Working in Winter Wonderland: Cops Brave Elements

Working in Winter Wonderland: Cops Brave Elements

By Stephen Owsinski

Although it is a classic tribute to U.S. postal employees out there delivering “through rain, sleet, or snow,” our nation’s law enforcement officers also befit the distinction…on every holiday, often working in winter wonderlands that dreadfully hinder efforts. Nevertheless, public safety presence is there while citizens celebrate by exchanging presents.

Despite the blizzard conditions and snowy obstructions in many regions of America this past week, our police professionals suited up, got gear stowed, and hit the beat…leaving their loved ones at home to ensure all others’ welfare was heeded.

It is a curious mix that our beloved country can often experience vast differences in climate while never forgoing public safety tenets vowed by cops to those they serve, trudging through it all after the calls for help flood public safety operations hubs.

(Photo courtesy of the New Mexico State Police.)

It is not necessarily new that law enforcement agencies populate their respective websites and social media platforms with ongoing police activities and bona fide records of promised provisions. Yet it seems there is much more nowadays, perhaps a duly noted reminder for the naysayers, Debbie downers, law enforcement budget-clippers, and police abolitionists who won’t forget to dial 9-1-1 when confronted by rampant evildoers and wish for selfless saviors.

On that note, even recruits studying policing at police academies were working in a winter wonderland, traversing salted sidewalks to get daily runs through campus grounds, prepping to fill the volume of vacancies created by exodus in states that decimated the profession:

(Photo courtesy of the New York State Police.)

The wonder of wonders, Lee County, Florida sheriff’s deputies, patrolling the still-recovering seascape ravaged by Hurricane Ian, came upon a twisted and tattered American flag, partly buried in sands dotted by shells pushed ashore by Mother Nature’s unstoppable thrust.

Sergeant Andrew Clark and sheriff’s office members “located an American Flag buried in the sand” and honorably “retrieved the flag to properly retire it.”

Even though it is not snowy or icy or as blustery in the south on Christmas Day and the morning after, the temps were tolerable on December 26th, the day this discovery was posted by the sheriff’s office. As it relates to our topic today, law enforcement officers were out and about, combing beaches like they always do, despite the chill exacerbated by the openness of the ocean churn.

Since Hurricane Ian smashed Lee County a few months ago, the residual effects are evident in this find, indicative of the unrelenting patrols in areas with minimized pedestrian presence due to still unsafe beachfront destruction.

Looking north, several police cohorts, especially those assigned to “foot patrol” while working the winter wonderland in New York City, encountered teeth chattering and twinkling of Christmas lights.

The Big Apple is renowned for a certain brand of magical flair in the air, with the enormity of the Christmas tree and its lights’ brilliance at Rockefeller Center drawing spectators from around the globe.

(Photo courtesy of NYPD Police Commissioner.)

Thus, a robust contingent of NYPD officers is necessitated, tundra conditions stretching the limits of challenges.

These inclement conditions imposed by nature are met with some unorthodox police equipment engineered and stored among the fleet to meet the challenges.

(Photo courtesy of the New York State Police.)

On their website, the New York State Police offered a gentle reminder to residents blasted by blizzard conditions…yet still opting to go out and risk life and limb:

State Police are assisting snow removal crews with search and rescue. Erie County’s driving ban is still in effect. Stay off the roads, unnecessary vehicles traveling hinder crews from search and rescue.”

In policing there are certain circumstances brought about by conditions, such as a state policeman’s body-worn camera becoming just as snowed-in as the people they are trying to save:

Speaking of search-and-rescue operations, the news outlets’ reports of fatalities stemming from winter storm conditions kept spiking by the hour. As of this writing, the death toll is at 50, which will likely increase as cops and search-and-rescue personnel locate homeless individuals who didn’t make it to shelters, unearth autos, and tunnel toward snowdrift-covered residences (many of which may have lost power).

Cops navigating the very perilous conditions which contributed to these deaths automatically engender law enforcement officers to ensure none were foul play. That may sound cynical, but it is the purview cops must undertake responsibly and diplomatically, mindful of being perceived as insensitive yet dutifully diligent.

This dynamic is one such example of many like it which can make onlookers prejudge LEOs, categorizing them as callous due to narrow-focused mindsets ill-experienced in the depths of depraved ways of the world, namely cunning individuals orchestrating perfect crimes by employing certain unorthodox conditions as cover.

It is no wonder why retired cops sometimes become best-selling writers of suspense novels, logically drawing upon real-life experiences as police officers encountering sharp-witted masterminds of heinous crimes, creating persuasive schematics to get away with it all. Thankfully, American policing possesses keen, stellar cops and detectives, outwitting the cunning by using investigative intellect, intuitive senses, and prowess for truths shrouded by stark reality.

Circling back to Winter wonderland and public safety officials working that brand of a scene, police organizations echo logic, or at least try to. Despite well-intended attempts to encourage folks to forgo navigating treacherous highways and byways, though, police patrol assets are out there risking their lives to save others.

(Photo courtesy of the Oregon State Police.)

“We are seeing some people not thinking about what they should be prepared for in case of an emergency or extended delay.

“Your Oregon State Police Troopers see drivers and passengers all too often that are not properly prepared when a crisis hits, and they become stranded in several winter weather.”

Even though we are magnifying cops working in the unforgiving conditions associated with winter, our nation’s LEOs are always out there, albeit in reduced numbers nowadays thanks to the unwarranted and unrelenting bashing of an entire profession, continually serving citizens as attested by oath.