November2012A Message From YourSheriffSO MUCH TO BETHANKFUL FOR.2012 has been a tough year forthe Okaloosa County Sheriff’sOffice due to budget cuts which ledto forced lay-offs involvingdedicated deputies and civilianemployees.During this time, we are thankfulfor their years of service to theagency and our community, and tothose here who continue our dailymission to protect and serve.We are thankful to live in acounty blessed by scenic beauty, afamily-friendly atmosphere, and astrong military presence.We also want to express gratitudeto those many citizens whocontinually provide support andencouragement to the OCSO.Happy Thanksgiving!This Thanksgiving, we want to share an article byTimothy Roufa from About.comPlease take time to read:A Day in the Life of a Police Officer -From Heartwarming to Hardship,Learn What It’s Like to Work as Police Officer.Working as a police officer brings on a range ofemotions. It can leave you feeling satisfied, rewarded,sad, disgruntled, lonely and fulfilled, all in the sameshift. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to workin law enforcement, take a look at a day in the life ofa police officer.(Continued on Next Page )
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF APOLICE OFFICERBY TIMOTHY ROUFATime to Make the Doughnuts…The alarm wakes you up from your long sleep or your nap, depending on what shift you’re on. You grab aquick shower to get the sleep out and give yourself a thorough shave so your Sergeant doesn’t ding you onyour inspection.As you get dressed, your whole demeanor changes. You become quiet, stern, and thoughtful as you prepareyourself mentally for whatever the day is going to bring. You stop being “you”. Slowly, as you strap on yourballistic vest, tie your boots and zip up your uniform shirt, you become “officer you.” As you wrap yourutility belt around your waist, the transformation is complete.10-8, In Service and Ready for DutyYou kiss your kids and your husband or wife goodbye or goodnight, again depending on what shift you’reon, and step outside and into just another day on the job. You sit down in your patrol car, turn the ignition, andreach for your police radio. You key the microphone and advise your dispatcher that you're “10-8,” inservice and ready for duty.Traffic StopAs you pull out of your driveway and onto the main road, you spot a car with a headlight missing. You pullthe vehicle over, get out of your car and cautiously approach. You wonder whether this will be your lasttraffic stop ever as you get closer to the violator’s car.You introduce yourself and inform the driver that you pulled him over because his headlight is out. You lethim know that it’s a potential safety hazard because it affects not only his ability to see, but other drivers’ability to see his car. You issue him a warning or faulty equipment notice to remind him to get it fixed andwish him a safe day.Crash with InjuriesBack in your patrol car, your dispatcher advises you that there’s a serious traffic crash with injuries andentrapment near your location. You inform him that you’re “10-51, 10-18,” en route with lights and sirens.When you arrive on the scene, you see chaos. Two vehicles appear to be welded together. The coolant andoil that was spilled in the crash is burning and boiling off of the still-hot engines, transforming what was oncetwo distinct vehicles into one massive, steaming pile of twisted metal.Though you’re trained to give first aid and basic life support, you are silently thankful that anambulance is already on scene. You see paramedics talking to a bloodied driver in one of the vehicles whilefirefighters work fervently to cut a way into the vehicle to get her out. There’s a driver in the other car as well,but he’s not moving. No one’s trying to help him either.A crowd is gathering as you talk to one of the paramedics and confirm what you already knew, that thecrash involved a fatality. You call for a traffic homicide investigator and begin to cordon off the scene withcrime scene tape. Out of respect for the deceased, you grab a fire blanket out of your first aid bag and drape itover the dead person’s car.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF APOLICE OFFICERPage TwoYou gather witnesses, take statements, and work to identify the drivers. When the traffic homicideinvestigator arrives, you brief her and provide the information you’ve obtained so far. She takes over theinvestigation and you offer to provide whatever assistance she needs.Notifying Next of KinRelieved of investigative responsibilities, the task falls to you to inform the deceased’s next of kin. In thiscase, it’s a wife who stays home to care for two small children. You show up at her door and ring the doorbell.She answers the door and stares at you as you stand there with your hat in the your hand. She knows whyyou’re there and you know she knows. There’s no easy way o tell her, so you rip the band aid off.