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August 31, 2004 > Rookie Diary: Moving to Swing Shift

Rookie Diary: Moving to Swing Shift

Officers Matthew Bocage, Ramin Mahboobi and Matthew Snelson have been on patrol under the supervision of a Field Training Officer (FTO) for approximately five weeks. They will soon trade the day shift for a swing shift that begins in the late afternoon and extends through nighttime hours. All expect to see the city in a different way, but expressed the same enthusiasm as when they first began patrol duties. TCV was able to speak briefly with Matt Snelson and Ramin (Matt Bocage was unavailable) as they look forward to a new FTO and patrol of different hours.

Five weeks is enough time to have some memorable moments and both officers related an incident that stands out at the present time. Ramin began by recounting an incident that began as a routine call to investigate a "suspicious vehicle" parked in a "no parking, no trespassing" residential area. Upon arrival on the scene, it was discovered that two adults, male and female, were sleeping in the car.

Mahboobi: The male doesn't want to ID himself. We do ID him, no problem, and he is on probation with a search clause. We search the car and recovered marijuana and a stolen firearm from a burglary that happened in Fremont in June. I am going to follow up on this to find out how he acquired the gun - whether he acquired the gun from the person who committed the burglary or if he was the burglar. He was on probation for selling marijuana, so obviously this didn't help him with his probation! Now we have a stolen firearm on him as well. Luckily, the gun was unloaded. The man tried to deny knowledge of the gun, but knew it was unloaded and claimed he didn't have any bullets for it. He obviously knew the gun was in the car and in his possession.

I will remember this case since it could have been just someone who fell asleep in the car with a very simple explanation. Our job is to check a make sure everyone is okay and we find that the guy is lying, a drug dealer and has a gun in the car! There was a stolen stereo in the trunk that the female swore wasn't hers and knew nothing about and later claimed was for her car. She was the registered owner of the car so it turns out that she was in possession of stolen property. I learned a lot with this case. This is one of the most dangerous times in this job. When approaching vehicles, the person inside the car can be doing many things - some that can be life-threatening to an office. The first five seconds of a stop is probably the most dangerous time - the approach - identifying who is in the car, what are their actions.

In this particular case, the windows were fogged up and I couldn't see anything until I was right up next to the car. If this guy had been awake with a loaded gun, things might have turned out much differently!

Snelson: For me, it is seeing how things unfold. You can go on a simple call or a routine stop and end up with something that is definitely not routine. We got into our first big case where we ended up arresting three parolees a while back. A warrant check ended with the discovery of a lot of marijuana plants in the back of his truck and about 186 grams of marijuana on his person. After three hours of searching and photographing his car, we found a Cannabis Buyers Club card and he says, "Oh yeah, I'm a Cannabis Club member." This started out as a misdemeanor arrest warrant and ended up, after some investigation, turning up five arrest warrants out for this guy.

Another time, I pulled a guy over at 6:45 a.m. and he had no license, no insurance and no registration. We thumb printed him and took his picture to prove that this was the person we stopped and cited him. He had to walk since he didn't have a license to drive. Upon further investigation, we found that the information given did not check out. The guy was wearing a fast food restaurant shirt and said he was on his way to pick up his wife at the restaurant. We went to the restaurant and found him "flipping fries." We arrested him for giving false information and it turns out that he has five aliases in the Fremont system. He had been in jail under a different name. Here, I thought I was stopping a guy for a simple driving infraction!

Mahboobi: Often these guys know how to avoid giving information. When questioning someone, another officer heard the name over the radio and recognized it and told me that the guy had quite a few "priors" under a different name. Now all the aliases are linked. The teamwork here is fantastic.

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