Observation

or pulling your head out of your butt and taking a look around!

I’ve been at this department for all of about 6 weeks. I’ve done more than a few reports of all kinds, and been on the scene of more than one accident. My FTO and I have worked a big case (online solicitation of a minor no less) from start to finish, as we are just waiting for grand jury.

But if it’s one thing I noticed that seems to be a common thread in 98% of the cases, it’s a lack of observation.

A lot of thefts start out as simply a suspicious vehicle, an unknown vehicle cruising up and down the road. They might be lost, but they also might be scouting the area, looking for patterns, that kinda stuff. For us, we don’t know if a vehicle is suspicious or not, unless they are pulled over on the side of a road with their lights off (especially at night) or hazards going.

The same thing goes for some of the muggings the city has worked. 99% of the time they had no idea it was coming, while the mugger had spent at least several minutes scouting them out.

Heck, on the scene after most crashes (they don’t call them accident anymore), I hear a lot “Well I wasn’t looking/paying attention/I didn’t see them coming” from one or both parties. And think about it, how many times do you take your eyes off the road while your driving, even if it is just a quick glance here and there?

A great example of being observant, is a story GunGeek tells (sorry if I butcher it GunGeek!). His wife and him had stopped at a Burger King one summer and had gone inside to get something to eat. While he was going to get the food, his wife noticed something odd, a man in a trench coat standing in line to order. Weird for the middle of summer in Texas. Well, she then noticed another man in a trench coat standing near one of the exit doors. She realized something was up, so her and GunGeek got the heck out of there. When they go home and watched the news that night, there was a report of an armed robbery at a Burger King. The 2 men in trench coats had robbed the Burger King they were at.

Being observant is easy to do as well, even though we all need to work on it. It’s simply being aware of your surroundings and whats going on, be it people, cars, items, what have you. For me, I have a tendency to see something weird, then fixate on it. When I do that, I lose focus on everything else. How am I working past that? I force myself to catalogue the weird item in my memory, then keep moving, since there may be more than one weird thing, like what happened to GunGeek and his wife.

Keep your head on a swivel and stay safe out there!

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2 Responses to “Observation”

  1. […] Observations about observation Jay’s back online. He’s been on duty as a Deputy for about 6 weeks now, and has some observations about observation. […]

  2. Actually….it was 3 guys and they “set off my radar” in the lovely misbeHavens words. When I returned to the table with food she was already up and said, “We need to leave now.” that is our prearranged code that we need to leave without delay or discussion. We left. News in the morning was the armed robbery story. It was late when we stopped on our way out of Moscow on the Colorado.

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