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William Harvey

William Harvey

William "Bill" Harvey is currently serving as chief of police in south central Pennsylvania. He retired from the Savannah (Ga.) Police Department where he worked assignments in training, patrol, and CID. Harvey has more than 25 years of experience working with recruits, rookies, and FTOs.

Overtime Survival Kit

Pick up these items, and add them to a bag. You'll thank yourself later.

November 08, 2010  |  by William Harvey - Also by this author

It's been a long day and you can't wait to get off work. You may even have plans. Now you're called by the shift supervisor. Somebody on the oncoming shift has checked off sick. Do you want the overtime?

No, but you are the youngest guy and, by the time a choice of overtime gets to you, you know the entire world has turned it down. Therefore, the youngest officer now gets mandated to work. So you're now stuck.

It doesn't matters what caused it. This could be a natural event (local flooding from storm or snow). Maybe it's a man-made or special event in another precinct (crowd control, concert or big crime scene). Your relief shift all ate at a bad restaurant and checked off with an irritable bowel. So, now after your long day, you have another four to eight hours of work facing you.

How to survive this is easy — get your mind right first. This is going to occur from time to time, so deal with it. You have had a bad day already, a couple of domestics in hot hovels, one crash investigation in the sun and you are hot, gritty and tired. So what's going to perk you up to face this next shift?

If you have an issued car, keep a small bag in the trunk. If your department utilizes a car fleet, then keep this in your privately owned vehicle trunk or in your locker. This won't take up much space, but will make life a little more livable. This is not a bug-out bag but a small little bag to help you over the hump and maybe more pleasant to be around. The bag can be anything, this is not a call for the latest black tactical molle compliant bag, and an old gym bag works well.

A fresh pair of socks keeps the dogs from barking.

Clean T-shirt — One shift is enough. Under the vest, you can get woofy.

Energy bar/candy bar — Your energy level is dipping, so give yourself a treat.

A couple of extra bucks — You never know if you'll have to grab some chow. It saves time searching for an ATM.

De-crud Kit — Grab a travel size of mouthwash and throw in a toothbrush.

After-shave — Freshen up and de-funk yourself.

Towel — A small hand towel to wash your face, dry off.

Pain reliever — Aspirin or whatever you need, because you'll get a headache.

This isn't all. You may have your own special needs to revive yourself and put your war face back on. Just because you have to work overtime, there's no need to feel, smell and look miserable.

Get yourself in order and know that the overtime pay will buy something really cool later. Besides, the next academy graduation is coming and you'll have seniority over them. Then they'll get mandated, and you can go to your plans.

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jarett gilpin @ 2/4/2011 6:12 AM


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