While on Routine Patrol

When Skip started on the police department he had just graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Max started on the police department just shy of a month later and at the same time was enrolled in classes at Iowa State University on the GI Bill, studying English and planning to go on to law school when he graduated.

In those days the city was divided into seven areas, six of them patrolled by one officer, and the seventh patrolled by a team of two. Area one encompassed the northeast portion of the town, bound by Elwood Ave. and Stang Road on the west, Lincolnway on the south, and the city limits both other directions. Area two lay south of area one, but overlapped it on the north side, bound by sixth street. That provided patrol in the downtown bar area by two officers instead of the customary one area officer. Areas three and four lay west of one and two and extended to the city limits on the west. Areas five and six covered the entire city. Five was technically area relief, and six was technically a utility officer, but both served to cover for the other area cars when they were otherwise occupied. Because Iowa State University took up a big portion of territory in the center of areas three and four, and because ISU had their own police to patrol the campus, most of the time the area four car covered both area four and area three. Finally, area seven was patrolled buy a team of two officers. They worked the bars in town, twenty-seven of them at one counting. Dog town, which bordered on the campus of ISU, was two blocks of bars that served the college community. Then there was downtown, where there were more blocks of bars that served the rest of the community and the few college students who made their way to them. The officers parked their patrol car and walked bar to bar downtown and dog town. Then the two officers took to their car and prowled the outlying hotel bars, country western bars and the strip bars scattered around town. Shifts and areas were bid yearly by officer seniority.

So on any given day the patrol shift consisted of five officers, and one Sergeant who supervised them. There were three shifts: 0700hrs to 1500hrs, 1500hrs to 2300hrs and night shift from 2300hrs until 0700hrs the following morning. Each shift had a total of eleven officers working six days on duty three days off, five days on and two off, which made their days off rotate throughout the year, providing the city with patrol officers seven days a week, three hundred sixty-five days a year. Area seven officers worked from 2000hrs until 0400hrs, eight at night until four in the morning, Tuesday through Saturday, with Sundays and Mondays and holidays off. By the time Skip and Max won the lottery they had attained enough seniority to find them working shift seven with little chance of being bumped off it at the yearly bid.

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