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golls17
11-23-2011, 10:34
I interviewed with a department yesterday that only has 1 officer on duty at any given time. Any of you do this? Pros? Cons?

The biggest problem I foresee would be a SHTF situation and I need help. County could be 15+ minutes out, etc. The dept. requires its officers to live in the city (only 1.3 square miles), so help from them would be just a call away.

Thanks for the input.

merlynusn
11-23-2011, 10:42
If it's that small a town, everyone will know your business. Also, my biggest concern would be the safety aspect. But as long as you go into it knowing the risks, it's up to you to determine how much you want to take on. I guess it wouldn't be any different than a huge county with 4 deputies on and backup is still 15+ minutes out.

giant_pita
11-23-2011, 10:53
First 11 years of my career was like that, with backup sometimes more like a half hour away. You learn to talk, keep your distance and evaluate whether or not issues need to be delt with right now or can wait until the morning or when you have more help. We had COs who worked alone while confronting armed hunters. THOSE are the situations that I would not want to be in.

Know your capabilities and dont think the badge will protect you if you bite off more than you can chew. It took me a broken nose about 7 months into copping to learn that valuable lesson (Only cop on duty, 15 min later 2nd cop arrived in pajamas)

If you are careful, you can learn a lot about dealing with people.

Arvinator
11-23-2011, 11:53
As a 22 year cop, I now work in a town of 6,500 and I work graveyards. At times alone for 2 to 6 hours. I stay alert, I carry my Glock on my side with a snubbie in my back pocket and a second strapped to my vest. I keep a dept. issue vid-mic to record my contacts with a personal tape recorder as backup. (In case the vidmic fails or is taken, the recorder may be missed and used as evidence. I keep a spare flashlight clipped to my shirt, and I have a shotgun in the car.
I know my limitations, and I know it is 15 to 30 minutes before backup gets awake and to me. Everyone else is asleep in the entire County. Know control tatics, and if it gets ugly, you are alone for the duration of the fight. The fight will be over before most can wake up.
Am I worried? Nope, I have my Faith in God, my experience and common sense with my training and tools. I feel better with a second officer I normally have, but I make do and never sweat the small stuff. Good Luck to you!

collim1
11-23-2011, 11:58
There is a two man dept in my area. Chief works during the day. One officer on duty 40hrs a week at night. He is on call on the nights he doesn't work. Backup could easily be 30mins out.

I couldn't do it. I work for a municipal dept and we have two officers respond to almost all calls. Just having two officers on scene prevents most trouble. I get very few resisting charges. Most people decide not to fight when outnumbered.

JK-linux
11-23-2011, 12:17
I was in Law Enforcement in Illinois for 5 years (in the early 1990's) and that was the norm in my department. There were 6 people to split full-time coverage of roughly 50 square miles. County and City were great to work with as backup, but they were often 15 to 30 minutes away and often clueless about where exactly I was. I worked mainly rural, wooded areas so even though ready, willing and capable backup was available, it could take a bit. I learned quickly to check in often with Dispatch to let them know where to look for me. I also learned to take my time to see whats going on, when appropriate, before engaging in situations instead of charging in. It's no fun to go wandering in like Clint Eastwood to an apparent 2 person domestic, only to find out there are 20 bikers 25 feet back in the tree line playing around with meth and home made Class III firearms.

DaBigBR
11-23-2011, 12:22
Eight years of it. We're a 4 FTE agency surrounded by a much larger agency. Fortunately it usually is never more than a few minutes for help, and that has actually improved recently with a countywide communications center. You learn to pick your battles and how to balance assertiveness.

You are actually probably at greater risk from the politics than the people, though. There are cops everywhere (deputies, troopers, conservation, etc) that work a long way from backup all by themselves. Small town policing, especially in a place where you have to live in town (which I fortunately do not...couldn't afford it for starters) is an incredibly political animal. I virtually guarantee you that if you get this job you will encounter somebody on the job who will dislike the actions your take and make an effort to make your life hell. How far they make it depends largely on the integrity of your Chief, mayor, city council, etc. I know these people exist everywhere, but in larger, more insulated agencies with greater protections (like civil service and/or a union), they shouldn't be of as great of concern.

Patchman
11-23-2011, 12:24
You learn to talk, keep your distance and evaluate whether or not issues need to be delt with right now or can wait until the morning or when you have more help.

Know your capabilities and dont think the badge will protect you if you bite off more than you can chew.

If you are careful, you can learn a lot about dealing with people.

^^^ This.

