A Day in the Life: Riding along with Sioux City Police
SIOUX CITY, IA —
We see them almost every day, police officers roaming the streets of Sioux City to ensure our safety.
While some of us have normal 9 to 5 jobs, their job is far from normal.
It all starts here, in the briefing room.
It's where police officers who are about to start their shift get informed on what's been going on that day by their superior.
Once they're briefed, officers will bring their gear, which includes a shotgun and first aid kit, to their cars and get ready for the day.
"The big part of this job is problem solving," Julian Loera, a police officer for the city of Sioux City, said. "So, you go to a call and you, kind of, take in as much information as you can, figure out what the problem is, and then, try to solve it as best you can."
He has been with Sioux City P.D. for about a year and a half and says when it comes to showing force, this job is more than just that.
"A lot of people think being a police officer is always going in and using force and being aggressive and that's not necessarily it," Loera said.
And we saw that at the first call Officer Loera went to.
They get their calls from this laptop in the front of the car that tells them the location of a potential crime, and how severe the situation is based on its color.
Green and blue are mild and yellow through red are more intense.
Loera and another officer responded to a call at the Sioux Gateway Airport where a man was trying to get on a plane to Dallas/Fort Worth drunk.
Loera and the other officer kept trying to get the gentleman to take a breathalyzer test but he refused.
The airport staff had complaints that he was drunk and disorderly.
"In this particular situation," Loera said, "he was intoxicated to the point where we didn't feel he was comfortable with leaving on his own and he was kind of giving us more problems than I would really like."
And that's when the problem solving comes in.
"At the end of the day I think the best solution to this problem was to take this guy to jail because of his intoxication level," he said. "You know, if they would have let him rent a car, then he could have drove away and potentially killed somebody."
As a result, Teshome Dicha spent the night in jail for public intoxication.
"We go into so many different situations where we don't know if we're going to have to pull our gun and, like I said, none of us really want to come to this, but if we'll have to fire a weapon."
Sioux City Police Chief Doug Young says in his 37 years in law enforcement, rarely has there been times where force has had to be used to diffuse a situation.
"I could probably count on my hand the number of times I used force to do my job so it's one of those things that's far between but we're trained for when we have to use it," Chief Young said, "we can use it appropriately."
Later in the shift, "So I've activated my emergency lights," Loera said, "because this is a situation that's more urgent so we need to get there quickly."
We made our way to 11th street for a possible burglary in progress.
But what was reported as a potential burglary turned out to be a man, who was drunk, breaking a window of a house that he owns.
Because that isn't technically a break in and because he was drinking on his own property, Officer Leura diffused the situation by driving the gentleman to a family house down the road.
Day turned into night and one of the final stops was at Menard's on Gordon for shoplifting.
A man from Sioux Falls was trying to steal knives and a machete from the store.
Since he was not from the area and Loera couldn't confirm whether the man would show up to his court date as a result of the offense, Cory Trowbridge was arrested for that attempted theft.
"We're human also," Chief Young said. "We have feelings, we show empathy but we also have a job we need to do so I think people have to understand that."
"We're just normal people," said Loera. "You know, a lot of times we have to make hard decisions, a lot of times we have to make split decisions and that comes with this job so you have to be prepared to make the hard decisions and you've got to be willing to do it and hopefully everything works out for you at the end of it."