Behind The Scenes – When officers show up to a call and make an arrest, the work doesn’t stop there. In many ways, the time consuming portion of what we do is just beginning.
One officer is needed to complete booking paperwork and transport the suspect to jail. Depending on how many other departments are booking suspects at the same time and traffic to and from the jail, this can be very time consuming. This same officer is usually also responsible for cataloging and placing the suspect’s belongings that can’t be accepted at the jail into safekeeping at the station after booking the suspect and then writing a report detailing what they did during the incident. If the suspect is found to be in possession of illegal substances during their arrest or stolen credit cards or other items, the items found must be tested, weighed, photographed, documented, properly packaged and submitted into evidence. They also have to label and upload their body camera and dash camera footage into evidence and complete a report detailing all their actions.
Another one or more officers are required to canvas the area for witnesses, take witness statements, seek out potential residential or commercial surveillance footage of the incident and seek permission to obtain the footage. That footage then needs to be documented and submitted into evidence. These officers also write reports detailing their involvement and actions in the case and also must label and upload body camera and dash camera footage.
Any evidence obtained at the scene needs to be meticulously collected, documented, properly transported back to the station, properly packaged and submitted into evidence.
If a vehicle is involved, an officer must request a tow-truck for impoundment pending a warrant, properly seal and document the vehicle, fill out impound forms and then follow the tow truck to the impound facility and ensure that the vehicle is properly stored pending a search warrant. They must also write a report detailing their involvement and actions in the case and also must label and upload body camera and dash camera footage. In addition, they must also submit the impound form and forward the info to the Major Crimes Unit (MCU) for a warrant to be written.
Additional time is taken to testify in court, participate in defense interviews and other administrative tasks sometimes days or even years after an incident has taken place.
All of the above required tasks are very time consuming and can take officers off the streets for extended periods of time to complete. Our commitment to maintaining adequate staffing levels helps to ensure that we have enough officers available to still respond to calls for service while these officers are completing these tasks and getting back out on the street ASAP.