Not from a small agency but first 3 years assigned a footpost to a big housing project. Was a great learning experience on so many different levels. But most important, you'll learn how to talk/listen to people and officer safety. You know..., what doesn't kill you will make you stronger stuff.

Best if you enjoy interacting with people. In a small town you're going to end up knowing everybody.

Ajon412
11-23-2011, 12:38
First 11 years of my career was like that, with backup sometimes more like a half hour away. You learn to talk, keep your distance and evaluate whether or not issues need to be delt with right now or can wait until the morning or when you have more help. We had COs who worked alone while confronting armed hunters. THOSE are the situations that I would not want to be in.

Know your capabilities and dont think the badge will protect you if you bite off more than you can chew. It took me a broken nose about 7 months into copping to learn that valuable lesson (Only cop on duty, 15 min later 2nd cop arrived in pajamas)

If you are careful, you can learn a lot about dealing with people.

I agree with this as well, in addition to knowing your limitations..There is some excellent advice in these responses.....It's really not as bad as it seems. It forces you to become self reliant,if you're not already and keeps you on your toes..Make friends with the coppers and dispatchers in the adjoining jurisdictions and there's usually one or two guys in a department that won't mind a "call out" if you need help......Personally, I wouldn't let this keep me from accepting a position...

BIGGUNS911
11-23-2011, 12:47
I work in a county that is 1925 square miles and has a population of about 18,728 people. I work my are alone all the time. The Troopers are always ready to help but some areas the response time is over 1/2 hour. We have two districts and rarely are allowed to back each other up. There are times that I will work a Friday or Saturday night by my self and after midnight no back up from the troopers at all.

Did I also tell you that we are very limited on backing other departments up in our area there for they are less likely to want to come back us up.We are also limited on the amount of ammo we can carry. We can carry three mags of ammo for handgun and one 20 round and one 30 round mag for rifle, each rifle mag is down loaded 2 rounds. That is a total of 84 rounds, 3 (15 round pistol mags +1, and 46 rifle rounds. That amount of ammo can go very fast when the SHTF. But you know "the SHTF does no go on around hear". :steamed:

Patchman
11-23-2011, 13:43
Buy yourself a pack of index cards. Everyone you come across merits an index card. Pedigree, photo, nickname, friends & family, arrests...

lndshark
11-23-2011, 15:55
There is always at least two of us on at any given time unless one of us is out of town on a warrant pick-up. But, several of our surrounding townships do not contract with the county for police service (or only contract for daytime patrols :upeyes:) so we are constantly backing up the State Police on anything from accidents to domestics...the latter usually once every Saturday night.

Typically we arrive before the State folks as their post is 15 miles away but when in the field, they are usually on their own when out in the boonies.

I'm so used to having someone less than 2 minutes away to help...I'm not sure if I'd like working by myself. The advice of others is excellent though...pick your battles wisely!

collim1
11-23-2011, 16:36
I work in a county that is 1925 square miles and has a population of about 18,728 people. I work my are alone all the time. The Troopers are always ready to help but some areas the response time is over 1/2 hour. We have two districts and rarely are allowed to back each other up. There are times that I will work a Friday or Saturday night by my self and after midnight no back up from the troopers at all.

Did I also tell you that we are very limited on backing other departments up in our area there for they are less likely to want to come back us up.We are also limited on the amount of ammo we can carry. We can carry three mags of ammo for handgun and one 20 round and one 30 round mag for rifle, each rifle mag is down loaded 2 rounds. That is a total of 84 rounds, 3 (15 round pistol mags +1, and 46 rifle rounds. That amount of ammo can go very fast when the SHTF. But you know "the SHTF does no go on around hear". :steamed:

A restriction on ammo is ridiculous. I carry two spare pistol mags on my belt, a BUG, three spare pistol mags three spare carbine mags and 5 boxes of shotshells in the car.

CanIhaveGasCash
11-23-2011, 16:52
We only have one grave who is alone for 5 hours a night. It's actually my preferred shift to work. No supervision, you get to avoid the big wigs, you have the town to yourself and you can do what you want.

For those 5 hours a night that I am alone I am very conscious of officer safety tactics. Backup can be an hour away, but is usually about 15 minutes. You just have to know what you are going into and have a predetermined survival response plan. Also make sure that you are in shape and are proficient in arrest control tactics.

I forgot who said it but be polite, be kind, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

razdog76
11-23-2011, 17:06
I started working for a one officer town. I think there are several benefits to working in one that larger agencies may not be able to provide.

The good:

1. You get to learn how to be more self sufficient. Backup is usually available from other nearby towns which allows you to see how other officers may handle a problem better, or worse and learn from it.

