October 5, 2022

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A Day in the Life of a New Cop

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ABC10, Michael Anthony Adams, rides along with Berlinda Cato, a recruit with the Sacramento police department in ABC10’s Originals, The Recruits: Ride-Along video.

The first day on patrol creates a bundle of nerves. It can seem overwhelming juggling the use of the computer, the radio, focusing on the task at hand, and trying to ask the right questions all on the first day of the job.

Before a recruit is left to patrol on their own, they must pass through four field training phases that last about six months and are supervised by a Field Training Officer (FTO) They also start on probation for about a year.

Law enforcement jobs like this can turn dangerous in the blink of an eye. Basic calls for service, like domestic violence and traffic stops, can turn violent very quickly.


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Law enforcement recruits are told time and time again to not become complacent. No matter what the call, armed robbery or a welfare check, the recruit should always plan avenues of action and escape.

Cato’s approach as a police officer is to not only enforce the law but to help people, sympathetically, with compassion and sincerity.