Sunday, July 15, 2012
Breaking the Ice
Noles had spent two rotations on the road with the other shifts before coming to midnights. He told me that he already arrested a few drunk drivers but he was looking forward to sniffing one out himself. His only experience had come from arresting drunks that had already crashed or passed out behind the wheel at an intersection.
Right about 0100 hours on a Saturday morning, Noles announced "U-turn" because that's the car rule intended to keep the FTO from spilling anything while keeping the rookie in his good graces, then hooked the SUV into a graceful turn that surprisingly left some space from the curb for once.
Noles went blazing up the road after a pack of cars, I had been keeping my eye on the radar and did not notice any infractions so I asked Noles to explain what the heck he was doing.
"Third car in the pack, no taillights."
As we got closer, I finally spotted the infraction and applauded Noles for his sharp eye. As we got on his tail we noticed that the car was a tricked out ricer with blackout covers over his plate and rear facing lights. All still are equipment violations.
The offending vehicle turned right on red without stopping, then swung a wide corner in the process, entering the other directions turn lane. Noles called out both infractions too.
"What do you think you have?" I asked.
"Possible drunk," was his immediate response.
Noles hit the red and blues, called the radio traffic with no prompting and we followed the car for another block as it bumped off of the curb at a snails pace. Again, without prompting, Noles grabbed the radio and called for a second unit for a possible DUI. Dead on for policy and officer safety procedures.
Noles talks to the guy, gets the common: "I haven't been drinking occifer" routine... talks the guy out of the car, through the field sobriety tests and into a pair of handcuffs. Later on station we found that his BAC was a .19.
After the booking paperwork and reports were done, we took the guy to the central lockup. There were some delays on their end so we made it back to town just in time for breakfast. Noles recounted his traffic stop with the guys and we all cheered him on and mocked him a bit.
We snagged a couple more traffic stops and went in at the end of the shift. Since we had already gone over everything pretty well we skipped our usual end-of-shift formal review and I simply asked, "what do you think about last nights shift?" while we walked in.
For the first time, Noles wasn't very hesitant as if he were looking for my approval... he prattled off a couple of notes then added, "You know what? This is the first time I actually feel like a cop."
Yep pretty proud moment for me too, sorta reaffirms why I like being an FTO.