2. You get to know your customers.

3. You get training to do things that officers from other larger agencies may not get because they have specialized officers handle it... It will probably be more, "You catch it, you fillet it."

4, Resume building.

The bad:

1. politics

2. follow up

3. under training/no training

4. backup?

5. having to abide by obsolete/poorly written policy, and/or supervisors that refuse to follow, or change those policies.

6. Advancement?

Depending on the agency, the bad may not be an issue.

Morris
11-23-2011, 17:20
My first agency was a single officer per shift city. I spent many shifts doing entire house searches by myself or with help from an adjoining city that also only had one officer on duty.

Nothing like searching a 10K square foot house by yourself on an alarm/open door call.

However, I did all of the cases by myself from contact to submission to the prosecutor. Learned quite a bit. Also learned the value of verbal judo. Came in handy as well. Learned that handcuffing a suspect to a light standard is okay if you are chasing other suspects at the same time.

AngryBassets
11-23-2011, 20:59
I started out in a town where you usually were along between 2am and noon. Backup was always close, however. I did like "owning" the town...I took pride in what didn't happen when I was working.

VA27
11-23-2011, 21:13
I've been doin' it for 36 years. 3 days a week I cover about 900 sq miles. 2 days a week (the neighboring county guy's day off) I have more than double that.

I do have radio coverage for most of that, cell phone coverage for about half of it, but we've only had a county repeater for about 10 years and cell phones for about 6 years. Before that it was a pretty lonely job.

Back up from the county can usually be there inside half an hour, day or night. (Thank God for Reserve Deputies, as there are only 4 full-time Deputies here.)

You gotta be a 'people person', or you can talk yourself into an 'axx-whupin' as often as you can stand it.

Are there times when I wish I had a ride-along partner or back up a little closer? Absolutely! But you get used to it. My daddy always said, "You can get used to hangin', if you do it long enough."

Good luck with the job.

JBaird22
11-23-2011, 21:34
I started out working in a town where I was it from 3am to 7am. If the jailer needed help, I was his backup, if I needed help, there was a deputy on somewhere in our end of the county and officers in city's that were 10 to 20 miles away that might be able to come help.

You learn a lot about yourself and like others said, you learn to choose your battles. I say this though: don't work for a city that requires you to live there. I've only lived in 1 city I worked for and while it does give you a vested interest in making things better, you also are stuck living in the toilet you police and you are never really off duty. I know you want to get back in it, but keep looking. Seriously.

Cochese
11-23-2011, 23:10
Buy yourself a pack of index cards. Everyone you come across merits an index card. Pedigree, photo, nickname, friends & family, arrests...

Yep. Especially in an area that small.

The proper FI card is a dying art.

Cochese
11-23-2011, 23:11
And I would pass. Look for something a little bigger.

x_out86
11-23-2011, 23:15
Very common in my area. A large number of local agencies (besides County SO), have less than 10 officers. Most of them only run 1 car at a time. I have been there and done that as well.

Most of the good/bad has already been brought up. You will become patrol officer, detective, CSO, and a number of other titles all in one. In truth, it WILL make you more rounded officer in the long run. When its time for you to move up to bigger things, you will have a lot of experiences that officers from bigger departments wont since they could always transfer the case to a different division for follow up.

As far as officer safety goes, it all comes down to knowing your limits and good officer safety on your part. You will learn to TALK people in and out of A LOT of stuff. Or will learn the all important skill of killing time by talking until your backup gets there, even if it takes 20 minutes. Like has also been brought up, you will learn to pick you battles. Who needs to get arrested RIGHT NOW (safely), and who do you need to pick up the following day when you have a second officer.

Overall, I would tell you that in this job market, take what is offered. In the long run, it will give you steady employment until you decide what you want to do. Maybe you might like it and stay, or you might stick around until you get a better offer.

Anymore questions, PM me.

x_out86
11-23-2011, 23:18
Yep. Especially in an area that small.

The proper FI card is a dying art.
Thank god I am not the only one that still has uses FI cards. I still get asked if that is my recipe holder in my squad bag sometimes. LOL

Cochese
11-23-2011, 23:19
Thank god I am not the only one that still has uses FI cards. I still get asked if that is my recipe holder in my squad bag sometimes. LOL

We turn them into records and the records ladies put them into our RMS system so they are indexed in our report writing system.

Pretty neat.

x_out86
11-23-2011, 23:21
We turn them into records and the records ladies put them into our RMS system so they are indexed in our report writing system.

