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Let's hear your falling asleep on the job stories...

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by DaBigBR, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. DaBigBR

    DaBigBR No Infidels!

    Oct 28, 2005
    Circling the wagons.
    It happens to the best of us...was talking to a couple guys from other departments tonight as I try to get through my 18 hour shift.


    Several years ago dozed off sitting in a church parking lot. When I came to I had no idea when I got there, why I pulled in there, or how long I had been there. This pre-dated digital video and pre-event recording, so no way to tell. This was after working overnight, getting up for AM court, and then working 16 or so hours.

    Last football season (college team in town, so home games are a mess) I had a couple days where I had to park it and walk a bit because I would have wrecked it if I stayed in it.

    My personal favorites:

    One of the guys I was talking to has a take-home car and pulled in to his driveway a little early and was waiting for off-duty time. He woke up a half hour later, still sitting in the driveway.

    One practically legendary one was a deputy (now long retired) who fell asleep on his way home...while waiting for a train at a crossing. People were driving around him after the train cleared. This was before everybody and their cousin had a phone (and consequently a camera) on them at all times.

    I'll post a couple more tomorrow...
  2. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Mar 14, 2005
    I personally have never fallen asleep on duty, but we have one guy who is notorius for it. On several occasions we have found him behind a closed business snoozing, so we get 3-4 guys to drive up about 3ft from his driver door and all hit the sirens and air horns at once. Think back to the old cartoons where the drivers head comes therough the roof of the car.

    Pretty darn funny.

    Seriosuly though, it is a huge safety concern, and per our dept regs is "deriliction of duty" and totes a weeklong suspension if a admin type sees it.

  3. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

    Well, I cannot confirm or deny that has ever happened. But, those deer sure can be sneaky.:whistling: Some of us work sixteen hour days occasionally, with overtime duties usually. Other times it is a training day we may have to go in for as a group and then turn right around about eight hours later and go to work. Things can get interesting.
  4. Kahr_Glockman


    Feb 26, 2005
    I know of an agency that will remain nameless that was around one of my previous cop jobs. They had a guy that would regularly fall asleep on duty in his vehicle and when the sun came up would drive back to the station. One day, his co-workers had gotten sick of him sleeping, so they got some aluminum foil and foiled all of his windows. It was 10 am before he woke up, and had some explaining to do when he wasn't at end of shift muster.
  5. jpa

    jpa CLM

    May 28, 2001
    Las Vegas NV
    One department I dispatched for....I got a call for a burglar alarm while working graves. Tried to assign the zone answer. Tried to assign the backup answer. Tried to call the answer. I tried each of their cell phones answer. Now I'm getting worried, we're on a cluster band where our neighboring departments officers and dispatchers can hear our traffic and they're all like "WTF?" Officers from a neighboring dept volunteered to take the alarm since the business was near their border. I gave the info, then had my partner in dispatch take over for a sec while I went to get my personal Nextel to chirp one of the guys to check on him. Before I left dispatch I looked at the cameras and saw all three of their cars parked in the garage. So I went searching the station looking for them....I found the entire shift completely knocked out fast asleep in one of the offices. The only reason I even looked there was because the door was slightly ajar. The lights were out and every one of them was sawing some serious logs. I woke them up and sent the guys who were supposed to go to the call on their way. Then I talked to the sgt for a minute and we came to an understanding that if everyone is gonna be snoozing they should probably let dispatch know where they're going to be.

    Working patrol, my FTO and I were cruising down a street in the industrial park. We see one of our cars at the end of a long straightaway parked next to a business and we figure he's running radar. My FTO was driving so he decided to check the calibration on our speedometer and the radar. We got right up to the car and not a peep out of the officer in the car on our sideband radio. We pull up next to him and the window is down and he's out like a light. He's got his sunglasses on and he's just slumped in his seat. We can see him breathing so we didn't worry about him, but my FTO wrote something on a post-it and left it on his chest. Then we drove off and he hit the siren as we left. He never told me what the post it said. The other guy sent a message by computer that said "Thanks." When I ran into him later he showed me the post it.

    The post it said "Bang! You're dead."
  6. HandyMan Hugh

    HandyMan Hugh NRA Life Member

    May 17, 2002
    Hallstead, PA
    Your sleepy friend should be checked for sleep apnea. He may be waking many many times during his normal sleeping hours. This can lead to serious health problems down the road. Things like heart disease and high blood pressure to name two. The effects of long term sleep apnea can be devastating. In the short term, your friend could lose his job because of sleeping on the job, or worse yet be ambushed while asleep. Talk to him and ask if he snores. Your friend may well not be aware that he is waking up so much.

