In the wake of a string of shootings, Metro Police have been working to keep neighborhoods safe and under control. Thursday, Fox59 got to see firsthand how officers are dealing with the surge in violence.
Fox59 was in the car with Officer Bill Wogan as he patrolled the east district Thursday evening. He is one of about 23 officers working the busiest district in the City.
“Some days you’re so busy, I wouldn’t even stop a single car and a part of that’s because we’re shorthanded,” he said.
The recent shootings haven’t surprised him, knowing tensions rise during the summer months and crime usually spikes. In fact, during Fox59’s ride-along, Wogan and his partner responded to a large group of women arguing in the street. He explained that the face-to-face confrontation started on Facebook.
He said it doesn’t take much for a simple fight to turn deadly.
“A lot of these stabbing or shootings are over a minor thing like, you know, somebody owed somebody $10 over a dice game,” he explained. “Rather than even fight about it fist to fist, it’s all shootings.”
He and his partners spend their shift making the rounds in neighborhoods where troubled youth hang out. While other teens are learning how to drive, Wogan meets kids who are learning a different set of skills.
“They’re breaking into houses, they’re like 15 and 16,” he said. “There are also kids shooting each other at that age.”
So he talks with them and makes himself known hoping that it will serve as a deterrent.
“They may be less apt to do something if they know I already know who they are.”
He said people shouldn’t assume crime only occurs in some areas of the city and that the deadly Fourth of July shooting downtown is proof of that.
If he had one message for the public, it would be to step up and fight crime together by getting involved in their neighborhoods and coming forward with information when a crime has occurred.