Police officer shows summer routine

Chris Darimont, a Charleston policeman assigned to the night shift, looked at 12 hours of patrol starting at 6 p.m. Friday and continuing until 6 a.m. Saturday.

Darimont said lately the police are looking out for petty theft from cars, vandalism in the parks and the bars at closing. He said these the usual things the police look for every summer.

“With it being summer and most of the college kids are gone the population pretty much halves in Charleston,” he said. “In the summer time we are watching the bars… other than that we will just be basically patrolling random areas.”

Darimont said there recently have been problems with minor vandalism at the parks and random burglary from cars.

In his car, Darimont has a computer that displays any piece of information that he may need in his duties as a police officer, including all emergency calls happening in the county.

Darimont said that adjusting to night shift was an easy transition for him and, he does well working these hours.

“I sleep really well when I get home and I get up and get done whatever I can before I come in,” he said.

He also said that he enjoys the night weather this time of year.

“It’s actually pretty nice in the summer time because it is nice and cool at night,” Darimont said.

He said he enjoys working the shift he does, 12-hour shifts with every other weekend off.

The briefing at the beginning of his Friday night shift was typical, but the rest of the night soon became unusual and interesting.

The first call of the night was about a pit bull running loose in the park.

Upon arriving on the scene Darimont found three youths with a pit bull on a leash.

After speaking with them, they admitted they had let the dog off its leash.

Darimont reminded them of the leash law.

Later while driving around on traffic patrol, Darimont received a report of harassment via text messaging. He pulled over and called the complainant.

He then called the person sending the messages listed on the complainant’s phone and leaving a voicemail.

Darimont then called back the complainant and got a possible location of the person sending the messages.

While en route to the location he spotted the suspect and pulled over to talk to them.

On the way to his dinner break, a call came over the radio with a report of a broken car window.

When Darimont arrived, he talked to the citizens who called in the report.

He located the owner of the vehicle and said the owner was aware of the broken window, did not want to file a report and was going to clean up the broken glass in the street.

Darimont had a 15-minute window for dinner before heading off to the next call.

It was a disturbance call with talk of getting high.

Upon arrival at the scene, the only observed offense was loud music.

The homeowner was asked to turn it down and complied.

A fight between multiple shirtless men was called in, but Darimont found only one shirtless man at the vicinity. He spoke with the man, who was visibly upset.

After calling in the man’s identification he found a warrant for failing to appear and Darimont arrested him.

After transporting the man to the Coles County Jail, he was back on patrol, assisting another officer in trying to locate and arrest a suspect.

After trying several addresses with no success, Darimont went back on patrol but five minutes later received a report that the suspect had just arrived to the second address.

He then went back to assist the other officer.

With only half his shift completed, Darimont then went on to deal with the closing time crowd at the Charleston bars.

While policing closing time at the Panther Paw, a man came up to the officers to complain about a driver who had just hit a truck in the parking lot and drove off.

One officer departed to try to pull over the driver, but was unsuccessful.

While the other officer was giving chase Darimont filled out the report and contacted the registered driver of the truck that had been hit.

Darimont said other than that it was fairly calm considering the size of the crowd.

At 2 a.m. Darimont still had four hours to go. Most workers have only eight hour shifts, but Darimont still had plenty to patrol.

Marcus Smith can

be reached at 581-2812

or [email protected]