POLICE Magazine

JUN 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: https://policemag.epubxp.com/i/1129771

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Page 10 of 124

8 POLICE JUNE 2019 LET'S START OUR DISCUSSION of working during the sum- mer months with officer safety concerns. In some places the summer heat can get downright un- bearable. It's important to remain hydrated. Keep a flat of water bottles in the trunk, or get one of those good insu- lated water bottles and continue to refill it over the course of your shift. Another issue with the heat is the tendency of some offi- cers to stop wearing their body armor. Don't take this risk. It's not worth it. Because of high heat, long days, kids running amok in the house, alcohol consumption at social events, or some combination of the above, domestic violence calls increase in frequency and severity during the summer months. Be sure to use your best tactics and training. Don't park di- rectly in front of the residence—an officer's approach to the front door of a dwelling at a DV call is one of the most common scenarios for ambush. Also, arrive in twos and threes. Handling a domestic is not a solo activity. Unless there are exigent circumstances in which the safety of someone inside is at risk, wait for backup before knocking on the front door. Now, let's talk public safety. Kids will be on the streets, in the playgrounds, and generally out and about in your jurisdiction. e number of kids struck by cars skyrockets during the summer months because their exposure to ve- hicles is substantially higher than when school is in ses- sion. Step up traffic enforcement to ensure that the young ones are protected. Additionally, teachers are the most likely individu- als to report suspected abuse or neglect of a child. ose reports fall off substantially during the summer because the teachers lose their opportunity to observe such indica- tions. So, it's a good idea to make every effort to visit with kids and look for any signs that an individual is in harm's way at home. Independence Day offers some unique challenges. Combine hot weather, large crowds, consumption of co- pious amounts of alcohol, and people playing with fire- works—both legal and illegal—and you have a recipe for a variety of bad things to happen. is July 4th holiday, make sure that you're adequately staffed for DUI check points and traffic enforcement. And make sure the fire extinguisher in your trunk is properly charged so you can respond to those fires inevitably set by recreational fireworks. Also, you need to have the neces- sary tools and training to deal with injuries to hands and fingers. And bear in mind that fireworks can be used as improvised weapons. If your jurisdiction has a body of water—whether it's an ocean, a bay, a lake, a river, or even a pond—the need to have some type of water resource this summer is ob- vious. If you're not adequately equipped for patrolling or performing rescues on your body of water, examine how you might be able to leverage resources available to law enforcement from the Department of Defense through the 1033 program. Practice your water rescue/first-aid skills before every- one shows up in their bathing suits to your local water at- traction. Also bear in mind that backyard pools claim the lives of thousands of people every summer. According to the Centers for Disease Control drowning is the number one cause of unintentional death for children between the ages of one and four. e CDC says that a whopping 75% of drowning deaths of children younger than 15 occurred at a swimming pool located at a private residence. You may be called to one of these incidents, so be ready to give CPR. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes strong police-community part- nerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live and work, according to the National Night Out website (https://natw. org/about). August 6 is National Night Out this year. If your agency hasn't organized a National Night Out in years past, you might want to reconsider for this year. is is an important opportunity to make meaningful connections with mem- bers of your community. NNO events vary from community to community. Some agencies bring out a bunch of equipment—armored vehi- cles, command vehicles, motorcycles, and other gear—to put on display. Some agencies host block parties. Some have chili cook-offs. Some have dance parties. Enough about work. It's summer. Be sure to set time aside to have fun. Doug Wyllie is contributing web editor for POLICE. Every season presents difficulties for law enforcement, but the hot months can be particularly challenging. DOUG WYLLIE Drowning is the number one cause of death for children between the ages of one and four. Be ready to respond. WORKING THE SUMMER GUEST EDITORIAL

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