Stakeouts: Things Officers Need to Avoid While On This Detail

Officer involved  in a railroad stakeout
Officer involved in a railroad stakeout | Source

I respect the police

I really do respect the men and women in blue who risk their lives each day just so you and I can walk any street in America without fear. When I was a boy, I sometimes dreamed of being a police officer, but when I became an adult and saw the danger involved with this vocation, I suddenly set my sights on other areas of work.

Not everyone, even the people who dream (like I did once) of being a police officer can "make the cut." A person has to have guts, confidence, and trust for themselves and their coworkers to just be considered for this job. Plus they have to pass a grueling Police Training Course at a Police Academy near their hometown. Even then there are is no guarantee that although they passed this course with flying colors, they will make the grade.

Sometimes officers work  in two man teams so one  can rest while the other  keeps a watch
Sometimes officers work in two man teams so one can rest while the other keeps a watch | Source

The one detail that the police do not talk about

Is the all-night stakeout. Most people think that police work is guarding a transport of priceless stones to a jewelry store or working as a crossing guard keeping the danger of young students being hit by a speeder to a minimum. But the one job that police officers do is one that is not talked about: the stakeout. It's a rough gig. Dangerous and most times, boring and nothing like the (television) police stakeout's we watch so frequently.

Most stakeout's involve hours, days, weeks, even months of day and night surveillance by two-person teams of police officers working shifts to gather info on a high profile criminal who is wanted by their department or even the F.B.I.

Stakeout's are not for the impatient. Nor for the squeamish. Sometimes gunfire is present and then bloodshed that can cause even the strongest of people to have a sudden attack of nausea.

And since I have a deep respect for our police officers, I wanted to share some vital information for those officers who pull stakeout duty and I call it . ..

Stakeouts: Things Officers Need to Avoid While On This Detail

Notice: "Mick Belker's" boss in this video. He is the late Alvy Moore, aka/ "Hank Kimball," the county agent on CBS' "Green Acres"

 A police helicopter hovers above snipers on the roof  of a building in the  Washington Navy Yard  in a shooting rampage  where 12 were killed
A police helicopter hovers above snipers on the roof of a building in the Washington Navy Yard in a shooting rampage where 12 were killed | Source
Two Chicago officers in  the 1940s peer out of a  window pretending to be on a stakeout. Why? I do not know
Two Chicago officers in the 1940s peer out of a window pretending to be on a stakeout. Why? I do not know | Source
A film with Richard Dreyfuss  and Emilio Estevez STAKEOUT  was released telling the story of two  officers on this tough gig
A film with Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez STAKEOUT was released telling the story of two officers on this tough gig
 McHenry County officers  take positions on roof of  Dunkin Donuts for a surveillance  exercise
McHenry County officers take positions on roof of Dunkin Donuts for a surveillance exercise | Source
 New York/New Jersey  Port Authority Police Dept.  Emergency Service Unit ESU
New York/New Jersey Port Authority Police Dept. Emergency Service Unit ESU | Source
Stakeout Unit/SWAT  patch in the 60s 70s 80s
Stakeout Unit/SWAT patch in the 60s 70s 80s | Source
Who said that only  male officers could work  an undercover operation?
Who said that only male officers could work an undercover operation? | Source

Hey, officers, you cannot . . .

  • Listen to CD's at top volume of the late blues legend, Robert Johnson.
  • Play the latest video games on your portable video device.
  • Get fully involved with the latest "How to Make Your Companion Happier" article in Playboy.
  • Yell, "Move your butt!" to innocent bystanders who are blocking your view.
  • Fall asleep ever so many minutes due to you not sleeping, but playing poker all day when you were supposed to be resting.
  • Make idle conversation with pretty girls who pass by your obscure car parked near your surveillance point.
  • Shoot teenage punks on skateboards with your trusty pea shooter.
  • Take turns with your partner to see who can spew coffee the furthest on the sidewalk.
  • Take turns with your partner to see who does the best Kate Smith singing, "America, The Beautiful."
  • Making improper calls to racy phone sex numbers over your police radio.
  • Making improper calls to racy phone sex numbers over your own cell phone.
  • Making improper calls to racy phone sex numbers over your partner's cell phone.
  • Challenging your partner (who is also bored) to see who can hit the most people with raw eggs.
  • Sticking your feet out of the driver's side of the obscure car you are stationed in and pretending that you are a member of the Rockettes by kicking your legs and feet against the car door making loud noises.
  • Yelling, "Hey, thug! We are watching you!" to the men entering the building you are watching. Turns out they just happen to be working for an exterminator.
  • Calling stray dogs and cats to your obscure van and becoming friends with them causing you to lose focus on the "target" drug pusher you are supposed to be watching.
  • Having your wife or girlfriend bring you sub sandwiches and hot chocolate at a certain time each night you work the stakeout.
  • Shining your flashlight into the faces of people jogging on the sidewalk scaring them so you and your partner can get a needed-laugh.
  • Shooting a round or two into the air from your sidearm to just break the boredom.
  • Getting into a fight with street rowdies who know you and call out your name because you arrested them last week for public nuisance.
  • Having burp contests with your partner with the winner paying for the chili dogs.
  • Indulge in chug-a-lug contests with cases of beer with your obviously-non-caring partner.
  • Sneaking girls named, "Cha Cha," and "Bubbles LaRueux," into the back seat of your obscure stakeout car and talk to them all night long.
  • Smoking "weed," or other controlled substances that you say "make you relax and increase the clarity of your vision."

And with that one . . . a pleasant good night, Ontario, Canada.

Even writers following  a hot story has to sometimes  go with an undercover  officer to search for facts to build their story
Even writers following a hot story has to sometimes go with an undercover officer to search for facts to build their story | Source

© 2016 Kenneth Avery

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