On Wednesday, Oct. 26 the Clovis Police Department Public Information Officer Ty Wood conducted a virtual ride from 5 p.m to 7pm.
The ride-along started with the introduction of Officer Dan Wilson, a four-year member of the police department. Wilson is assigned to patrol beat one south of Shaw Ave and West of Minnewawa.
After, Wilson gave a tour of his patrol car and equipment. The front passenger seat had a bag that consisted of paperwork. There was also a UAV – which most people refer to as a drone. Wilson said the UAV helps get an aerial view of crime scenes.
The back seat of the vehicle has a molding with a gap. This gap provides space for an arrested person’s hands when they are cuffed behind them. Wilson said that he tries to clean that backseat at least once a week. In the back of the patrol unit, there was a backup UAV and Wilson’s SWAT gear, since he is part of the SWAT unit. In the driver’s seat, there is a computer that is used as a form of communication with dispatch.
Wood and Wilson then made their way to their first call at the Walmart on Herndon and Clovis in response to a report of a suspected male approaching women and asking for money. Officers eventually made contact with him at the AM/PM and determined that he was not committing any crimes and had no warrants. He was asked to leave the property.
After the suspicious person call, officer Wilson pulled over a person who was on their cell phone while driving, but let them off with a warning.
Wilson was called back to Walmart in response to the report of a theft in progress. The suspect was a woman who stole medication and was driving away. However, the suspect was gone by the time Wilson and Wood arrived.
The next traffic stop was made near Shaw and Villa. This time it was for a vehicle with over three months expired registration and a broken headlight. The driver was given a warning.
After that, Wilson was called for a 911 hangup near Willow and Gettysburg, to which officers made sure there was no emergency. Wilson offered a piece of advice to anyone who accidentally dials 911.
“Stay on the phone. A lot of time it could accidental but we need you on the phone to confirm your address so that we can make sure that you’re okay and that your family is okay.”
The next call for service was from two residents in the area of Barstow and Minnewawa. The report was of a suspicious person in an alley behind their home and the smell of gas.
Soon after, Wilson and Wood responded to the area of Shaw and Minnewawa in response to reports a man with a gun in his hand and the sound of what could’ve been a gunshot.
Multiple officers arrived in response along with Fresno PD’s Air One helicopter. There was no reports of injuries and only 1 caller reported seeing a person with a gun.
After no person, evidence or gun was found that fit the description. Police cleared the area before ending the ride-along.
Wood said that Clovis PD tries to at least have a couple of virtual ride-alongs throughout the year on different platforms to showcase to residents what police officers do on the job.
“We realized that most people don’t have the opportunity to come in physically, ride along with an officer just to experience what it is you know what their tax dollars are paying for how we protect our residents,” Wood said.
“People watch reality law enforcement shows on TV, and that’s part of what they do, but it’s also somewhat sensationalized,” Wood said. “They’re not following them through the report writing process through the booking process, and there’s a whole story to tell and so what we like to do is allow people that opportunity they can follow along from the comfort of their own home.”
The evening ended with Wood inviting viewers to watch CPD’s social media accounts for more virtual ride alongs. He then thanked viewers and wished them a safe good night.