Pretty neat.
We have the same ability that I am slowly remembering that we can do. Its pretty cool too...When you look up a persons involvements it will show you all the FI's, and you can even attach one to your report, and just put it your report "See attached FI report".

What RMS you guys use? We run Spillman.

Cochese
11-23-2011, 23:25
We have the same ability that I am slowly remembering that we can do. Its pretty cool too...When you look up a persons involvements it will show you all the FI's, and you can even attach one to your report, and just put it your report "See attached FI report".

What RMS you guys use? We run Spillman.

Sungard HTE at the moment. It sucks though and it old and outdated.

http://www.sungard.com/hte

I used Sungard OSSI at my last department and it was worse.

I used Sun Ridge Systems/RiMS at my first PD and it was my favorite.

http://www.sunridgesystems.com/index.php/products

wjv
11-23-2011, 23:33
Have this playing over your cruiser's PA every time you roll up on a call or do a traffic stop. . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwTtl8IydcA&feature=related

No one will mess with you!

DaBigBR
11-23-2011, 23:49
Did I also tell you that we are very limited on backing other departments up in our area there for they are less likely to want to come back us up.We are also limited on the amount of ammo we can carry. We can carry three mags of ammo for handgun and one 20 round and one 30 round mag for rifle, each rifle mag is down loaded 2 rounds. That is a total of 84 rounds, 3 (15 round pistol mags +1, and 46 rifle rounds. That amount of ammo can go very fast when the SHTF. But you know "the SHTF does no go on around hear". :steamed:

I'm sorry for the following rant. You, me, and everybody else all know how stupid this is.

What a ****ing idiotic policy. They send you out to the middle of god damned nowhere, by yourself, and then have the balls to set a maximum amount of ammunition? Jesus ****ing christ, that's retarded! How about setting a damned minimum and encouraging folks to carry more...think of it like the "flair" in Office Space.

We had a deputy killed in a rural county near here earlier this year. In all, the officers fired 115 rounds and the suspect fired 49 rounds in a gunfight that lasted over an hour. This was in late morning/early afternoon in a county about a third the size of yours.

wjv
11-24-2011, 01:19
Other than someone having bandoleers of ammo across their chest in Rambo fashion, why would a dept care if an officer wanted to carry a couple extra mags of ammo. . . . Or have a couple dozen extra mags in a day-bag/Go-bag? :dunno:

I'm not a cop, and when I carry it's a 5 shot J-frame with two extra reloads. . I'm quite comfortable with that fairly light load-out. And I don't even carry the majority of the time. But I'm not pulling over a car full of gang-bangers by myself, or responding to a drunk male with a shotgun at 3am. The situation should define the need. What works for me living in a rural small town won't work for someone who has to interact with scummy and evil people on a regular basis.

Sounds like the chief is under the illusion that he lives in Mayberry. . . But even Mayberry isn't safe, and hasn't been for decades. . (i.e. In Cold Blood 1959)

lawman800
11-24-2011, 03:22
Had to do it for a year on weekends between shifts (4 hour stretch) when we were down 50% of our full strength due to various reasons... that was a long long long time ago. Wasn't fun but you get used to it and you learn that the radio was your best friend. Always keep dispatch informed and let them know EVERYTHING you are doing and where you are and what you got.

Luckily, we always had neighboring jurisdictions within minutes and they are very good at getting there to help us ASAP. Always carry a backup for everything (gun, lights, batteries, etc.) and then carry a backup to that backup if possible. Take an extra minute to think through course of action before jumping in. That extra minute may save your life, by preventing you from getting into something you did not completely think through.

In any event, as soon as we got our strength up, we got people covering and we never went on calls alone if we can help it. Every traffic stop was also an automatic cover without dispatch even having to send us to back. Anyone calls out a t-stop, the closest unit would immediately call out "Paul-xx to back". It's just the way it's done.

Panzergrenadier1979
11-24-2011, 07:22
My department altered its policy shortly after I was hired and got rid of single-officer shifts. We now have a 2 officer minimum. Usually we have 3-4 officers on patrol. Many departments in our area still have one officer on midnights.

I can recall one incident last summer that involved a foot pursuit and a taser deployment from the only officer on duty at his department. Other PDs responded and set up a perimeter and search area for the BG. In all, 7 officers were involved in the chase/search and they represented a grand total of 6 police departments....... :whistling:

We need a county police system. :steamed:

cowboywannabe
11-24-2011, 07:39
mama didnt raise no fool, so searching a house will have to wait until another unit arrives.

k9medic
11-24-2011, 07:41
The department where I work P/T generally only has one officer on duty with exception of on Friday and Sat. nights where they stagger the shifts.

