Spend a week with cops and you start hearing the same things over and over.
“People think it’s like a cop show on television. They think we can solve crimes in an hour.”
Or: “We’re human. Sometimes we make mistakes.”
Or: “It does get frustrating when we know someone is guilty but we have to spend so much time and energy just to prove it.”
Or: “Yeah, they (criminals) come over here because they know that if they get caught, the sentences are less than other places.”
Welcome to the inner workings of the Santa Cruz Police Department. It’s not Iraq or Afghanistan, but Interim Police Chief Kevin Vogel recently invited me to “embed” with his department for a week. The deal was this: I had complete access. I was welcome at staff meetings, briefings and on any calls. I was free to report whatever was said, except, of course, spilling the beans about a specific case, an upcoming arrest or details of an investigation. Then again, I wasn’t interested in specific cases. What I wanted to find out was this: are Santa Cruzans being well served by their cops?