Welcome to the APBWeb.
Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
    Join Date
    12-29-05
    Location
    Dallas Area
    Posts
    5,528
    Rep Power
    3224951

    Observation Training?

    In riding with cops, I've always been extremely impressed by their powers of observation.

    One of the most fundamental things I notice is they always know exactly where they are, down to the street and block number. I guess a lot of that comes from hanging in their own beats for years, but when you are learning the beat, or get on unfamiliar streets, are you constantly scanning for street signs?

    The other thing is how quickly some of them could pick up on little things - For example, when a car zoomed past us going the opposite way, the officer I was riding with asked me what I noticed... All I could think of was a blue car , but he started rattling off a whole list: Expired inspection sticker, big scratch down the side, white male driver was wearing a green shirt and black baseball cap, it had no front license, and oh by the way, it was a 2000 Toyota. We stopped that car, and he was exactly right about everything he said.

    Do you go thru a lot of games and exercises to get that good, or does it just seem to come naturally with time?

    I asked him that same basic question, and he said it was because of his training, but was a little vague on what it consisted of, exactly.

    (\__/)
    (='.'=) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny into your
    (")_(") signature to help him gain world domination.

  2. #2
    Darin's Avatar
    Darin is offline I'm sooooo gonna score
    Verified LEO
    Join Date
    12-04-05
    Location
    Mid Atlantic area
    Posts
    1,083
    Rep Power
    2186960
    It comes with time and experience. Knowing where you are comes with knowing the area. When I was just starting out on the road I was always looking at street signs to know where I'm at.


    And spotting things wrong with cars as they go by takes time and experience as well. When I was training the new guy I would see a car pass (rook was driving) with expired inspection sticker and registration. The rook had no clue. It takes time to know what to look for. Nobody is born with the ability to notice an expired inspection a mile away...it comes with experience.


    On my days off and just driving around I'd spot as many different infractions as I could find. It was sort of a game.

  3. #3
    chris2001's Avatar
    chris2001 is offline Captain
    Join Date
    12-03-05
    Location
    KS
    Posts
    2,690
    Rep Power
    680845
    Yes to all the above lol

    Seriously though you begin to get very good at knowing where things are located in your city on your beat just by driving around. I keep a map in my car of not only my city but neighboring areas that I may have to respond to for officer needs help type situations. For the most part I would say it takes about a year in an area to learn were everything is and where you are at all times. Hince why you see a lot of the younger guys will actually stay on the main thoroughfairs unless they get a call that takes them into a subdivision or something. Reason for that is they know exactly where they are. You also spend a lot of time looking at the signs to tell you where you are, but as Darin said with time you know by the color of the house on the corner where you are.

    As far as noticing things on cars and in areas that are wrong it comes with time. For someone to ride with us gives you a chance to see what we do. The hard part for us is to share with you what we are doing and why we are doing it. I had a rider the other day and as we were drivingn a vehicle went by me that just did not look right to me. The vehicle did not commit a traffic offense persay but it was something as a Police Officer I knew I needed to check out. So of course I whip a U-turn and my rider goes damn whats wrong. So its hard to explain why I did what I did but I tried. Like Darin when I am driving around on my off time I look for infractions that other vehicles commit. Why it helps me when I get in my patrol car to be able to find infractions.
    Being the best is not what always counts. What counts is always trying your best.

    Remember who you are, and where you came from. That way you never get a big head.


    May those that lost their lives in 9-11 RIP, for the things you did not many could do. You left so many behind so that you could save so few. For now we stand strong as one, and will not look back till the fight is done. (me)

    http://www.danasoft.com/sig/Nowwhat%...5Csuphomey.jpg

    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are MY PERSONAL OPINIONS only.

