Night BeatBy Staff, September 1, 2002 12:11 PM
What's life like on a typical swing shift with Richmond and Oakland police? Times staffers go along for the ride and file Memos to the City Desk:
By Rachel Barron
MEMO from OAKLAND -- Barry Donelan looks down from his six foot height, places his hand on his hip right above his Oakland Police Department handgun, and explains in an Irish brogue how he found himself one day trying to keep the peace on the streets of an American city so far from his Dublin home:
"I'm just a blue collar lad that needed a blue collar job to support his family," he says. "And Oakland hires Irish people."
By Simon Kinsella
MEMO from RICHMOND -- It was 20 minutes past five on Friday evening when Officer Dan Wellhausen drove his squad car in front of the visitor's entrance of the Richmond Police Station, where I sat rewinding tape and anticipating his arrival.
While we had arranged to meet at 4:45 p.m., the 33-year old veteran cop had been dispatched to patrol North Richmond, where he searched without luck for a man suspected of kidnapping his girlfriend. Now, he was bringing his cruiser to a grinding halt, peering through black wraparound shades and beckoning for me to join him.
By Lauren Gard
MEMO from RICHMOND -- I met Taz the drug dog at the beginning of my ride along, which began at 5pm in the parking lot of the Richmond Police Station on 27th Street. Toward the end of the night I realized the cop I had been shadowing all evening was a bit of a canine, too.
By Roya Aziz
MEMO from OAKLAND -- International Boulevard in Oakland is more exciting than Saudi Arabia, according to Sean Bowling, a former military police officer turned Oakland cop.
Bowling, a 27-year-old rookie, enlisted in the U.S. Air Force two months after he turned 18. He was also stationed in Turkey and Germany, but two years ago he joined the Oakland P.D., averaging an annual 150 arrests, give or take a few, he says.
By Lisa White
MEMO from OAKLAND -- Police work was not Oakland Police Officer Simon Rhee's first career choice. Growing up in the safety of suburban Castro Valley he never really thought about -- or experienced -- crime or violence in any fashion.
By Michael Kai Louie
MEMO from RICHMOND -- Grand Theft Auto 3 is a relatively recent video game for most home platforms, meaning you can enjoy it from a Lay-z-Boy at home or on the floor of your empty bachelor pad. It's the third installment (they're up to four now) in a violent series that has attracted heavy criticism from parents, politicians and gun control advocates.