It’s concert week! And we love getting to know our partners and introducing them to you before show night. The last post was on the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department. Up next, the Vienna Police Department, where we talked to Public Information Officer MPO Gary Lose and Lieutenant Thomas Taylor.
We expected maybe twenty businesslike minutes. Instead, to our pleasant surprise, they were very generous with their time and talked to us for two hours! But we shouldn’t be surprised, as you’ll see from their answers. (Note: We talked to them separately, but we posed the same questions, and got interesting answers!) Read on:
VCS: What do you want the community to know about you?
MPO Gary Lose: That we’re accessible. Don’t worry that you’re wasting our time, we’d rather you call us even if it turns out to be nothing.
Lt. Tom Taylor: We’re here, and we are all better off when we’re accepted by the community. But I do wish people would be more neighborly. Maybe try talking to each other first?
VCS: What’s something we don’t know about you?
TT: The traffic stop is an unknown. Three fourths of arrests come from pulling people over for routine traffic violations. And you have no idea what you’re getting into when you pull someone over, you have a split second to make a judgement call.
VCS: What else?
TT: We’re not here just to pull you over. And we’re people too. We have families. We have the same issues as everyone else.
VCS: What are you thinking when you’re sitting in the cruiser?
GL: Going through scenarios. Catching up on paperwork. There’s a lot of paperwork in police work. It never ends.
VCS: Off duty, can you turn the job off?
GL: It’s hard. You notice things even if you’re off duty. Like the guy who’s buying $1K worth of gift certificates at the grocery store. Or the other guy returning all those CDs without a receipt.
TT: It’s both good and bad when you’re off duty. The good part is that I’m done for the day. The bad part is that you’re just a bit detached.
VCS: Who are your heroes?
TT: Youth. They are taking the lead, some as young as fifth and sixth grade. They’re willing to ask questions.
VCS: Talk about your work with DARE.
GL: There’s a lot of conversation about bullying. It can happen to anyone, especially with cyber bullying. And the person who’s doing the bullying is often getting bullied somewhere else. We talk about how to look for the signs, and how to report it safely.
VCS: Best part of the job?
GL: Arrests, because it means we’re putting away a bad guy!
TT: Camaraderie, talking to people in the community, getting to know people from all over the world, especially in Vienna. I like to eat at all the various restaurants in town, get to know the people, the cuisine.
VCS: Worst part of the job?
GL: Rotating shifts, the effect on family life, especially if you’re working nights.
TT: You see the worst of people. And there’s always drugs or alcohol involved at that time.
VCS: Boring part of the job?
TT: Waiting. Waiting is boring. But a good cop is always alert. And a good day on the job is a safe day.
GL: Paperwork! And the other cop shows, where they arrest three people in an hour, when are they catching up with paperwork? Shows like COPS, they’re all edited for entertainment.
VCS: Speaking of which, which TV shows do cops actually watch?
We interrupt this interview to note that after much eye rolling from both officers, because of exactly how ridiculous TV is to anyone in their profession when it’s being televised, there isn’t really one answer. But *eeeeeveryone* in uniform seems to know the theme to COPS.
TT: The First 48 is good. The most misleading shows are the CSIs. They’re unrealistic. A swab on a table isn’t going to produce DNA in ten minutes. And their phone capabilities far exceed what most departments can do. Mostly, we use our wits and stay alert.
VCS: Cliches about the police – go!
GL: Doughnuts. Of course. I can tell you why the cliché exists—it’s because doughnut shops used to be the few places open 24/7, which meant it’s where police on overnight shifts were always able to get a bite.
VCS: What else?
GL: Not really a cliché but we walk into a room and people go “I didn’t do it!” Um, oh-kay.