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Week 17: From Day Shift to Evening Shift

“Alleged bar hopping and other shenanigans”

Buffalo Detachment

2005-10-16

This week seemed to be a long one, but time flew by all the same. Come to think of it, the Depot world we live in is a very weird paradox. In the last few days, we had more afternoon/evening shifts than regular working days, and that likely contributed to the time contradictions. To start, Monday was an evening shift because we had our impaired-driving sessions. Similar to detachments, we were teamed up and responded to calls of impaired drivers. As with most of our scenarios, everyone in the troop takes turns acting in the roles of POs, actors and observers/monitors. I must admit that some of my troopmates play pretty convincing drunks! Naturally, that meant I would also need to don the slurred speech, the stagger and the concealed vodka bottle. The story was as follows: I had just come off of an OT shift and was heading home (with a quick stop at the local bar, or two bars... at the time of the incident my memory was a little selective). I was instructed to exercise my weaving capabilities, fall asleep behind a non-moving vehicle and when asked how much I had to drink, I was to reply in a matter-of-fact and nonchalant way that I'd only had six... or maybe seven!

Well, after my alleged bout with intoxication, I had two day shifts to get over the resulting hangover! Tuesday and Wednesday were routine (poor choice of words, I realize as routine does not exist in the modern policing world) with regularly scheduled classes such as PDT. There's always something new to report from PDT. This week it was the ground fighting prep, or the tip of the iceberg to scrapping matches. Our first instalment was fun as it brought me back to the good all days of throwing people around in the dojo. Although it's not exactly mirrored to what I've learned previously, I can honestly say I feel quite comfortable in that element.

Things that could be classified as a little less comfortable would likely fall under the category of suicide lectures. On Wednesday we spent an uplifting morning talking about self-harm and suicidal tendencies as they would pertain to our clients. Although the guest speaker was outstanding, it was still a little dark and morbid to be talking about it. However, I suppose we'll be dealing with this sort of thing on a regular basis in the field so best be prepared. [Ed.’s Note: The suicide lectures also deal with depression and suicide for police officers, not just clients.]

On Thursday and Friday it was back to evening shifts with second detachments. Although similar to the first instalment of detachment duties, this time around the calls were a little more complex, more ambiguous and the ensuing files more demanding. There are always a number of questions and uncertainties that lead us to use our judgement skills. It can get frustrating at times as there is not one right answer. In effect almost any option can be considered the correct choice as long as you can articulate your actions. A lot of it is also dependent on your partner, their background and previous experiences, and the combined skills the team possesses. In my case, I've been fairly fortunate with partners. My partner for detachments is trusting and can be quite comical at times, which suits me just fine.

While on the subject of comical, I picked up my Red Serge from the tailor shop on Friday. Judging from my previous experiences with the tailor shop I was a little apprehensive about trying on the 33rd piece (at least - I've lost count) of issued clothing/equipment. Of course I got sucked into the mob-mentality and forgot about my apprehensions when a number of my roommates suggested we make sure they gave us the right jackets! Although the Serge fits well, I've found that it's definitely not for operational purposes as I can barely move my shoulders. Breathing and swallowing are also a hassle as the collar is a little tight. On the bright side: compared to the Serge, wearing the tie is a pleasure! (Never thought I'd say that!)