I will go to work this Sunday at 0600 and will be the only officer on duty. The closest back up is the county which generally only has 4 deputies on duty for the 1,412.32 sq mi county. There are a few other city departments around, but they are at least a 20 min. code 3 drive away.

The good thing is that the Chief lives in town and has lived there since the early 80's. He honestly knows everyone in town (small town anyway), so finding where the bad guy lives if he runs is not too hard.

pal2511
11-24-2011, 07:41
Counting part time and full time I have been working at current agency for about 3 years. We typically have 2 officers on during the evening for 5 days a week and all the other time we only have 1 on at midnights. Day shift has 3 to include Patrol, detective and Chief, but of course nothing usually happens then :)

Dept here does not care how much ammo you have. You will learn to talk to people like the other person said and to choose your battles. It will pay off to be nice to citizens and work on your community policing. You never know when you will need help from someone.

Usually the good thing is most people won't give you any crap from the low speeding ticket or the domestic arrest but be prepared for anything. My backup is 15 minutes plus sometimes. The other day it took 20 minutes for county to get here for a domestic.

It's a fun job and most days I enjoy talking to people and helping them.

GunFighter45ACP
11-24-2011, 10:18
We turn them into records and the records ladies put them into our RMS system so they are indexed in our report writing system.

Pretty neat.

That is awesome. Especially for the newbies.

Agent6-3/8
11-24-2011, 12:52
I interviewed with a department yesterday that only has 1 officer on duty at any given time. Any of you do this? Pros? Cons?

The biggest problem I foresee would be a SHTF situation and I need help. County could be 15+ minutes out, etc. The dept. requires its officers to live in the city (only 1.3 square miles), so help from them would be just a call away.

Thanks for the input.

While I've not been the only one on duty, I've worked many a shift where I might as well have been. With my previous department there was rarely more than 4 of us on duty at any one time and typically 2 on midnights covering a large county. Wasn't unusual to be alone with help 20+ min away. It can certainly get pretty hairy sometimes.

Things like domestics, fights etc wait if at all possible until you get another unit to go with you. Officer safety has to be first and foremost in your mind at all times. Reactive stuff you can wait on help and work around. What gets hairy is the proactive stuff you wander into the middle of. You have to be in charge and stay that way. You can't show signs of weakness and let people manipulate you. You don't want BG's seeing you as weak and thinking they can get something over on you when you're all alone. You'll be setting yourself (or perhaps the next officer that deals with them) up for being assaulted.

Treat people as good as they'll let you, but never at the cost of officer safety. A little bit of Andy goes a long ways. Use good sense and you'll be fine. Definitely pick your battles. Sometimes its better to come back with help and a warrant the next day.

Ajon412
11-24-2011, 13:50
While I've not been the only one on duty, I've worked many a shift where I might as well have been. With my previous department there was rarely more than 4 of us on duty at any one time and typically 2 on midnights covering a large county. Wasn't unusual to be alone with help 20+ min away. It can certainly get pretty hairy sometimes.
an
Things like domestics, fights etc wait if at all possible until you get another unit to go with you. Officer safety has to be first and foremost in your mind at all times. Reactive stuff you can wait on help and work around. What gets hairy is the proactive stuff you wander into the middle of. You have to be in charge and stay that way. You can't show signs of weakness and let people manipulate you. You don't want BG's seeing you as weak and thinking they can get something over on you when you're all alone. You'll be setting yourself (or perhaps the next officer that deals with them) up for being assaulted.

Treat people as good as they'll let you, but never at the cost of officer safety. A little bit of Andy goes a long ways. Use good sense and you'll be fine. Definitely pick your battles. Sometimes its better to come back with help and a warrant the next day.

Correct...The BG's will be sizing you up from the moment you roll up on the scene, make contact, conduct the traffic stop, etc.....You MUST be able to take charge IMMEDIATELY to shut down a situation, to take and maintain control. You have to have eyes in the back of your head, learn to trust your instincts and don't confuse kindness for weakness...

collim1
11-25-2011, 06:13
Thank god I am not the only one that still has uses FI cards. I still get asked if that is my recipe holder in my squad bag sometimes. LOL

I use them too. They ae great way not to forget personal info when interviewing a suspect for a report. If just writing info in a notebook I always forget phone number, tattoos, ssn etc...

lawman800
11-25-2011, 10:35
We still use FI cards in our area. Many BOLO or LOS bulletins which are not immediate arrests will request that we FI if we make contact with the subjects and forward info to the contact officer of that agency making the request.

