General Question

gorillapaws's avatar

Do police ever have those "station-wide" meetings like you see in film and television?

Asked by gorillapaws (27322points) 1 week ago
12 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

It’s a common scene in crime-based tv/film where the chief will have a briefing with the entire force about the details of a killer, rapists, or fugitive. Does that happen in real life? Wouldn’t that be the perfect time for someone to rob a bank on the other side of town from the police station?

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Zaku's avatar

Give an example?

The briefings I remember seeing are either for one shift of one police station (e.g. on Hill Street Blues, CHiPs, Adam-12) or are just for people assigned to that case (e.g. Prime Suspect, Bosch, Taggart). So it’s not an entire station at once.

Otherwise, yes, there would be no one on duty. They have to sleep and have time to do things off-duty, too. That’s why they have shifts. And they have multiple cases. That’s why they have detectives and task forces assigned to different cases.

gorillapaws's avatar

I guess I’m thinking of smaller-towns. Like in Criminal Minds when the Feds come in and brief the local department about the unknown subject “unsub.”

Zaku's avatar

Ok. In reality, there will still be someone on duty somewhere (probably an entire shift, and probably an entire other shift that is off-duty and likely sleeping) unless the town is small enough that it only has a small sheriff department that doesn’t always have someone in the field.

In small and poor enough small towns, there is indeed often no one on duty. In many towns there is no police department for the town, and the county’s sheriff department spreads the officers it has over the whole county, with some towns not having anyone there on many days, unless/until something gets reported and then they drive over there.

jca2's avatar

If they were going to call in officers for a meeting that was not during their regular working hours, they’d have to pay them overtime. If you had an officer which worked all night and had to remain at work for a meeting, and then was working tonight, he’d need time to get home and get to sleep. With 24/7 staffed jobs, it’s very hard to get everyone in all at once.

elbanditoroso's avatar

My son-in-law is a sergeant in our County police force. – the county has a half-dozen precincts covering the entire county.

At the beginning of each shift, the sergeant-on-duty meets with his patrolmen in a large room, and gives them any new or important things to know about in that precinct. Then they go out onto patrol.

So it’s not EVERYONE – it’s the people going on duty in that precinct in that shift.

gorillapaws's avatar

Great answers guys. So does the FBI in the above scenario have to conduct the same briefing for each shift?—I can see why they wouldn’t depict this in a film/show.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I should add one other thing:

Shift change is not everybody at the exact same time. Here, at least, you might be scheduled to come in at 3:00, 3:15, 3:30, or 3:45. So the precinct is always covered, although by a smaller staff.

And the previous shift has overlap – they generally don’t go off duty until the next shift is out.

It means that the sergeant sometimes repeats himself/herself. But that’s life.

jca2's avatar

The Detective from my job said that there is a meeting at the start of every shift, for those who are on patrol at headquarters (vs. police working not at headquarters), where they go over who is out that day, and any issues that every one should know about, like local crimes, traffic issues, demonstrations, rallies, anything that would be of concern to those on duty.

SergeantQueen's avatar

I would imagine if its some huge case they would, at minimum, send something out to everyone. But not like in Criminal minds. The people on the case would meet, but not the whole department. I’m sure if it was a big thing, memos would get sent out to inform everyone.

zenvelo's avatar

In Resident Alien the Feds just met with the Sheriff, but the Shariff’s assistant barged in anyway.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Patrol, traffic and beat cops have a start of shift with sergeant.

FBI is not a patrol or beat arrangement.

SnipSnip's avatar

It’s called roll call.

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