Police patrol:

GVL/Kevin Sielaff
GVPD Sgt. Jeff Stoll

GVL/Kevin Sielaff GVPD Sgt. Jeff Stoll

Hannah Lentz

“Ride Along,” two words that mean much more than simply accompanying an officer handing out traffic tickets. Instead, this experience gave the Lanthorn a look into the life of a police officer. The decisions made, the people communicated with and the lives that are effected every day. For this live-tweeting session, tweets were made from the Lanthorn news twitter account, @GVLNews, to commemorate each stop made throughout the night.

The Lanthorn’s Hannah Lentz and Kevin Sielaff were invited to spend Homecoming night with GVPD’s Sgt. Stoll as he was on duty. The night started out around 11 p.m. with the first tweet.

“Just finished our briefing! Heading out to start off our night.”

Before we were able to step foot into the cop car, we had to be “briefed” on expectations for the night. During this time, we were given a look into what we were going to be taking part in throughout the ride along.

“Traffic stop on west campus. Verbal warning given. #lanthornlive”

Stops on campus are often routine when small things are out of place to ensure that there is not a bigger issue at hand. By keeping tabs and periodic checks on individuals driving, larger problems can often be prevented or stopped before progression.

“Narcotics complaint in Laker Village, area patrol unable to locate the source.”

The smell of narcotics (specifically marijuana) usually dissipates quickly in an outdoor environment. In this case, the smell that would result in tracking from the police department was unable to be focused.

“Traffic stop made near 48
th and Pierce. One arrest made.”

This was a clear case of a situation that seems small being a bigger issue in the long run. The amount of paperwork and phone conversations needed for the arrest of a single individual is overwhelming and extremely time consuming for the officer.

“Traffic stop in lot K. Vehicle had responsible sober driver, warning was issued.”

According to Sgt. Stoll, one of the most upsetting situations is pulling over someone who is supposed to be the sober driver of a group and finding out that they have drank throughout the night. In this case, though the driver made a traffic error, they were honest and a true sober driver for their passengers.

“Narcotics complaint in back four housing. Officers assisted by housing on scene.”

As earlier mentioned, marijuana spreads quickly outside, this is not the case indoors. When resident assistants have suspicion of or proof of the use of narcotics, they are trained to call the police to further deal with this situation in accordance with the housing procedures.

“Report of suspicious male on The Rapid. Officers have made contact with the subject outside Kirkhof Center.”

Sometimes, communication is key in areas such as suspicious behavior. In this case, there was no overarching issue with the subject and they were sent home following a police discussion.

“We’re done for the night, folks. Or as the police would say, 10-42.”

10-42 is police code for the end of a shift. When officers turn in for the night, they radio this to the station to inform everyone of what officers are and are not available.

The Lanthorn thanks the Grand Valley Police Department for the opportunity to have a valuable experience that teaches things throughout the Ride Along, even if that lesson is to bring an extra cup of coffee for the road.

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