A stabbing investigation, a man climbing from balcony to balcony, a handful of suspected impaired drivers, talking with citizens and a never-ending backlog of calls. Those were some of the incidents London deputy police Chief Stu Betts highlighted on social media during an overnight patrol shift this weekend. Betts is no stranger to the realities his 310 frontline officers face on a daily (and nightly) basis, but he said he wanted to give the public a glimpse into the reality. He spoke with our Dale Carruthers after his 10-hour Tweet From The Street shift:
Q: What motivated you to do this?
A: Really it was just my desire to share with the community what we do every night shift in the city of London. Oftentimes we tell people how busy we are, we release statistics and I wanted to give them a real-time look as things were unfolding.
Q: What did you take from the experience being out on the streets and seeing what your frontline officers do first-hand?
A: I’ve been a police officer for quite a while so that wasn’t unusual for me, to see what goes on in policing. What it really did is reaffirm the sort of hard work by our officers and all the support staff. It was a really good opportunity to be part of that team that is out there after hours. . . . It wasn’t like an episode of Cops. It was a good, busy night, but not unusual for London.