Color me dense and put a bag on my head, but I just realized that many of you have never been inside of a police car. Duh!
No…I was referring to the front seat. There’s always one in the bunch.
Anyway, when you first get into the police cruiser, as it is affectionately known, you will realize that there is not a whole lot of space. Imagine going to your desk at work and pulling out everything you have in it and putting it in your car, then set it up so you can use it…while driving.
Inside the car, we have the MDT, or the mobile-date-terminal, which is a really complex PC. Only it does so much more. From that single terminal, I have access to DMV, NCIC, and the FBI records. But, mostly it allows me to be in constant contact with my dispatch center as well as fellow officers. The MDT even allows me to go online to verify obscure codes that I might not use on a regular basis.
Then of course, we have the police radio. This is probably the single most important piece of equipment I have other than my brain. The radio allows me to listen to my main channel and also to scan several others. This is done to keep me in the know. While in the field the one thing the street cop can never have too much of is information. We always need to know what’s going on in our city or what might be heading our way.
Then we have the lights. Now most of you have seen these from outside the unit, but to see them from the inside is a treat all in its self. We have the rear flashers, the takedowns, the side alleys, and the spot. And when we get serious, we turn them all on. Whooppi! Now that’s an e ticket ride. (Some of my younger reader won’t know what that means, so you older ones will have to explain.) Smile.
If you ever get the chance to go on a ride along –a program offered by most PD’s that allows civilians to ride along with an officer for a duty shift- it is well worth missing the few hours of sleep. Yes, I did say missing sleep. Smile. Sure, you could go during the day, but if you gonna be dog you might as well be a mastiff…. Just saying.