Today's ride-along was great. I met a police officer from a notoriously busy precinct and got into his patrol car. We were about to fill up the gas tank when a hot call came in regarding some illegal aliens running in the park right down the street from the station. We sped off without getting gas, drove up onto the park and saw some other police officers struggling with a male suspect. The officer in my car jumped out and helped them subdue the suspect. It turns out he had a handgun on him which he dropped when spotted by the police and then started running through the park.
We then learned that a mexican coyote (paid human smuggler) was holding about 40 illegal aliens in a nearby house. We then got a call that they had escaped the house and were running around the neighborhood. We rounded them all up and brought them back to the house. It was empty, dirty, and had bags of shoes and belts (the captors took all of their shoes to discourage them from running away). Channel 15 news was there but I didn't see myself when I watched their coverage at 5:00.
Later, we arrested a drunk transient trespasser that refused to leave and wanted to fight. Then we helped track down a guy wanted on outstanding warrants that fled from his car and ran home. I covered the front door while a few officers went in and dragged him out. His elderly father looked humiliated to have his teenage son hauled away in handcuffs.
After a quick lunch, we were called to a fatal car accident. I was busy putting up crime scene tape, setting flares, and arranging traffic cones. By the time we approached the actual wreck, the victims were gone but the cars were mangled. Apparently, one of them ran a red light and killed the driver of another car.
We then responded to a minor car accident involving three vehicles. Citations were issued and we were quickly 10-8 (back in service).
As the end of the shift neared, we heard a call of a possible stolen vehicle on the freeway heading in towards our direction. We were close and decided to cut off the driver if he exited at our street. He passed our exit and was approaching the next. We were on the freeway access road waiting for him to take the next exit. Instead, he pulled over on the freeway right next to where we were sitting. I watched the other officers perform a felony stop with weapons drawn and arrest the two occupants. If they had decided to flee on foot (over the fence), we were ready to take them down. My training officer was disappointed that they didn't run towards us since were were perfectly positioned for a surprise takedown.
The ten hour shift flew by so quickly I could hardly believe it was over. Even the 'slow' part of the day was fun as were cruised through neighborhoods and apartment complexes looking for suspicious cars or people. While he drove, I would randomly run license plates in the police computer looking for expired tags or vehicles not matching the plates.
If today was a just a glimpse of things to come, I'm sure I picked the right career.