Right Place, Right Time

The other dog handlers and I had a conversation last night about our successes at what we do as a chosen profession.

In between reliving great calls and talking about last night’s events (it was busy enough to keep four dog teams hopping), we agreed that a lot of our success comes down to being in the right place at the right time.  Sometimes sheer luck puts us in the honey spot, but most of the time it’s because as a police officer, you have to think like a crook to catch one.  You have to get out there and actively hunt criminals, which means learning everything you can about them. 

Crime trends, where the local crack shacks are located, knowing where so-and-so’s mom lives, where his girlfriend lives, what types of cars are stolen with the highest frequency, how bad guys flee crime scenes – it all comes down to thinking the way a bad guy does.  If you can do this, it gets easier to find the time to be in the right place.

Like last night. 

There was a shooting with a bb gun and the suspect fled the scene on foot.  After hearing the description I didn’t race into the scene, instead I went to where I had the highest likelihood of spotting the suspect.  A few minutes later he appeared in the block, and presto – one in custody.  Mind you, a good physical description helps and this suspect might as well have been wearing pink bunny ears – he was described as wearing fishnet gloves, and last time I checked not many fella’s have that item in their wardrobe.

Later in the shift a citizen called in to report a suspicious vehicle skulking around.  The citizen turned out to be a great witness, managing to get the plate of the vehicle as it drove away and dispatch advised the vehicle was on file as stolen. 

A short time later, after having gotten into the mind of a crook and been able to think of where the stolen vehicle might be, another dog handler located the stolen as it drove through another area, clearly casing houses and cars.  The incident ended with the driver being taken into custody by one dog team, and the passenger, who thought it would be a good idea to vacate the scene tout de suite, being taken into custody a short distance away by another dog team.

This case is a great example of knowing how bad guys think and of actively putting that knowledge to work.  Would the dog handler have located the stolen if he had simply driven around aimlessly?  Maybe, but more likely not – you can miss entire events if you drive around with your blinders on. 

The dog handler went out and hunted for the bad guy, which is why he found himself in the honey spot.

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3 Responses to "Right Place, Right Time"

  • slamdunk says: