Courier police and court reporter Eileen McClory spent two shifts with City of Findlay police officers the past two Friday nights. We suspect her eyes are now a little more wide-open.
McClory’s glimpse (Page A1 story, Monday) into the world of police shows how important the everyday work of officers is in keeping the peace in Findlay.
In reality, there’s nothing routine about being a cop, even in a small community like Findlay. One call for assistance can turn a shift into anything but ordinary.
An assault, a domestic disturbance, a neighborhood dispute, an overdose, a serious car accident can all get a first responder’s adrenaline pumping no matter how many times he has been called to similar scenes. Each unfolds differently, requiring an officer to use different skills.
Police are among the community’s front line problem-solvers. They go to places and situations that most of us try to avoid.
McClory’s ride-alongs produced examples of how any shift can be a mix of minor incidents and more involved ones. Officer Mike Cooley, for example, began his day doing what police often do: patrolling, looking for suspicious activity. But he later got dispatched with other officers to an assault, where a man was subsequently arrested. Later, Cooley’s cruiser was nearly struck by a motorist at the intersection of Broad and Howard. He ticketed the driver.
Officer Dan Griffith’s shift with McClory, meanwhile, produced among other things the arrest of a homeless man for trespassing and Griffith assisting another officer who was investigating a teenager’s rape.
Cops do more, of course, than patrol, write speeding tickets or escort criminals to jail. To serve and protect is a high calling, yet an officer’s daily work usually goes unnoticed by the public. Yet, throughout their day, whether in daylight or at night, officers can never let their guard down or forget the training they’ve received to stay calm in a high-stress event.
Crime, drug abuse, domestic violence and car accidents are unfortunate parts of this community, but are dealt with by those who take on the critical jobs of police, deputies, firefighters, dispatch and EMS.
Tonight is their night in Findlay and in some villages around Hancock County, and throughout the nation. “National Night Out” will be observed from 6-9 p.m. at Riverside Park in Findlay. It is a way to connect first responders with the communities they serve.
Many first responders from Hancock County will be present along with vehicles and equipment. Demonstrations and entertainment are planned and free food will be available.
Night Out is the perfect opportunity to seek information, ask questions and rub shoulders with the people who serve and protect you every day of the week, including Friday nights.