I have two big takeaways from my wild night on the town with the Charleston Police Department:
1.) Fear (1996 classic starring Reese Witherspoon and Mark Wahlberg) is the greatest movie of all time. No debate.
2.) Charleston’s nightlife needs a serious boost.
All jokes aside, I think my experience with Officer Brian Siefferman was a very enlightening one.
I set out to do a ride-along with CPD because I wanted to understand what goes on for an officer working on a Friday night.
I felt that it would be beneficial to watch the goings-on in Charleston from their point of view because though we cross paths often, our jobs and objectives are very different.
One of the things I’m most happy about taking away from the experience is that we were able to talk to each other about how we approach the same situations from our respective jobs. I was also able to see how many similarities there are in our concerns in those situations.
From what I learned, the job can be a lot of driving, a lot of talking with the citizens of Charleston and even more driving.
It was a fairly dead night Friday, but I felt that helped me get to know more about the officers themselves.
I rode with Siefferman as he responded to domestic violence calls, pulled someone over for expired tags and as he checked on local businesses for possible break-ins.
It definitely strayed from what I would have expected for a big city like Charleston, no murders, no shootouts and, unfortunately, no heists.
I was able to see how much Siefferman is doing in the background for the community and how much knowledge he has from his position. The number of people he knew by name, his knowledge of various parts of Charleston and his excitement for his job was something I was happy to see from an officer in a small community like Charleston.
I want to thank the Charleston Police Department for this experience, it opened up my eyes to what goes on in Charleston and how officers with CPD function.
I plan to look into riding along with the other agencies in the area and encourage others to schedule a ride-along with the Charleston Police Department. It was very enlightening for me and I believe it will be for others as well.
Corryn Brock is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]