Well, the truth is Rome, GA is not a big city but I did help fight crime for a night. In Rome you are able to ride along with a police officer on his shift. I was privileged to ride with Officer Cory of the City of Rome Police Department. This is great for research when writing any genre of mysteries. Come along with me as I tell you about our big night. Oh! I almost forgot to tell you that I did have to stay in the car when on calls. However, I could see the small monitor on their screen and I could hear what he was saying. Let's go on some calls!
3:00 - Time for group briefing before going out on the beat. Sectors and cars were assigned.
3:30 - We got a call to check on someone at one of the local extended stay motels known for drug use and prostitution. A woman had called in to 911 saying she was concerned about her father and thought he might be suicidal. We made the call and officer Cory discovered the man was all right. He called his daughter and relayed the message to her.
3:50 - We no sooner got down the road when we came upon a wreck that had just happened. Officer Cory turns the car around in the middle of the road and proceeds to work the wreck. No one was hurt, but the EMT's were called to check out an elderly lady. She was fine, but I'm afraid the car wasn't as lucky and had to be towed.
4:11 - While I was waiting on Officer Cory to wrap up the wreck scene I heard there was a domestic situation between two unrelated people at the local CVS right across the street. Since he was tied up we didn't go to that one so I don't know the outcome of that situation.
4:26 - We were called to the local senior apartments where a lady said there was a young child being abused in one of the apartments. Officer Cory went to check it out and talked with the man living there. He said the child was his eight year old son, but had not been to the apartment for two weeks. We went to the child's home and followed up on the accusation.
5:23 - While he was talking with the young man I heard a call where a suspect was running on foot. The description was a white male with black facial hair and a pony tail. At the time I did not realize we were in the neighborhood where the suspect was. When Officer Cory returned to the car he zoomed away to the location. We were the second car to arrive at a residence where the suspect ran into. He jumped out running and about 3 or 4 other cars zoomed in on the area. The suspect was apprehended and I saw him being handcuffed, frisked and led to the car. If we'd been a few minutes earlier we'd have arrested the suspect - well I mean Officer Cory. The suspect had fled the scene of a wreck.````
The next few hours were quite and during that time Officer Cory worked on reports and we took a break to eat supper. Then we were back on the beat.
8:30 - A call came in to go to a domestic situation between a wife and husband. This call lasted about 45 minutes with the officers writing a citation banning the husband from coming on the property.
We were headed back to the station to drop me off (Officer Cory was working a 10 hour shift until 1 a.m.) when there was a call to a situation where a man was going from door to door in a neighborhood asking if they had stolen his wallet. The man had gotten into a argument with a couple of the men living in the neighborhood. Officer Cory couldn't get him to leave. When he did start to leave he bumped into one of the men with his car. Officer Cory got him out handcuffed him so he could talk to him. He wrote him a citation and then followed him home to make sure that's where he went.
10:00 - Finally arrived at the station and I thanked Officer Cory for letting me tag along for the night and wished him a safe night. I so appreciate what these Officers have to deal with day after day protecting us.
The great thing about the time we spent together I was able to pick his brain about the duties of police and the protocols. I had many questions and he was so gracious to answer all of them. If you're thinking of writing a mystery or just want a night of excitement then call your local police station and inquire if they have something like this for citizens. Some areas even offer a citizens academy.
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Deborah Malone has worked as a freelance writer and photographer since 2001, for the historical magazine, "Georgia Backroads." Her writing is also featured in "Tales of the Rails," edited by Olin Jackson. She is a member of Georgia Writers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.