Citizen’s Academy Part V

True-crime research, novel writing research, and updates.


Robin Lyons, Author websiteBLOG POST #240: This week, I’m sharing my research and experience from when I attended my local Sheriff Department’s Citizen’s Academy. The course ran one night each week for seventeen weeks. In this post, I’ll talk about Patrol Functions.

But, first, there’s a lot of turmoil regarding law enforcement, police brutality, racism, defunding the police, etc.—I’m not addressing any of that in this post. I certainly hope you don’t read my posts for my personal and political opinions, you’d be disappointed.

The Citizen’s Academy provided an overview of law enforcement operations. I use that insider glimpse to help me write more realistic law enforcement scenes in fictional stories. Now, on to Patrol Functions…

Every 12-hour workday begins with a thirty-minute briefing. Next, officers load the assigned vehicle with their patrol bag, reference books, forms, shotgun, rifle, extra ammunition, food, etc.

Officers on the day shift mostly respond to alarms, child custody disputes, court order violations, cold reports, and an occasional “hot call”—a felony in progress.

Officers on the graveyard shift deal more with alarms, domestic violence, prowlers, suspicious persons – drunks, criminals.

When an officer needs to conduct an interview, a second officer will back them up and keep an eye on the surrounding area.

On the way to a call, officers mentally prepare by running scenarios to help them be ready for the unexpected. For a domestic violence call, officers approach quietly to listen for an argument or silence—they can both be a worst-case situation. If there is a visible injury, they will arrest the aggressor.

In general, law enforcement officers deal with three types of people:

  • People who do commit crimes: dirt bags
  • People who might commit crimes: general public
  • People who never commit crimes: grandmother type

They stressed, ALWAYS advise an officer when you have a concealed weapon permit—CCW.

If you missed the earlier Citizen’s Academy posts, here are the links:

Citizen’s Academy Part I

Citizen’s Academy Part II

Citizen’s Academy Part III

Citizens Academy Part IV

In my county, anyone can apply to attend the Citizen’s Academy. You should look into it where you live. It was an eye-opening experience.

What are your thoughts about this overview of Patrol Functions? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about true-crime and books.

Do you know of a crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading! Wellness wishes to you and your family.


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