  4. #4
    Garda's Avatar
    Garda is offline Policing with nothing but a smile
    Join Date
    01-02-06
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    579
    Rep Power
    2527028
    You scan street names because knowing your location could save your life or someone elses. You train to be vigilant, small details like a car reg or the description of the occupants of a car you passed duing your shift can solve a case. The obvious isnt important cause everyone sees it, its the little things that people see and that get pieced together to compile a good case.
    Quote Originally Posted by TXCharlie
    Hey thanks Garda - I did think of you last night as I was lying in bed

  5. #5
    kdm0409's Avatar
    kdm0409 is offline ^ Female Deputy
    Join Date
    01-02-06
    Location
    Mid TN
    Posts
    930
    Rep Power
    643211
    I am not new to LE but am kinda new to the area I work. I grew up there and kinda know some of the back roads, but I have not been riding on those roads in damn near 10 years... I work as a SRO so most of my time is in the school, but I get called to work the road from time to time...I am constantly looking at street signs (what few are left way out there in the county) and I looked at house #'s, barn names (chicken houses, walking horse farms, etc)...I want to know where I am if the shit hits the fan...

    As far as noticing the vehicle and occupants and all the descriptives...that comes with time.. you learn the certain things to look for and as Garda said the little things that most people dont see or really notice are what matters more.
    It is better to be tried by 12, than carried by 6.
    ______________________________ __________
    An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break.
    ______________________________ __________
    In vino veritas!

  6. #6
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
    Join Date
    12-29-05
    Location
    Dallas Area
    Posts
    5,528
    Rep Power
    3224951
    Thanks guys - I can see I need to force myself to practice noticing things, for sure!

    Darin & Chris hit a homer because I did the same thing his rider did last time I rode - A car blew thru a red light right in front of us, and I had no idea why we were pulling that guy over all of a sudden (until I heard the conversation over the wireless mike).

    KDM, sounds like you're not exactly into Urban Warfare around there, but do you have many Meth labs and stuff like that that you have to watch out for in your area?
    Last edited by TXCharlie; 01-23-06 at 09:14 PM.

    (\__/)
    (='.'=) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny into your
    (")_(") signature to help him gain world domination.

  7. #7
    chris2001's Avatar
    chris2001 is offline Captain
    Join Date
    12-03-05
    Location
    KS
    Posts
    2,690
    Rep Power
    680845
    Exactly as you can tell from riding that when riding around we have are doing more things than the average person is while driving their car.
    Being the best is not what always counts. What counts is always trying your best.

    Remember who you are, and where you came from. That way you never get a big head.


    May those that lost their lives in 9-11 RIP, for the things you did not many could do. You left so many behind so that you could save so few. For now we stand strong as one, and will not look back till the fight is done. (me)

    http://www.danasoft.com/sig/Nowwhat%...5Csuphomey.jpg

    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are MY PERSONAL OPINIONS only.

  8. #8
    kdm0409's Avatar
    kdm0409 is offline ^ Female Deputy
    Join Date
    01-02-06
    Location
    Mid TN
    Posts
    930
    Rep Power
    643211
    [QUOTE=TXCharlie]Thanks guys - I can see I need to force myself to practice noticing things, for sure!

    Darin & Chris hit a homer because I did the same thing his rider did last time I rode - A car blew thru a red light right in front of us, and I had no idea why we were pulling that guy over all of a sudden (until I heard the conversation over the wireless mike).

    KDM, sounds like you're not exactly into Urban Warfare around there, but do you have many Meth labs and stuff like that that you have to watch out for in your area?[/QUOTE]


    There are quiet a few meth labs in the area I am in... I mean my county is where I grew up and moved away from a few years back, not much has changed lol... I don't live in the same county as I work.. I will drive back and forth lol
    It is better to be tried by 12, than carried by 6.
    ______________________________ __________
    An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break.
    ______________________________ __________
    In vino veritas!

  9. #9
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
    Join Date
    12-29-05
    Location
    Dallas Area
    Posts
    5,528
    Rep Power
    3224951
    What are you now, a wolverine?
    I still liked the little piggy

    (\__/)
    (='.'=) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny into your
    (")_(") signature to help him gain world domination.

