Washington-Suspicious person
1400 11th-Assault in progress
Save A Lot-traffic violation
Prairie Drive/Warwick Way-Assist Mount Pleasant Police