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  • New Officer

    Hi new to the forums and to the force. I have been involved in law enforcement from a reserve stand point off and on for about 5 years. I had never actually worked alone or worked in charge of a scene, just always backing other officers up. Now I have been hired full time at a small town police department. From day 1 I have been by myself. I go to the academy in September. But in the mean time I am told "if anything happens you can call us". But I work during the night and it’s hard to get a hold of someone in the middle of the night especially if you have a question that in my opinion isn’t work waking the chief at 4am about. "Where do you keep your receipt book for bonds?" or some other trivial question that I need an answer to now but is small potatoes. My brother is a full time cop in a bigger town for about 5 years so I try to call him with all my stupid rookie questions. For a small town I of course have become pretty proficient at writing tickets (and no I'm not traffic Nazi I actually let more people go than I write). But I lack confidence on arrests and I got called to a traffic wreck one night, and tried to call the chief out and he wouldn't come out and left me high and dry. Luckily the highway patrol showed up and helped me work the wreck..those new traffic forms are fun when you have never been shown how to fill one out. I know my topic is devoid of a real question, just have been waiting for my account to become active so I could rant a little bit and maybe gain some perspective. What would you guys recommend?

  • #2
    i'm glad that i don't work in a small town...thats what i think..although sometimes I think it would be a nice change of pace
    Last edited by gomets11; 06-05-2007, 05:16 PM. Reason: I wanted to

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    • #3
      Just keep gettin at it! As you continue to work through the trials and tribulations you'll gain more respect within the small department. I also am hired at a very small department and have basically been keeping my mouth shut and asking valid questions. You sound like you have a really good jump on things though!

      Welcome to the forums!
      The above comments reflect the personal, off-the-record, unofficial opinions of the individual posting them only, and in no way, shape, or form should be taken to indicate any particular opinion, policy, or belief by the poster's or any other agency, governmental entity, organization, or corporation. Thank you and have a nice day.

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      • #4
        Your gonna make mistakes , face that. Just try not to be the guy who makes a mistake that makes it on front page of news. Most everything you learn about the job is learned in the field by yourself. FTO's and the academy show you the basics.

        But good luck , if you have common sense and the nerve to do what has to be done you'll be fine.
        Where'd you learn that, Cheech? Drug school?

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        • #5
          Thanks for the responses. Gomet you dont wanna work in a small town. The town hall runs the police department and we are treated more like revenue generators more than enforcement officers. I was told "our number one ticket writer is gone, and we dont have quotas, but write tickets!" so I wrote a lady a ticket, and after I did she cried to the chief and he changed it to a warning and I was told not to write tickets for turn signals anymore unless they are an ******* to me. Worse over I got stuck on the night shift so the town dies about midnight and stays that way until about 5am. There is a highway that runs thru town so I can get occasional traffic but thats about it. For now I'm just afraid I'll do something outside my scope of authority and get a case thrown out or it get dismissed because I didn't have enough experience to know how to do it exactly right.

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          • #6
            I'd would get to know the other officers working in your area real well. IE Sheriff and Highway Patrol. So when you do have a question, you can simply ask them and won't be awkward as if you had to ask someone who was nearly a stranger. And you look good too by not bothering the chief in the middle of the night.

            If you write a ticket and its gets tossed...no big deal, you learn from your mistakes and the world won't implode because your ticket didn't stick.

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            • #7
              Well the only reason I was told not to write turn signal tickets was not to appear to be a dick head as my chief put it and its the only reason he dismissed them. But I don't care, it's his department and it's not like i get the money from the tickets I write, my job is enforcement and I felt I did it. And if he tells me not to write them anymore I won't. They are paying for the academy and it's his department. I have plenty of other things I can write for anyways

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              • #8
                Originally posted by wirefire2 View Post
                I'd would get to know the other officers working in your area real well. IE Sheriff and Highway Patrol. So when you do have a question, you can simply ask them


                This was going to be my advice too.

                I have been in the opposite situation. I've been the Sergeant in charge of a state police station in a village like the one where you work. I made it a point to approach the new officers in this village (if they were inexperienced) to make myself and the Troopers available to them at any time. We always have people working, and most of them have plently of time on the job.

                Of course, I checked withe the Chief of Police first, to make sure it was ok with him. We have always had a great relationship, and the offer was always accepted graciously. I have been called many times over the years, and I'm always happy to help if I can.
                You can now follow me on twitter.

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                • #9
                  Ya I have been told by alot of guys to call if I need anything, but I feel dumb calling people for trivial things at late hours in the morning.

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                  • #10
                    Cypher69,
                    I too am a small town Oklahoma, city officer. You never know what the next call will be. In my county I can call upon several agencies for assistance. We have four different tribal police departments, Sheriffs Office, drug task force, OCC (truck police), and of course OHP. So if I have a question or need back up, I'm pretty well taken care of. All I have to do is say "send me another unit" and I'll have officers coming from all directions. But as for learning this job, you get more comfortable with time. As for the new accident form, they are a pain, but if you can find someone with the white book (the new accident bible) make a copy and keep it with you and you will do fine. Be safe

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