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No routine calls in a police officer’s job

In our profession there is a word that makes us cringe, “routine.” We find it all the time, in writings, interviews, the media, even sometimes in our own circles.

FYI, there is nothing routine about a traffic stop, with the exception of turning our lights on. There’s nothing routine about arriving at a domestic disturbance, other than knowing family members are arguing. Why do we dislike the word “routine” in our profession?

Let’s see.

In 2012, 120 of our brothers and sisters were killed in the line of duty in the U.S., according to the Officer Down Memorial Page (www.odmp.org/search/year/2012). Forty-seven of these were because of gunfire and 48 involved vehicle accidents or assaults. So far in 2013, 50 have died, according to the website. Seventeen involved gunfire and 18 involved vehicle accidents or assaults.

So, what’s “routine”? On average, one cop is killed every 57 hours, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund’s website (www.nleomf.org/facts/enforcement/).

Domestics and traffic stops are the most dangerous. When we get dispatched to a call for service or conduct a traffic stop, we are entering the unknown. When we respond to a house, that’s your turf. When we pull over a traffic violator, again, your domain. When we pull a person over because they committed a violation, we have no idea if they’re a fugitive from another city or state.

So, when you see one of us or a few more of us at one location, it’s to ensure everyone’s — and I mean everyone’s — safety. This way we get to make it home to our families. Well, maybe not home for the in-custody; they’ll have to make government accommodation work for a couple of days or more.

We signed up for this job because we care about people and good behavior. We want to prevent crime and disorder. We took an oath to protect and serve.

So, let’s get rocking!

“Control, 269, we’ll be 10-8.” Hold on, I forgot. I need to do a battery test on my Taser. ZZZZZ. OK, it works.

On June 16, as the rooster crows, officers are dispatched to a subject sleeping under a park bench. Well, our residentially challenged guest had one too many of the off-brand alcoholic beverages. Guess what? He now has a place to sleep and eat, and it’s inside a windowless building.

June 17, officers are sent to the area of 700 Elm St. The female alleges her boyfriend broke into her residence, crawling through the doggy door. She reports that after he strangles her, he steals money from her purse. She waits to call police until he gets back home in Henderson. The report is forward to Boulder City Police detectives. My question: How big was the dog?

On June 18, the Sinclair station calls to report a theft. Apparently a group of juveniles came in, distracted the clerks and grabbed a case of brew. They ran out the store and left in a red Jeep toward Henderson. Officers search for the suspect vehicle but to no avail. Bad choices lead to bad consequences. Hope they grow up soon.

June 19, a resident came to the lobby of the police department to report identity theft. The subject received a credit card with a former surname. But, she never applied for the card and the card had a man’s first name. The credit alert company advised her of several other transactions on her credit file, and, thankfully, there was no loss. This is a good time to advise everyone, please check your credit report periodically to make sure no one is stealing your information.

On June 20, a subject is found lying in the middle of the roadway on Elm Street. Not sure if the subject is alive or dead. Officers arrive to find a local man, no stranger to the police, passed out, on the road. Oh yeah, this episode was because of a legal drug: alcohol. I really don’t want to tell you how this ended. I’ll let you guess.

June 21, Las Vegas police transfer a 911 call from a female on Wyoming Street. The female advises she is being beaten and the male has locked her in the motor home. Officers arrive, but the male was nowhere to be found. After officers clear the call, the male returns. This time the house is surrounded and he has nowhere to run. Four felony charges are being forwarded to the district attorney’s office for consideration against the male.

On June 22, officers are dispatched to the area across from Taco Bell regarding a stolen cellphone. Officers arrive and make contact with the victim. One small problem: When the victim shows the officers where the cellphone was taken from, she forgot her methamphetamine baggie and pipe there in plain view. Oh yes, this really did happen. The young lady said her friend left it at the house. OK, sure. Free room and board anyone?

Another phenomenal week! In a week the big parade will be here. Please do not bring those plastic things filled with water. We want everyone to go home without a piece of paper; or worse, having to take a detour to our favorite windowless facility.

BC, have a great week!

Officer Jeffrey Grasso is a 10-year veteran of the Boulder City Police Department. He previously served as a police officer in south Florida for four years.

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