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July 24, 1987 - Image 11

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly Summer Weekly, 1987-07-24

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The Michigan Daily, Friday, July 24, 1987- Page 11
On University patrol with an Ann Arbor cop

(ContinuedfromPage) police is a new fad among high downright mean. Others are probably
chairs and a desk for the lieutenant school students: carrying guns. bored. You have to watch out."
who was about to conduct roll call. Waites says guns are a status Passing through town Waites
On the wall were bulletins of FBI symbol among teenage gang spotted an expired license plate, but
warrants, pictures of missing members who hang out downtown. he didn't stop the offender because
children, and an announcement about Some have even fired their weapons there was too much traffic. By 5:15
the department canoe outing. Seven in fights between gangs from we were back on North Campus,
officers sat at tables waiting to be different high schools, though no checking out parking lots around the
briefed on arrests made in the last 24 one has yet been injured. music school.
hours, on suspects at large, and on We received a call to check out a
anything else of relevance to their larceny case on Hubbard Road. It
upcoming shift. was a code four, the lowest priority
Also in attendance were Dragnet call. Since there was nothing else
stars Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks pressing, he decided to go.
- standing by a side wall in the After having some trouble finding
form of a lifesize card board cutout. the place, we reach the Industrial
The lieutenant's final decree: Technology Institute, looking for
"Okay. Have a safe day!" the victim who was supposed to
Dan Waites, a 29-year-old officer meet us. Waites asked the dispatcher
with three years experience on the to call the victim and let him know
force, was assigned to be my guide. we had arrived.
He grew up in Flint, and spent three It took Waites about 15 minutes
years as an officer in Houston during to take all of the information he
the recession before coming to Ann needed from the man, a University
Arbor. He would be one of two employee whose compact disc player
officers patrolling the University was stolen from his office.
that afternoon. rf"How about something to drink?"
By 3:30 we were out on the road, Waites asked. It was time to take a
heading toward North Campus. twenty minute break.
Waites said that the last few weeks Over iced tea at the Brown Jug,
had been slow, but with the Art Waites... Waites described the differences
Fairs beginning the next day, things takes a larceny report between big city policing in
would pick up. I had a secret desire On the way back to Main Houston and being a cop in Ann
for something juicy to happen, Campus, Waites pulled over to aid a Arbor. Houston is a more dangerous
perhaps a high speed chase or a motorist stranded on Fuller Road. city, but the internal dynamics of the
shootout. But I suspected Waites Waites alerted the dispatcher of the Ann Arbor police department makes
was not so eager for such things. traffic hazard and waited there until working here more tense, Waites
Waites explained his strategy for the car was towed away to prevent a said.
finding suspicious activity: go to rear-end collision. Waites finds the Ann Arbor
spots where people normally don't - After 15 minutes we were back
go. We checked out near-empty on the road, continuing the patrol on
parking lots, dead-end streets, back Main Campus. At 4:40 we were 4
allies and loading docks behind called to assist another officer at the
buildings - places where burglaries scene of an accident on Main Street.
are likely to occur. A ten-year-old boy had been struck Summer Special
Waites said the advantages of the by a car and his leg was cut badly. at
campus beat are variety and a wider Waites aided the officer already on
area to patrol. There are more the scene by collecting names of
assaults and thefts around the witnesses.
University than in other parts of Ten minutes later we made our TANNING CENTER
town, which makes for more action. way back to the Diag. Waites waved
But Waites said some officers dislike to a street person, who was pushing 216 S. State
dealing with the University a shopping cart full of beer cans up ph. 747-8844
Department of Public Safety. "A lot State Street. "You get to know most
of times they feel we don't go far of the street people. Most of them 10 sessions
enough in our duties," Waites said. are pretty good guys. (The street * for
He refused to elaborate on that. people) know that a lot of times * $30.00 with
Contrary to popular opinion, they break the law, but it's almost a * . coupon
Waites said most police officers sort of game for them," Waites said.
enjoy dealing with University "That guy's only problem is that he 4 sessions good only oncampus
students, and do not intentionally likes to walk into people's homes..., and must be purchased by
harass them if a party is loud. But He doesn't usually hurt anything, August 31,1987
still, 'officers receive a lot of though."
harassment themselves when they Even though street people rarely
make a call on a noise complaint or commit major crimes, they are not
tow a car away. Waites says the only harmless, Waites said. "Some are
effective response is to ignore the
taunts. "One thing you find about
college students - there is no
correlation between academic
achievement and maturity."
The big trouble-makers in town
are the jam box-toting high school ' Now accepting applications for fall
kids who hang out on Liberty and
State Streets, Waites said. Teenagers * Days and nights
are often responsible for public * Weekends
disturbances, small thefts, and * Call or stop in TODAY!
vandalism that occur downtown.
A current worry of the Ann Arbor 1220 S. University 665-2034

police administration too concerned most of the guys have college
with appearances and paperwork. He educations, and most of the guys are
said Police Chief William Corbett is responsible."
a stickler for proper form. Even After our break, Waites took me
small offenses, such as not wearing by the University Department of
a hat on duty, are punishable by a Public Safety, where officers on the
suspension if they are repeated, campus beat collect reports of crimes
Waites said which have occurred on university
None of the patrol cars have property. "Most of these are
conventional AM/FM radios, which larcenies," Waites said, flipping
makes lonely days on the road a through a stack of about six reports.
little lonelier. Waites said this rule At 7:00 we stopped at the
is the result of a preoccupation with University Hospital's emergency
form. He said administrators in the room - there had been a rape.
department fear that citizens may
hear a radio in a police car. "They
say officers are not as attentive if
they're listening to the radio, but I THE DAILY
think that's a bunch of crap." CLASSIFIEDS
Waites thinks the lives of officers ARE A GREAT
are too regulated, and that hurts WAY TO GET
morale. "You can't head into the WAYTO ET
station until they call you. FAST RESULTS
Sometimes they have a supervisor CALL 764-0557
following officers around on their
beats. It really grates on you because



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