Behind the Badge with Toledo Police - Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Behind the Badge with Toledo Police

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Maybe you think your job comes with a lot of stress, but imagine putting your life on the line every day you report to work. That's exactly what police officers do. One of our crews had a rare opportunity to ride along with two Toledo police officers on the night shift.

What they do is not easy and nothing was off limits as our cameras were rolling. 13abc's Lissa Guyton and videographer Todd Gaertner spent five nights riding with Toledo police officers.

It is hard to comprehend what these officers have to face until you see it in person. When you ride along you quickly realize there is nothing routine about anything they do and what seems like a simple situation can change in a split second.

What had been a relatively quiet shift Sunday night, hit high gear quickly. Officer Bill White has been on the streets for more than a decade, "Things can pop off at anytime and you have to react, you don't even question it."

Right as the shift was about to end on Sunday, officer White and his partner Eric Board get a call about a high speed chase on the east side. While they were on the chase call, a report of two people shot came in. That call turned into a murder investigation. Officer Board says a laundry list of other crimes fill the their days,"It's almost like playing a game, a board game, and when you get the bad guy, you win. When you don't you play again."

Officers White and Board have both been on the force for 13 years. The two have been a team for the last two years, and White says some days you spend more time with your partner than your family, "A good partner understands your strengths and weaknesses and works with you to develop them both, so you can both excel."

Police work obviously comes with risk. Officer Board was involved in a shootout with a suspect several years ago, "I have been shot at, and in some bad situations, you get through it and you keep going."

Officer White says you don't dwell on the danger "It crosses my mind that it could be my last trip to work, it's hard to explain but, I try not to think about it."

It's quickly clear these two officers not only do their jobs well, but they truly love their work. Officer Board says small steps make a big difference , "You can see the difference you make in small parts of the community and that's pretty awesome."

It's hard for most of us to imagine the intensity of a job that focuses on people who are often at their lowest point, "Some people look at us as heroes others look at us as villains."

Officer White says there are frustrations, "Sometimes it seems like you two steps forward and three steps back but, you do what you can." He says the danger and those frustrations are often outweighed by the rewards,"We get approached by people who say you arrested me a few years ago. You think the conversation is going to go south, but they say what you told me helped turn my life around, I have a job now and a family."

Officers days are not filled with non-stop action, so a lot of what they do comes down to patience. They crack a lot of cases by paying close attention to everything around them. Most of what they catch with their well trained eyes and sharp minds, many of us may never even notice, "You pay attention to every little details. You look for stolen cars, you look for people hanging out in areas you know drugs are bought and sold. You know what is normal in a neighborhood and what's not. Who belongs there and who doesn't. There are million things you pay attention to."

Officer white says a lot of it comes down to instinct, "It's something you just can't teach, you have to develop it, it's an inner-lesson.'

Quiet or busy, on every shift, these officers dedicate their lives to making our city a better place, "A lot of people think we come to work to make people's lives miserable, but we don't. We come to work to make someone's life better to make everyone's life better, to make it safe."

Police work is an incredibly tough job that most of us could not do, so if you have a chance, take the opportunity to thank an officer for what they do for all of us.




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