We turn them in to the sergeant at the end of every shift. He compiles them.

BIGGUNS911
11-25-2011, 10:58
I'm with you on all your points brother, it is one of the most stupid things I have heard from them. They tell me it all comes down to money, statistics, accountability and liability.

The money: they don't want to pay for extra ammo & they don't want to let use purchase our own because they can't control it
Statistics: they tell me "most" gun fights don's last that long and don't use up that much ammo
Accountability: They need to account for all equipment and ammo, what if a member had some off brand of ammo
Liability: if you give a member all the ammo he wants he will be more apt to shoot more rounds and not use ammo management.

I say it all comes down to control and micro management:faint:

These are not my ideas these are just the excuses I was given for why we can't carry more than 84 rounds.:steamed:

Luckily I have the resources to carry a bug + one extra mag for it. That with my personal glock and rifle has me in the range of 129 round of total ammo including rifle.



I'm sorry for the following rant. You, me, and everybody else all know how stupid this is.

What a ****ing idiotic policy. They send you out to the middle of god damned nowhere, by yourself, and then have the balls to set a maximum amount of ammunition? Jesus ****ing christ, that's retarded! How about setting a damned minimum and encouraging folks to carry more...think of it like the "flair" in Office Space.

We had a deputy killed in a rural county near here earlier this year. In all, the officers fired 115 rounds and the suspect fired 49 rounds in a gunfight that lasted over an hour. This was in late morning/early afternoon in a county about a third the size of yours.

Ajon412
11-25-2011, 11:29
We still use FI cards in our area. Many BOLO or LOS bulletins which are not immediate arrests will request that we FI if we make contact with the subjects and forward info to the contact officer of that agency making the request.

We turn them in to the sergeant at the end of every shift. He compiles them.

I do as well, as do some of those I work with. We just switched over to a new report system (E-Force) and it has a "FI" section built into the system. Most, if not all, of my contacts go into a report and for those that don't, I keep my own file...Sometimes "old school" still works....

Pepper45
11-25-2011, 12:10
We have 6 patrolmen. That works out to two assigned to days, two to swings, and two to graves. We work 4 ten hour shifts, so there is one overlap day. We also have a detective, SRO, and two boots in the academy. Back before the detective, it was a hoot, we worked ALL of our own cases, save what we would turn over to a major crimes team. I got some really good experience working some dope cases that some of my academy buddies who work for MUCH larger agencies will never see, unless they get onto a specialized unit someday.

We're pretty lucky, we maintain a great relationship with the county folks, and the state police are in and out all the time. It's not unheard of for one of our guys, one OSP, and a county deputy (or three) to be the only law enforcement for an area the same size as our largest metropolitan city. When it gets down to only one guy on, the county folks will hold a little closer to my city, and if one of us is jammed up on a call, the other one tries to lay low until someone is clear, or at least close to it.

I do love being able to work independently, I love having to make decisions on the fly, and being my own supervisor. I don't have a sergeant breathing down my neck, and don't have to worry about getting second guessed until the next day. I know all the turds, who they are "dating", and who their parents are. I know where they go, when they go there, and why. I know what they drive, everyone shares intel. We turn out a BUNCH of FI cards, and our RMS system catalogs them for us. We use the county's proprietary system now, but we just purchased a new one, don't know who it is yet, but it looks cool.

Oh yeah, I also get more training that just about any other department around. I get to go to some really cool training, again, things that my academy buddies are just amazed I've been able to attend. Talking to even the county, I've been able to go to stuff in just my 5 years on, that they might not ever see.

dac1204
11-25-2011, 21:06
mama didn't raise no fool, so searching a house will have to wait until another unit arrives.

I am not a cop but have a brother who is a deputy and his wife is also a cop. He is on the swat team and has tought me some basic house clearing tactics.


With that said I own a company that works for some major banks doing property preservation work. I have to go into vacant houses all the time.

I have an area from Chattanooga all the way to the Kentucky line on I75/I40.
Chattanooga is the worst in some areas because you never know who might be in the house. I have had crack heads run out the back door only to come back as I was pulling off. I have had kids hiding in the closet because they were scared I would hurt the, (they almost got shot but that is another story).

It is the worst part of my job but brings in the most amount of money from the bids that I get back. I have a carry permit and clear the houses before I start anywork. These damn houses are dark too down in the basements.


sorry to interrupt
carry on

Agent6-3/8
11-25-2011, 22:50
Sometimes "old school" still works....

Definitely! My grandfather taught me that a small pocket notebook was an essential piece of police equipment. I was always surprised by the number of experienced officers that never had something on their person to write on...:dunno:

That little book comes in quite handy for scratching down quick notes, DL #'s, vin's, plates, etc.