“Ma’am, I’m very sorry to tell you that your husband has been killed in a car crash.” Naturally she cries,while you do your best not to. You offer to make phone calls for her and to stay with her until a familymember, minister, or friend can get there.Back on PatrolAfter you’ve made sure that the new widow has been cared for, you get back into your patrol car andinform dispatch of the time you made notification. You advise that you’re “10-98,” task completed and thatyou’re “back 10-8.”Worn out and thirsty from the day so far, you stop at a gas station to get a cup of coffee. You avoiddoughnut shops at all cost so you don’t play into the stereotype. You drive through the parking lot andscope the place out one time to make sure you’re not walking blindly into a robbery. As soon as you walkin the door, the clerk greets you and asks you to deal with some teenagers who are causing a disturbance in thestore. You never do get your coffee.Real Police Work: Report WritingAfter you leave the gas station, you find a vacant parking lot to catch up on reports. You park someplacewhere people can see you if they need help, and it doesn’t take long before someone does. As theyapproach, you get out of your car so they can’t surprise you while you’re sitting down. You’re always thinkingtactically. As it turns out, they just need directions, which you’re happy to provide.You just get back to your report writing when another car pulls up. You get back out of your car and meetan elderly woman who’s frightened because her door was open when she got home, and she remembershutting it and locking it. She asks you to come to her house and make sure it’s safe and that no one broke in.Burglary and House ClearingWhen you get to the house, you ask her to stay outside by her car as you check the doors for any signs ofbreaking in. You notice scrape marks on the rear door and it appears someone tampered with the lock. Youdraw your handgun and enter the house to clear it, wondering if it will be the last thing you do.Finding no one in the house, you ask the woman to come in and see if anything is missing. You caution hernot to touch anything as you process the scene, and call for a crime scene technician. She gives you a list of
TAKE A LOOKCATCH A CROOK!The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office launched a newprogram designed to let the public view surveillance photostypically seen only by investigators in crimes ranging fromshoplifting to scams. The photos on the Sheriff’s Officewebsite under the new “Take a Look, Catch a Crook” programshows people of interest, witnesses, or potential suspectsconnected to various crimes around Okaloosa County.“All crimes, including misdemeanors, deserve attentionand this increases the odds that suspects will be identifiedand charged accordingly when they have victimized anindividual or business,” said Sheriff Larry Ashley.“The best crime-solving methods involve a partnershipbetween law enforcement and the public. This newinformation-sharing initiative gives the public a chance toview images that, for the most part, only law enforcementwould have viewed in the past. This in turn gives us thepotential for thousands of people to help identify theindividuals shown,” added Captain Arnold Brown, head of theOCSO Investigation Services Division.The web page allows residents to link in to Emerald CoastCrime Stoppers to leave their information. They can then beeligible for a cash reward if their information leads to anarrest.With some exceptions, most crimes profiled on EmeraldCoast Crime Stoppers are high-profile felonies. “Take a Look– Catch a Crook” will showcase any crime that has an imagethat could be used to develop leads.“The two programs in fact complement each other,” saidEmerald Coast Crime Stoppers Coordinator Nicole Wagner.“We have used citizen input successfully for many years and“Take a Look – Catch a Crook” will capitalize on the samemethodology to expand the number of crimes available for thepublic to help solve.”The page will be updated weekly.http://www.sheriff-okaloosa.org/talcac/
GETTING INVOLVED&GIVING BACK
CHAPLAIN’SCORNERAPPRECIATINGWHAT WE HAVETHANKSGIVING: I love this time of year. I lookat all the things I am thankful for, even the difficulttimes. They make us stronger as we go throughthem. During this time of year, take a few momentsand reflect on all your blessings. Whenever I startto get down I look at all the good in my life andrealize it could be much worse. Next, I try to seewhere I might be able to help someone in need.There are always others around us who are in needof some help. As deputies you see the needs andare there to help in very serious times. You maynot get any thanks at the time, but know you havehelped in a time of crisis. We are thankful for ourdeputies, Sheriff, support staff and all who makethis a better place to live. Enjoy this Thanksgivingseason and know you are prayed for andappreciated.OCSO ChaplainDennis Walker
HAPPYTHANKSGIVING!TRAVEL SAFETY TIPSAllow Extra Time for Road CongestionDrive with Lights ON—Even in Daytime. Buckle UpDon’t Text and Drive or Drink and Drive Hit the Road Well-Rested