Police officers - do you get bored?

Well, of course you do, I’m sure - there must be slow days for LEOs just like anyone else. But when I (for example) tend bar and it’s quiet I find myself hoping that some customers will come in and save me from the awful tedium, and from having to find something, anything to do.

Now presumably police officers don’t actively hope that people will go on chainsaw rampages solely in order to alleviate their boredom. So what do they hope will happen on an otherwise dull shift?

Don’t have to hope for anything. An officer is as busy as he makes himself.

Theres always a traffic violator. There are past cases I can follow up on. Make a courtesy visit to someone I took a complaint from and see how things worked out.
I can get out and walk down the business sector and rattle door knobs, calling key holders if I find an unlocked one (maybe even do room clearing of the building to make sure it wasn’t a burglary in porgress). In the last 25+ years I’ve dug up more shit when I was “bored” than when I got sent to calls.

Reading that last post marks the first time in my adult life I’ve ever been jealous of law enforcement officers.
All I get to do when bored at work is surf the freaking web and post on the SDMB…

Since the OP is actually asking for opinions and experiences, let’s visit IMHO.

samclem GQ moderator

Indeed, thanks for keeping things in line.

Thanks, that makes sense. I suppose “bored” was the wrong word to use, really.

My father will be turning 62 this August and has been an officer since he was 22. He has told me stories that when it is busy, he is “Right out straight”. Though during the slow times he always finds something to do. He goes to the “bad” spots in town and sees if he can’t turn up something.

He says there is always something to due in that field.

Not me.

That would be the time I was driving to work on the Gardiner along the lakeshore (Toronto types will recognize this) in the early morn on a lovely spring day. There is a park along the lake there, and who should I see but two police-persons (a policeman and a policewoman) riding their horses by the lake. The sun was shining and they were laughing as they ambled along, obviously having the time of their lives. The policewoman was lovely and the policeman was handsome.

All I could think of was that some cops no doubt get assigned to bust up crack houses full of deranged druggies living in the worst squallor imaginable and armed with deadly weapons; and some cops get to - ride their horses in the park. :smiley:

[Yes, I know that the same cops probably do both. :wink: ]

Bored cops not doing their jobs tend to sleep around (or so I’ve heard.)

I’m acquainted with a local cop where the sleeping around involved his co-worker’s wife…
“Wait, that take-home cruiser has the wrong badge on it. Did they give Jimbo Lawman an Impala now?”
“Huh. It’s two hours later and the take-home car is a Crown Vic again…”

One or two in the very small (and very boring) town I grew up in used to keep themselves busy by banging the high school cheerleaders in the backseats of the cruisers.

You take any unlocked door as a sign that your presence in said building is welcome?

And by ‘room clearing’ do you actually mean with your pistol drawn as if you might find a criminal around the next corner? Just because a door is unlocked?

Working as a dispatcher for 3 years, I can actually confirm this. Though not with me personally. I had one co-worker that would blab all about her “fling”. She was married and he was (still is) in a committed relationship. I think it went on something like 2 years.

And before I became a cop I worked in an office. The woman in the cubicle behind me was pregnant by someone not her husband. Her boyfriend worked down the hall. Guess they were bored too. I saw more hanky panky going on in an office setting than I have in the last ten years, easy. (total disclosure time: I happened to be involved in some hanky panky with the woman in the cubicle in front of me. She is now my wife)

To answer the OP, when it gets slow I enjoy the break. It happens so infrequently. Usually when I am not on a call I have paperwork to do. Those days when I am hoping to be bored and not have to get out of the car, like when it is pouring out, is usually when someone takes down a utility pole.

I know it happens every where… I am just stating my experience while I was in that field. Just like every where else, it happens there too.

IANALEO. Walking down the business district at night checking doors (of presumably closed businesses) sounds perfectly reasonable.


Agreed. Where there is any reasonably-believed situation in which there might be a good reason for business’ door to be unlocked I might agree with you, catsix, but if I owned a store-front business that to all outward appearances is dark and closed for the night, and a cop found the door unlocked, I’d be grateful for police investigation. Maybe someone broke in. Maybe an employee forgot to lock the door at night. Maybe I forgot to lock the door at night. Maybe NajaHub and I were working late and are shagging like bunnies in the back room, but I think being walked in on by a cop is a better reminder to lock the damn door than being walked in on by vandals or thieves.

It does happen that places get left open. When I was a teenager I actually walked right into a Radio Shack and found it was empty. I looked into the back room, but there was nobody. Nothing seemed out of place though. I left and when we got back, the people we were staying with called the non-emergency police number. At the time, we were on vacation and it was a pretty safe sort of town, but I doubt it was standard procedure for businesses.

This is where calling the “keyholder” comes in. Many businesses register with the police department listing who is in charge and who to call under certain situations, like a door found unlocked.

I retired from a large department last summer after 25 years. I’ve since taken a part-time gig (just to stay in the game) with a smaller agency with a smaller jurisdiction. So “slow days” are a little more common for me now, but not that often.
Theres still always something going on.

I don’t see it the same way. I don’t consider an unlocked door at any time of day or night an invitation to the police to come poking around looking through my property. I am of the opinion that unless you have my invitation or a warrant, you need to stay out of my property. :slight_smile:

So do they have to let you know that they don’t want you poking around and trying the doors, or would you go in anyway if there was no person to call and they weren’t registered with the police department? Or are these little visits not voluntary?