MeefZah
11-26-2011, 08:01
2 per shift here, with some times dropping down to 1 officer for a few hours, or as many as 4. Small city of about 6,000.

My previous university police job I was the only officer on shift (3,000+ students); and prior to that I was an officer in a large village (4,000+) for 11 years where I was normally the only guy out but there were times there were 2 officers on.

I concur with the above statements about becoming proficient in officer safety skills, learning how to talk to / with people, relying on other agencies and developing rapport with those officers, and knowing how to pick your battles.

We are pretty well equipped with Taser, rifle, shotgun, beanbag shotgun. We have compentent dispatch and inter-agency communications on MARCs portables / mobiles and MDTs with a decent LEADS program. No restrictions of backup weapons, amount of ammo, etc. Generous use of force policy and understanding supervisors. Good training, and frequent force training. I carry a personal G19, backed up with either a G26 and/or Smith 442, and between my belt, pockets, and active shooter bag I have 6 mags and an extra 150 pistol rounds ready to go.

As a side note, I read somewhere that the majority of US LE agencies are less than 7 officers. So for every Cleveland PD there are fifty 3-4-5 man departments. Ayoob said once in an article that the big agencies get the credit and glory and are thought of as LE innovators, but the small ones are really where the officer safety initiatives are born, since you are alone and by yourself...

Edited to add... OP: you are the guy that quit another, larger dept. as a rookie, right? I would add that if you are already a knowledgeable copper, you can really do well in a smaller agency. However, if you have little experience, a smaller agency isn't the place to gain more... a lack of activity, coupled with shorter FTO times, and training officers who may not be particularly knowledgeable, means that your ability to learn as a cop is curtailed. That, and a small community can be intensely political. Even if you do your job 100%, people still ***** and you can find yourself being micromanaged. If you can't deal with that, best to find the anonymity that a larger agency offers...

MeefZah
11-26-2011, 08:09
Definitely! My grandfather taught me that a small pocket notebook was an essential piece of police equipment. I was always surprised by the number of experienced officers that never had something on their person to write on...:dunno:

That little book comes in quite handy for scratching down quick notes, DL #'s, vin's, plates, etc.

I use a regular sheet of paper, folded in eighths, in my breast pocket. It lies flatter and when it's full, you unfold it and it files away easier.

lawman800
11-26-2011, 08:34
We are issued little notebooks that fit into our shirt pockets. Spiral bound, college ruled.

Sam Spade
11-26-2011, 08:51
To the OP specifically:

Who's going to train you?

ClydeG19
11-26-2011, 10:16
I'm on my own 25.5 of my 40 hours per week. Even when we're fully staffed (just hired a guy so it should be soon), it's still 17.5 hours of my week that I'm solo. I've never called the county for backup, but I can think of a few situations that I should have. Thankfully, it has never worked out that I bit off more than I could chew. It definitely limits any proactive stuff you can do.

Patchman
11-26-2011, 11:10
We are issued little notebooks that fit into our shirt pockets. Spiral bound, college ruled.

We have to buy our own. But worth every penny.

My favorite use? When someone comes up to me and says they have no money and need to get on the bus (or train) to get to the methadone clinic, go see their parole officer or something urgent like that. I'll use the notebook to write out "Please let this person on the bus (train) for free today" and date it and sign "Officer Patchman." Then rip out the page and give it to the person with instructions to be sure to present it to the bus driver or the nice policeman at the train station.

I like to think of myself as a problem solver. :)

Morris
11-26-2011, 11:37
Funny thing about very small agencies: they have been both the brunt of bad jokes and the bearer of forward thinking principles like rifles in cars. Lack of oversight yet forward thinking in many respects.

When I lateraled to my current agency, I was ahead of peers because I had done so much more by myself yet I was behind because paid for training was non-existent (thank the Lord and Lady for reading materials).

As to the aspect of searching alone, you have to do it sometimes. At the time I searched the monster of a house, my "partner" at the adjoining small agency was also busy doing his own search and the "big sister" agency beyond us had command staff on duty that were refusing to send their officers to help either one of us. So I searched and cleared it. Took about 20 minutes. But it was a catalyst for changing my thinking on staying with the agency beyond my contract period.

