(March 24, 2017) - The end of another week, and the start of another "Ask CCPD." This eleventh installment is a general inquiry patrol officers get fairly often....how do you like night/day shift? What do you like better? Is one more dangerous than the other?
The answers to these questions are opinions, of course. Currently and for several years, the Cape Coral Police Department's Patrol Division has worked 12 hour shifts, from roughly 6:00am to 6:00pm for days and vice versa for nights. New officers typically start their careers on night shift, where it's sometimes easier to find drugs, stop cars for equipment violations or moving violations (harder to see that hidden patrol car in the dark), and respond to the late night domestic disturbances or out of control parties. All of these things still happen in the daylight, but are more common at night.
Night shift definitely takes a toll on the human body. It's not natural for people to get such limited sunlight, or light sleep due to the sun being up or people moving around in the house while the night shift owl tries to sleep. Sometimes, depending on the time of year/length of the day, officers will start work in daylight, and if they get stuck on a call at the end of their shift they drive home in the new daylight, a very exhausting feeling. All officers have to keep themselves mentally sharp and physically fit to do this job, but night shift officers have to try that much harder. If you don't bring lunch (which would be a midnight meal for the rest of us), what's open? Fast food and convenience stores. It can be easy to compound the inherent difficulties of night shift with poor eating habits.
Day shift has its own challenges. Traffic is heavier, crashes are more common. It is HOT. Try wearing all that heavy equipment, plus the thick vest and the dark blue polyester uniform when the heat index is at 110. Not fun. Sunglasses and especially sunscreen are important, so you don't reach retirement (or sooner) with a case of skin cancer.
As for dangers of policing, time of day isn't what we think about. Could it be harder to see hands or weapons in the dark? Could bad guys be more likely to be out and about in the wee hours of the night? Perhaps. That's what flashlights are for. All officers have to remain ready for worst case scenarios, no matter what time of day it is.
So, if you ask an officer what they like better, your answers may vary. Night shift is often seen as the high speed, low drag, FUN part of the job, while day shift is a lot better on family and everyday life. Regardless, we're here 24/7, even while you sleep. Send your questions to our "Ask CCPD" page on our website, or via one of our many social media platforms. See you next Friday (or night!)
About the Author:
Corporal Philip Mullen is a nine year law enforcement veteran assigned to the Office of the Chief of Police and serves as Assistant Public Affairs Officer for the Cape Coral Police Department.
For the last 9 years, Corporal Mullen served as a Patrol Officer in our Patrol Bureau, and as a Field Training Officer, preparing new recruits for the rigors of police work over the past 5 years. Corporal Mullen is a member of the Cape Coral Police Department Honor Guard and has represented the Cape Coral Police Department across the United States. He is a recipient of two Lifesaving Awards and the department's highest honor, the Medal of Honor. Phil holds a Bachelor's Degree in Public Safety Administration from Edison State College.
CAPE CORAL POLICE DEPARTMENT | Public Affairs Office | 1100 Cultural Park Boulevard | Cape Coral, FL 33990 | (239) 242-3341