One Intern, Four Hours, and a Patrol Car: Ride Along with the Cape Girardeau Police Department

Post written by Elena Tanner, Public Information Office Intern, summer 2014

As a part of my internship with the City of Cape Girardeau, I recently had the opportunity to participate in the Ride Along Program with Sgt. Adam Glueck of the Cape Girardeau Police Department. During my ride along, I received first-hand experience of the important work the Cape Girardeau Police Department engages in on a daily basis.

Going into the ride along, I realized my perception about an officer’s daily work was strongly influenced by pop culture. I had seen countless movies and television episodes that detail epic car chases and international drug busts, but I experienced that the depth and breadth of an officer’s work was much more than could ever be depicted in a movie. My ride along provided me with the perfect opportunity to learn more about the Cape Girardeau Police Department and what it is like to be an officer in this city.

Cape Girardeau is divided into four zones, converging at the “four corners, “ which are located where Independence Street meets West End Boulevard. There are specific patrol officers assigned to each zone and roving patrol officers that go wherever they are needed. Four platoons rotate shifts at the station. Each officer works a 12-hour shift, which means working hours and days off are constantly changing.

During my ride along, I accompanied Sgt. Glueck to the site of a robbery, an accident on the interstate and a motor vehicle assist. The patrol officers respond to a variety of different calls on a regular basis, including child and animal abuse and neglect, disturbances, civil situations, and much more. Most of the calls have to do with a variety of issues as compared with what most people would think: writing traffic tickets.

Additionally, in order to accommodate non-English speakers in Cape Girardeau, the Police Department uses an interpreter hotline. When speaking with someone who has difficulty communicating in English, the Department uses the hotline to assist them with any language they desire. Spanish interpreters will even come to the station to assist with anything the department needs.

The Ride Along Program provided me with a wonderful experience to dive deeper into the details of a patrol officer’s job. I learned a lot about what it is like to be an officer in Cape Girardeau. While the everyday is quite unlike the sensational depiction in the movies, it is certainly never monotonous. I now have a deeper appreciation for all that the brave men and women of the Police Department do for this city. If you are curious about the job, apply to complete a ride along.

Get more information about the Ride Along Program here.