DaBigBR
11-26-2011, 12:23
OP: you are the guy that quit another, larger dept. as a rookie, right? I would add that if you are already a knowledgeable copper, you can really do well in a smaller agency. However, if you have little experience, a smaller agency isn't the place to gain more... a lack of activity, coupled with shorter FTO times, and training officers who may not be particularly knowledgeable, means that your ability to learn as a cop is curtailed. That, and a small community can be intensely political. Even if you do your job 100%, people still ***** and you can find yourself being micromanaged. If you can't deal with that, best to find the anonymity that a larger agency offers...

There is definitely something to be said for this, HOWEVER...in my time on my agency we have hired two guys who left larger departments with fairly regimented and well organized training programs during their FTO period. Both of them were lacking in the confidence department when they started, however that improved relatively quickly. One of them is still with us and the other one is a detective now at a somewhat larger (16 officers) agency, in fact he is the first detective they've ever had. I think that the experience working in a place like this where you work all of your own cases probably helped with that.

Patchman
11-26-2011, 12:41
While it's true that working at a small agency will present plenty of learning experiences, but at some point in time that learning curve will flatten out. Then everything after that becomes repetitive drudgery.

Yes, I probably have attention deficit something-or-other because, for me, 3 or 4 years of the same thing gets me itchy for something new. And LE is so much more than just patrol.

So I would only work for a small agency with the thought that it would be for the learning experiences, but eventually lateral to another (larger) agency.

golls17
11-26-2011, 20:33
To the OP specifically:

Who's going to train you?

An FTO for a couple weeks and then they set me out on my own. I didn't get another interview but it got me picturing more scenarios in my head.

Regarding FI cards. Nobody at my old agency did that. We only entered that info in the computers on arrests. I might have to get some index cards and a rolodex (do they still make those?) when I get hired again.

Pepper45
11-27-2011, 01:51
An FTO for a couple weeks and then they set me out on my own. I didn't get another interview but it got me picturing more scenarios in my head.

Regarding FI cards. Nobody at my old agency did that. We only entered that info in the computers on arrests. I might have to get some index cards and a rolodex (do they still make those?) when I get hired again.
FTO for two weeks? Holy Moses. I didn't know anyone still did things like that in this day and age. I'd be a little worried, it's hard to get a trainee properly evaluated when it's slow in a standard 17 week FTEP, let alone 2. I can understand accelerating things for a lateral, but that much? Wouldn't happen anywhere around here.

MeefZah
11-27-2011, 05:15
FTO for two weeks? Holy Moses. I didn't know anyone still did things like that in this day and age. I'd be a little worried, it's hard to get a trainee properly evaluated when it's slow in a standard 17 week FTEP, let alone 2. I can understand accelerating things for a lateral, but that much? Wouldn't happen anywhere around here.

I can see it.

An experienced officer doesn't need to learn how to be a cop. That transcends location.

Really, all you would need to learn is that department's policies and expectations, the local paperwork, and the area and people.

Policies and paperwork are fairly common throughout a region, and could be learned in 2 weeks. Area is a more gradual process but there's no reason that an officer couldn't become familiar enough to get around in a few weeks. People is the toughest, and there's no way to accelerate that, but again, you can still do the job solo as you are learning.

Now two weeks for a new officer? Unacceptable, in my opinion.

Sam Spade
11-27-2011, 10:39
An FTO for a couple weeks and then they set me out on my own. I didn't get another interview but it got me picturing more scenarios in my head.

Regarding FI cards. Nobody at my old agency did that. We only entered that info in the computers on arrests. I might have to get some index cards and a rolodex (do they still make those?) when I get hired again.

I've followed your saga here on GT. I appreciate your persistence, I know what it's like finding a job in this economy. I won't patronize you, so here it is straight:

About police work, you don't know what you don't know. Some of that is interesting, like the FI cards above. Some of that will get you killed. In between there is a bunch of stuff that will lose cases, or deprive good people of their rights unjustly, or just make you inefficient and clumsy doing the job.

Your previous FTO counts only a tiny bit. This FTO time counts little. You will have no one to run things by, or debrief with you. You're going to be responsible for essentially reinventing the LE wheel. It can be done, but it's not easy. Be prepared for lots of work and research on your own, be prepared to pay your own way for life-saving training. If you can't make that commitment over a period of years, not months, then you're a casualty just looking for a place to fall. And whether you fall to a bullet or to stress or to a lawyer is just detail.

Ask questions here, use CT as a squad room. PM me if you like, and I'll send you reams of stuff.

God bless and be mindful out there.

fpgeek
11-27-2011, 17:55
That's my situation now. Sometimes I get a reserve, but most of the time I don't. Nearest backup is 15 minutes on a good day from a neighboring agency. It does affect how much self-initiated policing I do. You learn to pick and choose your battles.