Dubuque police overnight ride-a-long - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque police overnight ride-a-long


Police officers put their lives on the line every day and night.  This week we followed one Dubuque police officer on the overnight shift to get a perspective on her job.

Before Dubuque Police Officer Caren Tobin hits the streets. She makes sure everything in her squad car is ready.

"10-4 I'm 76," Tobin said over the radio.

Then it's off to the first call of the night: a possible underage party.

"Alright I'll come up there with yah," Tobin said to a fellow officer.

After arriving Tobin assists another officer, while he writes a ticket for possession of alcohol underage.

"My guess is they were probably being loud and they drew attention to themselves and so the neighbors called," Tobin said.

But that's really just the beginning of her night. Another call to a party, before she heads downtown.

"I know there is a bar crawl going on tonight so we're expecting big crowds around the bars. In addition to the regular Saturday night crowds. So we're expecting probably a little bit of a busy night," Tobin said.

As expected, it was busy. And just before bar close, a fight starts outside this downtown bar.

Tobin and several officers get a suspect in custody and clear the rest of the crowd.

"Tobin, are you guys good down there? Yeah 10-4," one of the officers asked on over the radio.

"We kind of figure if we can stop somebody as a fight is just starting it can keep somebody from getting hurt, keep somebody from maybe having to go to the hospital," Tobin said.

A few minutes later, another call down the street. This time it was an apparently intoxicated woman. Tobin and another officer get her in the backseat.

"Turn around so you can sit down. You don't wanna go in there face first," Tobin said to the woman.

Another officer transported the women to jail. It was a busy night but Tobin says their presence downtown  is important.

"A visual presence to make sure that things don't happen that otherwise might if we're not there," Tobin said.

And she says her and fellow officers are just trying to make sure everyone has a safe night.

"Unfortunately doing that sometimes lands people in jail. But we always figure its better to take maybe one person to jail then a bunch of people to the hospital," Tobin said.

The Dubuque Police Department currently has 108 sworn officers and nine civilian employees.

They are organized into divisions: administration, patrol, community oriented policing, investigations and records.

Tobin has been with the Police Department for two years. 

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