I also figured he just didn’t want to stand in the rain during traffic stops but he tells me, “It’s not because I care if I am getting wet, I mean that’s uncomfortable but that’s apart of the job. The real issue is traffic stops become much more dangerous.”. I asked if it was just due to cars having less visibility, but he said, “Sure that makes the situation worse, but what officers are truly afraid of is the unknown. When you’re out by yourself anything could happen when you pull up to the window. If the situation calls for back up, you are having officers race to you on road conditions that could potentially kill the officer in route or another citizen. Ohio drivers suck man.”. I immediately agreed and saw his perspective. We learned in class the order maintenance of traffic stops are the most dangerous but adding bad weather conditions could definitely deter an officer from making a stop unless it was truly egregious. We got in the car and started our ride along that was mostly uneventful, I did get a lot of insight in how the police system work and eventually was called upon to do a “dirt pat” which is short for direct patrol. We roll up to an apartment building to search for weapons and drugs on foot. Unfortunately, the doors were locked to the apartment building, so we had to turn around and continued our vehicle patrol. As officer Goetz said it was very slow night so we discussed a few topics we talked about in class. I asked him if he felt safer with an officer at his side. He like I expected said yes, I mentioned how studies show having a partner led to more police and citizen conflicts due to two minds working and possible escalations that may occur due a citizen feeling threatened or an officer feeling too powerful. He said, that maybe the case for many partners but if you have one that you can trust and you are like minded then always feel safer and believe we can better ensure nothing gets out of hand. I felt his passion for the job and asked him what made him chose the police force, he just said he wasn’t the type to be sitting behind the desk, he wanted adventure, one of the myths about policing but he said if you’re passionate about helping your community it’s truly exciting. The paperwork you are filing is to send a man or women who’s been delinquent in society and needs a wake-up check. Always look at the bigger picture he told me as he flew through red lights like a Nascar driver trying to win the Daytona 500. I was confused and asked him are these the perks of being an officer? Do you not have to abide by same traffic laws? Goetz would just give me a stare, one that said look who I am, I enforce the law, the law doesn’t enforce me kind of look. He just stared and smiled, “Cameron right?” Yes sir, I would say trying to act like it didn’t phase me that he forgot my name, “This is a brotherhood, officers have each others backs and they are gunna let you do what you have to do.” Understanding the police subculture from class it made sense. So, I asked how does the community feel about the district then? Does district 4 have good police-community relations? He shockingly said no, he talked about the captain a little after that stating Cpt. Martin Mack would use twitter to better inform citizens of the things the police are doing as well as hiring neighborhood liaisons to go out to school districts to talk to kids using the social work model of policing using their coercive power to potentially change young potential lawbreakers into thinking on a mindset of law abiding behavior.
At this time, we finally receive our first real call to service. We were called to pick up a prisoner at the local Kroger on 1 west corry st. the man seemed broken and was homeless. He had stolen $100’s worth of groceries around 10:29 pm we put him in the car and Goetz shows me how to file the 527 which was for the jail house, it basically described the whole incident which he would later do with the 301 which is for the courts. It took awhile for him to get the paper work all together, but he seemed rather comfortable driving while typing. He walked me through the jail house process and we even stumbled upon some officers who were arresting a woman for drugs but told them she was he cousin by name. This absolutely infuriated the officers, Goetz telling me the liars are the ones we punish the most, saying “we try to throw the book at those who try and think we are stupid.” I enjoyed hearing this for I too can’t stand when someone thinks I’m inadequate. He decides to drop me off at the station after this long process but before we go shows me a little perk about being in service. He says watch this and takes me to McDonald’s. They ended up letting us through with $15 dollars’ worth of food for free. He said it was his treat for the night being so uneventful but tells me I’m always welcome back.
This experience showed me truly how much the community respects and appreciates what the men and women do for our city. It helped me understand that this is truly what I want to do in my life and that the myths of it not being as exciting as it is on tv may have been true but it was still exciting to see the passion the men and women carried when the left for their beats. District 4 only made me more prepared to go into service when my time comes. A time I know I’ll cherish his ride along, while uneventful and rainy it made me find a stronger passion for my community.

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