    Good Luck, keep me posted by PM if you wish. HM H
  7. Sniff


    Nov 24, 2007
    Auckland, New Zealand
    A few years ago a friend of mine was parked up under a motorway bridge watching peak traffic one morning about 8.00am.

    Nice warm sun coming in the windows. She had a bit of a stretch and a yawn after being up late studying for her commercial pilot's licence. Radio turned down and not much happening.

    The next thing she knows her sergeant is knocking on the driver's window waking her up.

    'Concerned' members of the public had reported her 'possibly unconcious' in her car and there was no response to the radio.

    Too embarrassed / scared to admit she just fell asleep, she told the sergeant she wasn't feeling well and had the flu.

    The angry and unbelieving Sergeant thinks "I'll teach you!" and drove her right across the city to her own family doctor, telling her "If you're sick, you can go to the doctor and get some medicine."

    Sergeant waits outside while she sees the doctor.

    Doctor asks "What's wrong with you?"

    She says "Nothing! I just fell asleep sitting in the car after being up studying all night. I was too scared to tell my sergeant because he's such an angry man. I told him I had the flu and wasn't sleeping very well. He just drove me here to make me pay to see you."

    Doctor says "OK. You are actually looking a bit tired and pale. Here's a note to say you need the rest of the week off work to recover."

    She described the Sergeant as "Incandescent with rage" when she gave him the doctor's note.

    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  8. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

    Incandescent with rage.That is an interesting way to put it.:supergrin: I bet her SGT was slow to use that tactic on anyone else.:supergrin:
  9. South Fla

    South Fla ©South Fla 2015

    Oct 10, 2006
    I know I have told this story before, but here goes:

    It was 3 days before Christmas in 2008 and we were on I-75 and stopped at a rest area in northern Florida. It was just about day light and found an FHP trooper sound asleep in the front seat of his unit. The motor was running,the parking lights were on and the unit was parked sideways across 2 spots.

    I knocked on the window 3 different times to finally get him wake. He did wake up and you could see the sheer terror on his face, even though he was trying to pass it off like nothing. After making sure he was OK, I told him I was retired from the job and showed him my tin and reassured him that I wasn't going to rat him out, the color came back to his face again.

    I'm glad I found him as opposed to some cop basher that would have called the station about him.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  10. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Mar 14, 2005
    Thats funny.
  11. DaBigBR

    DaBigBR No Infidels!

    Oct 28, 2005
    Circling the wagons.
    The best story I heard tonight:

    An officer from one of the guys' departments went home for meal break and fell asleep sitting on his couch somewhere around 0400-0500 or so. He woke up at 10AM! They stagger their shifts (early and late cars on each shift), so somehow they just missed him at end of watch time. He snuck back to the station (with the car and everything), changed in the locker room, and went home. Nobody ever found out and he kept it a secret for years. Where the heck were the supervisors and dispatchers on that one?

    Another one of mine:

    I was going home at 0300 and was on my way out of town when I passed another one of our guys parked running radar...dead asleep on the side of the roadway. I was tempted to jar him awake and considered just leaving him, but I decided that the best course of action would have been to reach my baton in to the car, turn on all of the lights, and leave him. He woke up just as I was very quietly exiting my car. That one would have been epic.

    A couple of thoughts:

    I don't have a lot of good things to say about my first chief, but one of the things that I liked was that he was a realist and had worked his share of late nights. I was a reserve for the year that I worked for him, so I wasn't really affected, but he told the guys that worked overnight that if they ever felt that they were too tired to work to go in to the office and take a quick nap. He told them to turn their radio to the ops channel, turn the scan off, and crank the volume to the max. He said there was no point to risking injury to the officer or somebody else or damage to a vehicle and that as long as it (being too tired to work) wasn't a habitual problem, it was worth it to him.

