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  • Beat Knowledge...

    Hey whats going on guys? I was just seeing if any current or former FTO's or Rookies could share any insight. I am in my 3rd block of 4, (week 9) and I am still having trouble getting around and remembering street names. I work for an SO and our county is pretty big. I have worked south for one block and north for one block. There are only two PD's in the county so basically everything is ours for the most part. I am not from the county but I feel like after going to a call or two on the same street I should know how to get there by now. (Plus I am not getting the best scores on my DOR's for beat knowledge)

    Anyone else have the same issues? If so how do I un-F myself and get my S*** together?

    Thanks for the feedback,

    S

  • #2
    How much time do you spend away from work memorizing maps?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by just joe View Post
      How much time do you spend away from work memorizing maps?
      Well, not enough apparently...I feel overwhelmed with studying PCs, VCs and policy and maps. We have about 8-9 different communities so I guess I should start studying them one by one..?

      Comment


      • #4
        For me, the easiest way to learn a new area is to go big to small. Start with learning the major freeways, highways, and limited access roads. Next, learn your major thoroughfares, arterial streets, and busy roads/intersections, then get smaller from there.

        If you work nights, try to drive your beat area during the day on your time off to get a better idea of what's there outside your headlights.

        Try to read street signs as you pass them. If you can't read them, you're driving too fast.

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        • #5
          If you follow Sierra259's instructions you will be fine.

          I am not from the county where I work so I definitely know where you are coming from. Eventually you will not need your map. It really just takes time to learn the area.

          Also, if you are using turn by turn navigation STOP. You are focused on the GPS and not on knowing where you are and learning the area. When I was an FTO, GPS was verboten in my car.


          Originally posted by Sierra259 View Post
          Try to read street signs as you pass them. If you can't read them, you're driving too fast.
          ^^This^^ is crucial ALWAYS KNOW WHERE YOU ARE!!! Can't emphasize it enough. It doesn't matter if you don't know where you are going or where you just came from but you have to know where you are. You also should be aware of where everyone else is without referencing the MDT. If you can't tell me where you are, I can't come help you. I used to play a little game with my rookies. I would just say "Stop, pull over!" When they did I would say "Ok, I'm dead, where are you?" If they didn't know, they had to walk back to the last intersection to figure it out (I would tell them I was dead and the car was disabled). Catch them daydreaming on a long state road, usually hammered home the point.
          Errare humanum est, sed perseverare diabolicum
          To err is human, but to persist is diabolical

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          • #6
            One of my FTO's made me do that once... Except out here its a mile or more between intersections. Ran back a half mile to find that the intersection did not have a signpost. Had to run ahead to the next intersection.

            Never happened again.

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            • #7
              I appreciate the advice! Our county (about 50 deputies strong) does not have computer systems in our patrol vehicles because of the rural terrain and not being able to get a signal supposedly. Im doing okay at knowing where I am when on a Street/Highway but getting to know all the streets and where the call is at is what's killing me. I will definitely take your advice, study my map book and drive around when 10-10.

              THANKS!

              Comment


              • #8
                I spent a fair amount of time driving around, learning the area in my free time. Coming up with addresses and going to them. I laminated a blank map and just used a dry erase marker to fill it out, completely erase it, and start over. I still feel like it's hard for me to conceptualize it in my head, especially not being from the area, but it has worked in that I always know where I am and the general location of where I'm going.
                "Respect is earned. Honesty is appreciated. Trust is gained. Loyalty is returned."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ArmyVet View Post
                  I spent a fair amount of time driving around, learning the area in my free time. Coming up with addresses and going to them. I laminated a blank map and just used a dry erase marker to fill it out, completely erase it, and start over. I still feel like it's hard for me to conceptualize it in my head, especially not being from the area, but it has worked in that I always know where I am and the general location of where I'm going.
                  best idea i've heard yet! I think I'm going to do that!

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                  • #10
                    Every time you turn a corner make a point of checking the street sign so you know where you are. After a while it will all start to sink in.
                    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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                    • #11
                      I was in limbo week (the very first, ungraded, week) and was going to tag and abandoned vehicle... when I realized I didn't know what street I was on. I looked at my FTO and the look on his face was priceless as he realized he didn't know either.

                      I have a GPS, and my FTO uses one as well. 2200 square miles of Colorado high country is too much for any one person to learn, even after years on the job.
                      "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                      "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

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                      • #12
                        You don't have GPS in you patrol vehicle ? You could set up your vehicle for a smartphone with a GPS system. I work in an suburban area and I still need GPS to find exact streets even though I know in which neighborhood they are located.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Went to a call the other night with a veteran of the department - been here like 22 years. He's worked this same beat for about 12 years now. After the call he said "you know, I recognized the road name, but had no clue where it was...." - I said "don't feel bad, I've lived a mile from this road for the last 8 years - and I didn't even know there was a road here!!!"

                          Sometimes - the county is just like that.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sierra259 View Post
                            For me, the easiest way to learn a new area is to go big to small. Start with learning the major freeways, highways, and limited access roads. Next, learn your major thoroughfares, arterial streets, and busy roads/intersections, then get smaller from there.

                            If you work nights, try to drive your beat area during the day on your time off to get a better idea of what's there outside your headlights.

                            Try to read street signs as you pass them. If you can't read them, you're driving too fast.
                            This is how I learned. I know the county I'm in is huge and all the Deputies have GPS units.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              When you're off duty, grab a phone book, pick out a random address, and try to get to it using the most direct route. Once you get there, pick out another random address, and so on.

                              Also, try drawing a map of your beat. When you think you're done, compare to an actual map to see what you missed.

                              Comment

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