Just spoke with one of my fellow sergeants who was recovering from Thursday/Friday like me.
Wednesday, it started. The board of calls was just overloaded. I hate to leave Night Watch with so much, but we had to. Another agency asked for assistance with a non-emergency call. My dispatched asked about it and the only answer I could give her was, “When I got someone, I’ll send them.”
Thursday was actually pleasant. Things were going steady and I was thinking I would get off on time. I’m guessing someone said, “It’s really quiet tonight…”
At 915pm one of my units had a runner and fortunately the other sergeant went to handle the supervisor duties. Well five minutes after that I hear, “We need more units!,” and I drove off the help. We had two teenage siblings fighting themselves initially, then fighting the cops. We were just getting them under control when the family that called us is about to attack everyone.
We get our suspects moved off and we had just gotten the matter handled (charges accepted, booking blotters filled out, etc) when we hear, “Shots fired! Need back up now!” Needless to say we’re all heading over there. Fortunately the cops were fine.
After a ton of paperwork, I get home at just past 400am, let my uniform drop the to the floor and I don’t remember falling asleep. And waking up after 900am and not being able to go back to sleep. And I have more paperwork to complete so I need to be in at noon. Coffee, quick shower, fresh uniform, drive in, stop by Starbucks for a large Mocha Frap with a shot of espresso (caffeine…the all natural substitute for sleep!), pick up some fried fish from the local Catholic church (if I’m going to hell it’s not for eating meat on Friday during Lent!) and I get a jump on the paperwork. I looked at a couple of other sergeants who were not there on Thursday and said, “You picked a great day to take off!” And on a Friday, thank you God, managed to get off on time!
I get home and I’m too tired to sleep. I just get some whiskey and read a bit until I finally die off. SEVEN HOURS OF SLEEP, thank God!
My fellow sergeant had worked 24 straight on a couple of hours of sleep. Spoke to him this morning and he had also experienced the “sleep of the dead” and was sounding a lot better. I just didn’t believe all the energy I had after a good night’s rest.
To the cops out there, for all the burdens of this job (the strange hours, the missed family/friends) there is something about it. The Watch is a calling, something most can’t do. And thankfully, there are men and women to do it!
Be safe out there!