    For those that follow FRSC/FSN, there has been a lot of talk about officer fatigue lately and some of the research being done in that area. The unfortunate part, of course, is the trouble that many people are having getting departments to accept that things like secure rooms with cots to nap in and supervisor intervention policies that allow informal handling of occasional cases of severe fatigue are a good thing, but you know how that goes.
  12. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Mar 14, 2005
    It is most likely connected to health issues. He is now our permanent desk officer in the lobby. It got bad to the point it wasn't funny after a while. We played "find anthony" about once a week when he didn't answer the radio.
  13. We had a guy that we called "Rip van'' and last name. He'd wake up in a second if you called him but on midnight shift he'd zonk out a a traffic light. Got to the point that we ended up assigning him to a two man car and we never let him drive on midnight shift. Funny thing was if he was working 4x12 he could go another half shift if he had to with no problems.
  14. Pepper45


    Jun 15, 2006
    My sergeants have been understanding. They've said that they'd rather we go into the report writing room, crank the portable, notify dispatch to call us on the back line if we have a call, and take 20-30 minutes to power nap. Wrapping a car around a pole or killing someone because screwed up training/court/mandatory OT has us sleep deprived is nuts, I'd much rather catch a quick nap and feel better for a few more hours.
  15. pal2511


    Sep 15, 2002
    There has been a few times I have dozed off during the day but mostly nighttime. There is only SO much you can do during the night around here and after about an hour of driving I gotta see some light or talk to someone. I'm usually short on both.

    Sometimes ive dozed off and looked at the clock and it was only for a minute or two but it felt like forever.
  16. CAcop


    Jul 21, 2002
    We had a Sgt who used to fall asleep every single night for hours. He would also slepp at home during the day. Then he retired and was diagnosed with narcolepsy.

    Once when I was dating a woman I wasn't getting much sleep so I would find a quiet place to rest for a bit on days. I dosed off once only to be woken up by a car pulling up to me. The driver was my now chief's daughter back when he was a Sgt. I think she had a thing for me back then. So happy I let that one go.

    Two of our guys got called in to do OT over 09/11-12/2001 just in case. One drove the other slept. The passenger wakes up at a green light and looks over at the driver sound asleep with the car in park.
  17. Dragoon44

    Dragoon44 Unfair Facist Lifetime Member

    Apr 30, 2005
    This was my policy when running the midnight shift. I told them instead of looking for an out of way place to nap go to the Squad room. At least then we knew where they were.
  18. unit 900

    unit 900

    Sep 3, 2000
    Baltimore, Md
    When I was sector sergeant on 12x8 shift , I fell asleep (rare occurrence) one early AM. One of the guys in my squad went on a scavenger hunt and found a life size baby doll head and put it under my driver side windshield wiper, with the eyes open. I awoke shortly thereafter and had my heartbeat go from 50 to 180 in about a millisecond.

    I was also of the opinion I would rather my folks took a quick nap, pulled in driver to driver in a quiet area than fall asleep driving and sideswipe a few cars or get hurt. That concept stayed with me regardless of rank.
  19. nikerret

    nikerret Mr. Awesome

    Mar 29, 2005
    When I came to midnights, the boss told me to come to the office and sleep, if Ineeded to. He didn't want an incident related to a lack of sleep that could be avoided.

    We have one guy who sleeps for a few hours every night; I'm pretty sure. He doesn't even try to hide. His wife requires him to be up all day with the family. She's completely unrealistic and overdemanding. He needs another D, but can't afford it (or losing two mor kids like he did with his first two with his first X). Most days she allows him up to two hours of sleep during the work week.

    I've slept more than I'm proud to admit, but I gave in after some really close calls:

    My worst was falling asleep after the sun came up one morning. I had th cruise control set at 70 MPH on the interstate. The last thing I remember was driving normally. I woke up in the grass median headed for a culvert. I instincively jerked the car back onto the roadway. I doubt I'll ever forget the look on the face of the guy driving the full size, red, Dodge extended cab in the right lane as I landed beside him in the left lane. I got off at the next exit and pulled onto the shoulder. I woke up several minutes later. I'd fallen asleep, again, accidently.

    Another time, I pulled in my driveway to find somehting at the house to help keep me awake. I woke up thirty minutes after I was to be off duty. I'm glad to see that has happened to someone else. I slept a while longer than he did, though.

    I've been so tired I hallucinated a few times.

    We have a policy that we aren't to come to work without proper rest. However, it's not uncommon to only be scheuled eight hours off between twelve hour shifts with a possibility of court in the eight hours. We've been a man or two short (out of five scheduled) since I've come to midnights except for about nine months where we were fully staffed at five. I've been here three years. Now, the brass decided we can work one more less during the second half of our shift on weekends.
  20. RetailNinja


    Jan 31, 2007
    I was 4 hours into a usual shift, watching the usual stop and rob in my usual spot sharpening a buddy's knife in the usual way when I must have nodded off. To this day, I don't know what happened - I was not tired, I was not ill, I wasn't anything other than waiting for the next violation to pull out.

    I wake up to a bright light and find the entire plain clothes drug unit and Sgt all shining their spotlights on me, parked around me. Got a letter in the file for that one.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011