  10. #10
    deputy29 is offline Master Officer
    Verified LEO
    Join Date
    12-30-05
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    756
    Rep Power
    616093
    In the department I worked for we knew where we we're going to be a month ahead of time and that is the area we would work for the next year. Before going to a new area I would drive it and learn all the roads. I was lucky and have one of those memories where I would know where I was so I could concentrate on what was going on around me and know where I was. Came in real handy when the boyfriend moved to a new house. He gave me directions, kinda. I called and told him I was on xxx road after turning off of xxx road and asked which was his place. He didn't know what road he lived on but asked if I had turned by the espresso stand. Good thing I knew the area, even though I'd never worked it, because with details of what his place looked like I was able to find it in the dark.

    Main thing is if you know your area and where you are you can concentrate on what is going on around you. When you work patrol you have to be good at multi-tasking. You learn to know what belongs and how to spot things that don't. You also learn how to notice all details because your life may depend on it.

  11. #11
    tapout's Avatar
    tapout is offline keepin it gangsta'
    Verified LEO
    Join Date
    02-08-06
    Location
    east coast
    Posts
    1,554
    Rep Power
    1618721
    back when i was with my fto, he would tell me stop the car, then ask me where i was. if i didnt give the street name and a cross street in the area he would chew me out. it was really helpful. when i was fresh on my own i remember looking at all the street signs, always telling myself "i just turned right onto delaware st" or whatever street i may have happened to come across. by doing that i learned the streets relatively quickly, and it really helped out in foot pursuits and instances when i rolled up on fights in the street and so forth. it feels good to be able to accurately gve dispatch your location when your chasing an armed robbery suspect on foot, knowing that your backup will be right around the corner because youre on the ball. nothing worse than calling for assistance for a brawl in street, and not being able to give a good location. that extra minute could make all the difference in the world.

  12. #12
    Billiardnut's Avatar
    Billiardnut is offline Attack Pug Dog Handler
    Join Date
    12-05-05
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    113
    Rep Power
    538160
    I learned most of my observation techniques from becoming a private pilot. When you learn to fly you start off with VFR (visual flight regulations) which basically means you fly by sight - landmarks, roads, towers, etc. For example, As a pilot, If I wasnt on the south side of a highway I knew I was to close to some very very tall radio towers.

    Becoming a cop, simply amplified a technique that I had already learned and become an acustom to. As a cop (and pilot) if I dont know exactly where I am at all times how am I going to get help when brown matter hits the electric rotating device?

    Something my FTO taught me is everytime you turn - look at the street sign and see where you are. If you have been on a road for some time, try to get a house number or landmark. Which is one thing I do alot, I pick a permanate landmark for where I am. That way I remember where certain roads are.

    Also - I think it is vital to always know where NORTH is. If you know where North is ... just remember: Never Eat Shreaded Wheat or Never Eat Soggie Waffles (my daughter's version). The directions always goes clockwise from North.

    I'm pretty sure there is a method to the madness of how roads are layed out and houses are addressed.

    For instance the rural roads in my county - all the even number roads go east and west. All the odd number roads go north and south. The roads start at 1 in the county and move to the east, the bigger the number the more east you are. The most north road in the county is 2 the larger the number the further south you are.

    All the odd house numbers are on the west side of north/south streets and north side of east/west streets. All the even house numbers are on the east side of north/south streets and south side of the road on east/west streets.

    Learning how your roads and addresses are layed out can be a huge advantage. I know it has been a valuble asset for me.
    Last edited by Billiardnut; 02-20-06 at 11:44 PM.
    Member of the Pervert Patrol - making sure the pervs are tracked and up-to-date.
    National Sex Offender Public Registry
    www.nsopr.gov

 

 

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Executioner: 'I have no medical training'
    By Piggybank Cop in forum In the News
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-10-07, 07:19 PM
  2. FBI HRT Agent Killed in Live Fire Training
    By Virginian in forum Officer Down
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 12-12-06, 10:37 AM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •