In this episode I interview Washington DC officer Caroline Miller. Caroline has only been on the road for 6 months and has already been to her fair share of hair raising calls. Caroline shares some intense moments with us and also gives some really great advice to young woman looking to get into police work.
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this is things police see first Annacomes with your host Steve gold hey guyswelcome to the podcast in this interviewI talked with a DC cop who’s been on thejob under a year she’s already seen somesome really crazy stuff in her shorttime there god only knows the story shewill accumulate from a career in thismajor city we also touch on the media alittle bit and how they are reportingcan affect your job as a police officerespecially when you’re dealing with thepublic and at the end Carolina is someto some really great advice for womenlooking to get into law enforcement andsome just some pointers on the themindset you should have that will reallyhelp you out being successful in thiscareer as a female so I hope you enjoyit I know I did it was really funwithout further ado here’s my interviewwith my friend Caroline I’m here withCaroline Miller I’ve known Caroline forhow many years Caroline would you sayten oh yeah a long time now it was Iknew you when you were a teenager maybelike 15 16 years old and my wife taughtCaroline horseback riding instructionsso I would see you once a while at thebarn and then a few times I got the dutyof towing the horses to a horse show andCaroline was there and one remember onetime specifically you guys had me holdthe reins of a horse I thought I wasgonna die I was terrified and so fromthere we got to know you more and as youas you get older you can carry kind ofwent from a student teacher to friendsyou guys became friends and you down theroad you helped us with our kids a fewtimes and I think it was like in yourlate teens that you knew you wanted tobe a police officer I rememberspecifically Carrie telling me that andthen you coming to the house to babysitfor us and me saying you want to be apolice officer and you’re like yep I dospecifically no one in my family wantsto be a cop like everyone asked me allthe time likewhy’d you wanna become a cop I honestlyhave no idea and it was specific you’relike I would like to be a detective andI could tell by the way you said it thatyou were like dead serious you had yourmind set and which is really cool andrare I mean I went through collegegraduating I was twenty-two kind ofdidn’t know I didn’t know I had aInklings maybe I wanted to do that butlike I wouldn’t insurance for a whilelike I didn’t know I won’t be a policeofficer but you knew in your late teensand I thought that was so cool and thendown the road a little further you gotinto college and you told us hey I’mdoing an internship with Washington DChomicide and when you told me that I waslike wow if there’s if there was ever away to see if you really want to join abig city police department it would betagging along with the homicide for sureright and that’s still like my anglelike I know I’ve always told you like Iwant to be a detective but like afterthat internship like it was confirmedlike that’s my angle like homicide DChomicide detective for sure hands downthat’s awesomeI have a few interviews coming up withsome LAPD homicide guys so I’m sure I’msure you’ll like those but that’s that’sreally cool you did the internship andyou still wanted to do it after that andthen after that I was convinced I’m likeoh this is this is for sure what shewants to do and before I knew itI’m seeing a Facebook post that yougraduated from the police academy so soawesome my hat’s off to youcongratulationsyeah just really really cool and I willsay that when I was a police officer youcame to my station and interviewed mefor a college paper and I if I’m correctme if I’m wrong here but you got a goodgrade in that class graduated collegebecame a police officer because of a bigpart of it I’d say did you do well inthat paper of course all right that’sgood to hear so the DC Police Academythat is an academy that is is it five orsix months is that the deal six monthsokay was it sleepover Academy no it wasit was 6:00 in the morning till 3:00 inthe afternoon come home thank God goright back yep that was my nightmarewhenMassachusetts open this the policeacademy run by the state police and theywere like well whichever class opensfirst one of them is run by the StatePolice and you sleep there and the otherones in Plymouth you can go home I waslike oh please God don’t make me sleepin new Braintree with the troopers to beterribleso I lucked out all right Caroline canyou tell us as a new officer about thethe first time you responded to what inthe police world they would call a hotcall like a a call that got youradrenaline going okay so this was myvery very first day on the streetsstraight out of the Academy and with myFTO with field training officer and wegot a call for an active shooter atHoward University so we go and of courseevery single police officer in the cityis going and reports there’s a ton ofpolice agencies in DC right now right soobviously DC is like the police capitalof the world I think it was onlyMetropolitan Police that respondedthough and then Howard secure or Howardpolice has their own forces well so wego like all the assistant Chiefs show upchief of police is there and I rememberbeing one of the first ones there and myFTO was like well we got to go in and weheard we didn’t hear any shots fired butpeople were saying yep we heard someshots fired so we go in first building Ithink there was four of us we joined upas like a four-man team and we had to goin and it was like a big academicbuilding we went in cleared every singleroom and like in the back of my mind youknow like this is crazy like it’s myfirst day I mean so we cleared thebuilding and they called ERT which islike emergency response team it’sbasically like DC SWAT so then they comein and do like another sweep and k9 doesanother sweep and it turns out to benothing found but like still like thatadrenaline you go in you hear people sayyep shots fired like you’re expectingyou’re expecting it to go down in thereyeah but nothing went down figure outwhat the end result was I think it wasjust like a bogus call or something orsome girl was like having a dispute withher boyfriend or I don’t know it wasdomestic in nature but there was never ashooting I mean those calls have reallyobviously changed over the last decadewhere now you get a call like that inmajor city and I’m sure like you said inyour mind you’re thinking this could betotally legit like there’s there’s agood chance this isn’t a false alarmright like it was very very realisticlike Howard University I mean theshootings are more and more relevantI guess now in the United States yeahyeah it was like an oh shit moment wherethis is this is a real career yeah andyou’re when you’re going through thereand you’re assumed you guys are informedup in some kind of diamond door you’reyou’re doing your best at clearingawkward spaces as a group of four rightyeah so there was three in the front soIoh god that’s the worst yeah so my FTOand two other guys they had the frontand the sides and I mean it was justlike you have to revert back to likewhat they teach you in the Academy likewe had like tons of active shootertraining like we have a big warehousewhere all we do is trills and drills anddrills assuming I say it yeah exactlyokay it just goes to show you like whatyou learn in the academy like that’sreal stuff yeah that um and that theyalways say that you revert to yourtraining and so people know the rearguard position like as I sufferedthrough that many a simunition scenariois really toughyou’re responsible of the safety thewhole group of funny oh and you’rewalking backwards with your gun out soyou’re either holding onto somebody’sbelt or you’re trying to keep track whatthe groups doing at the same time makingsure their six is safe it’s it’s it’sexhausting a bit after that call youwere exhaustedright like my right arm like my weaponhand my strong hand was like shakingyeah just from like pure adrenaline andhaving it like be held up for so longlike yeah it kind of gives it gives anew different perspective on people whoare like well I think you should shootthem in the arm with adrenaline coursingthrough your veinsyou’re like you should be like AnnieOakleyshoot him shoot him in the leg that’s nothat’s that’s a freaky experienceabsolutely Caroline can you tell usabout a humorous call or something funnythat you responded to and you’re in your6 months so far alright something funnyso this wasn’t like a call that Iresponded to but it kind of happenedbecause I got a call so I got a call outof McDonald’s like a normal disorderlycall and I go outside and there’s thisdog tied to a post cute little pit bulland it’s like about to like break awayfrom its leash and so it’s very verysweet but just like a little scared sowe’re trying to get it’s like not breakout of its leash and run off so we callanimal control but in the meantime we goin and buy it like a dozen Nuggets likeMcDonald Nuggets and so that’s how wekind of made friends with the dog justfeeding it chicken nuggets that’s howyou make friends of me so I mean mostpeople realize hey I’m a I’m a person sogive me some buckets coming in andtaking the dog but we all nicknamed himnugget so we were there was like a fullline of people waiting to adopt nuggetbut he had gotten claims so no nuggetfor him but every time like we still seehim like walking with his owner orwhatever the person that adopted him andwe’re like a nugget how are you chickennuggets um does he remember youabsolutely not okayonly the chicken nuggets got youCaroline can you tell us about the mostintense call you’ve experienced thus farin your police career the most intensecall um so this was right after I gotout of training so I’m by myself we call99 I’m riding around 99 and WashingtonDC has gunshot detectors they’re calledshot spotter are those accurate doesthose work out for you or they it’scause problem they do more better thanharm sometimes they’re not totallyaccuratelocation but then other times they arespot-on okayso overall they’re they’re pretty goodso someone is down at likecommunications like what the dispatcheris and their job is just to like watchshot spotter and so alert us when theyget something so I remember drivingaround I’m just coming off a call and Ihear on the radio like shot spotter wehave I think it was six runs or sixrounds detective detected and six 700block of Fairmont so I’m like oh that’smy PSA let me go to that I’m gonna bedispatched anyway so I go there unitsare flying in and then there’s these twogunshot victims and then all the streamso right so we are issued they’rebasically like first day kids are calledtech kits and so I grabbed mine peoplestart roping off the block with crimescene tape and this one guys shot likeblank in the chest and then this otherlady is shot in the back and her thighso we immediately start doing like firstday we start getting um bandaged upstuff like that and is there is thereblood is it like that bright red bloodeverywhereyeah like the kind of like red that isonly like blood like the deepest red youwill ever see yeah and my so I starteddoing first date on them and then mypartner’s had to go and clear an alleyand we collected all these shell casingsand stuff like that and then so they gethim off to the hospital and then we findthe gunwell not the gun but this guy one of thevictims had a gun in this backpack so wethink it was probably like a robberygone bad kind of thing like this guytried to rob rob another guy with his BBgun another guy had a real gun mmm yeahjust robbery gone bad we think that waslike the first time that I was like ohthis is me like this is in the movieslike this is mine yeah isn’t it crazythose moments with like gore and stuffis like it’s like it’s not real it’slike you’re wow this is this isthis is bizarre right responding to thatyour first six months – job is that isnuts thank you for sharing that that’sthat’s crazy I gotta ask you sinceyou’re on the job now how how does theway the media report on police right nowkind of there the media has always beensensationalthey’re always looking to sell papers orget clicks or whatever but a lot oftimes the it’s at the expense of thepolice how is that affecting you on thestreet how are people are peopletreating you poorly because of thethings they’re interpreting they’re notreally researching these reports by inthe media and they’re just kinda theyjust making judgment calls on you areyou dealing with that on the daily basisyes so the people on the street theygenerally hate us so it’s interestinglike my district it’s about like halfpublic housing have very wealthy peopleso the very wealthy people like theycall us for little things and that’scool like will come we’ll come check outyour house if there’s an alarm going onwe have no problem doing that andthey’re typically pretty friendlythey’re very appreciative but then yougo into some of these public housingareas where you don’t get a lot of callsper se it’s a lot of like self-initiatedokay because now no one in there isgonna call the police they’re notwanting to environment in exactly rightso it’s a lot of self-initiated thing sothat’s like all they see is us coming intaking their boy away locking them up sodo you have any nicknames that they liketo call you oh you must laugh whenpeople say that to you okay because I’mlike oh hey Josh my like oh how are youtoday and they hate thatyeah killing killed with kindness theonly way exactly but yeah we pull in andthey’re like fuck the 12:00 stuff likethat they’ve like gotten in my face acouple of times just like recordingbeing like oh you always come in hereyou sit here you’re stalking me I’mgonna make a complaint I’m likelike we have body cameras you have theright to complain all you want I’m justI’m just patrolling right now like yeahthey hate us and then when we go to lockone person up like the whole block comesout they’re getting all of our faces andphones are up recording phones are outI’ve made WorldStarHipHop so many timesyour star I’m a starWow Wowthat is interesting I have to ask yousince you’ve you’ve had a like everybodydoes a long journey to getting gettingfree of training and being on your ownthe car and really going to police callsis it how you thought it would be um yesand no I feel like being in DC DC is aninteresting City absolutely it’s prettyliberal so we’re not gonna be like Ihate to say it like those hard hitterslike I’m sure there are in LA like wecan’t go out and like serve like allthese crazy search warrants like asofficers like we have like specializedunits that do that yeah they’re pretty Imean they’re pretty hard on the PD hereas well at the very liberal City and butDC is I mean it’s like no other city inthe country cuz you’re you don’t haveyou don’t even have a state you’reyou’re the capital of the nation sothat’s kind of a weird thing in ofitself so you’re when you’re chargingpeople like the DC cases I’ve seen islike so-and-so verse the US it’s noteven right it’s really yeah it’s reallykind of interesting but it’s alsointeresting so we lock someone up and itcan be for like a gun charge they’re outthe next day they just get a court dateand that’s like the frustrating partlike you lock someone up for likesomething big and you see in the nextday and it’s like you do a double-takelike did you escape no you just gotreleased yeah it’s interestingfederal law is weird like that we had onthe National Park race to work you knowin East him and those Rangers would getlike a no UI or they get a car from thecity visiting withdrugs and they would arrest him and bookthem at our station and it doesn’tmatter what the charge was they wouldwalk out the front door a couple hourslater exact there was no holding themfor Court and they actually to show youhow strange it was do you know wherethey held federal hearings in on CapeCod it was like in this weird old dustyroom of the Hyannis post office so theFederal Magistrates would come there andslap on their powdered wigs and takecare of business so that I alwaysthought that was so weird because youthink the federal government you thinkjust all encompassing power they’re notyou know they’re you know you I againsta federal charge for that you’d be injail for ten years right at all so likewe have like certain kinds of likeoffenses where like as soon as like theofficer processes the arrest you’re heldlike at our station and then you get togo you get your property back and youleave but then like the felonies andstuff and domestic violence like yourhealth and you have to go like downtownto the it’s called central cellblockwhich is underneath Superior Court sothey go down there and then they see ajudge in the morning and depending ontheir history three they’re held orreleased and most of the time they’rereleased like it’s so crazy like you’llbe so certain like oh I know this guyhas all these pending charges he’sdefinitely gonna be locked up and yousee him the next day it’s wild I’ve onlyso I’ve had like a ton of arrests somebig felony arrests and I’ve only had togo to one detention hearing which is youbasically tell the judge what happenedand the judge decides if they’re heldlonger are released and this guy wasreleased like this is a bad dude like Ilocked him up for it’s so screwed up hesaid he was going to kill his baby mamaand her new boyfriend’s kidnapped theirchild in common and then leave her otherchild in the house with their deadbodies Ohso yeah widget he’s a nice guy soundsgood dude yeahso I locked him up for felony threatsamong other things that day and she washeld for like a week I went andtestified and the judge is like yeah allright we’ll just let him go on GPS I’mlike okay waste of mine yeah that’s Imean sadly that is the case in a lot ofa lot of the states right now and youknow Matt and Yarmouth they’re justknobs are killed during a search of ahouse that k-9 officer Shawn Gannon waskilled by a guy that he actually hadtestified in court against the yearbefore for several felonies and the guywas out walking the street yeah and thenultimately killing him which it’s it’s aterrible thing but it’s created somereal ripples in Massachusetts and a lotof even the state reps and Senators andstuff are talking about getting a littlestricter so yeah that’s a tough thing todeal with tonightI guess all you can do really it’s justlike I’m just gonna do your job andwhatever happens on the other end rightand it shouldn’t have to take like anofficer literally getting murdered incold blood for legislators step oh maybewe should be stricter on like it’shappening everywhere no I totally agreeI mean we had we had a case our courtOrleans district court had a case acouple years ago where this guy wasrepeatedly threatening to kill a localpolice officer he for some reason thispolice officer transported him to thehouse collection and didn’t help wasn’tan arresting officer didn’t have muchinteraction but it got into this guy’shead that it was this guy’s fault hestarted writing them those letters -dropping letters off in his mailbox I’mgonna clear whole family to the pointwhere he had installed security systemsthe local PD had to have officerspatrolling it was really insane and theykept letting the guy go but listen tothis they get the guy in court for thefinal time and he charges the judgesbench and tells the judge he’s gonnakill him oh do you think he went to jailyeah he went to jail them immediatelybecause he threatened the judge so thatthat was a little bit like come onthis cops been tortured for the lasteight months his family wipe almost lefthim and you know say the wrong thing toa judge now you’re you’re locked away sothose are the frustrations what can yousay right Caroline I have to ask you doyou have any advice for young womenlooking to join the police departmentbecause that’s one of the reasonsbesides you being great I want to haveyou on the podcast was because thereisn’t a lot of females in lawenforcement there just isn’t I meanthere’s more than there was thirty yearsagobut still there’s not many like when Istarted compiling a list of people tointerview the dudes stacked right up Icould find people but there’s just notthat many women doing the job so wedefinitely want to encourage any womenwho are interested to get into it and isthere any advice you would give someonewho’s listening right now and it’snervous about doing it nervous about thepolice academy has some has someconcerns the only advice I would have isdefinitely make some friends withfemales like my best friend I met her inthe police academy she came to the samedistrict as me we’re still very veryclose you have to go out like you haveto just go out forget about police workfor a little bit but you also have tohave friends out like you work with thatcan you that you can go out with justcause like you see some crazy thingsabsolutely sometimes you just like needto vent and then just not talk aboutwork at all sure um and I feel like Idon’t know like you gotta have someonethat you can relate to on the job andit’s sometimes it’s so hard to relate tothe guys of course I mean there’s nothey can’t relate to you the reality isis police police jobs are it’s a boysclub it’s mostly men so it’s a challengeyou guys have to face right and ofcourse with it being a boys club comesother issues and I feel like it’s soeasy for female police officers to beintimidated by their co-workers a lot oftimes like the guy was like alwayshaving the back of their minds like likeyou can’t be as tough you can’t be asphysical like hands-on as men but it’sso not true yeah sometimes you can’t runas fast or lift as much as them whatfemales have is like the verbal judothat I feel like sometimes men lackabsolutely absolutely like we can besympathetic like you go into a domesticsituation right away I’ll take thefemale hey girl I got you what happenedcome talk to me you took the words rightout of my mouth I saw that I worked withtwo females I keep calling them femalestwo women where I worked and that exactthing happened over and over where asituation can be defused verbally orwith the wrong attitude can become areal problem or a fight and women havean intuition that really is usefulthey’re absolutely right and I feel likeso guys like they can be as tough asthey want but they’re never gonna beable to talk to a female and deescalateher like a female can don’t get me wronglike sometimes they can like sweettalker but like they’re never gonna havelike that like mutual like instinctualconnection so I feel like some advice Iwould have like no matter howdiscouraged like your coworkers can getyou always like have it in the back ofyour mind like you have thatintellectual like the verbal judo thatsome men can lock that’s awesome I lovethat verbal judo and that’s and it’svery true and in when it comes down tothe physicalities of police work womenmaybe you just go to your tools quickeryou know you don’t have the strength ina certain situation you go to ause-of-force faster and that’s totallyacceptableit’s totally justified I was alwaystaught in the Academy like we’re goingthrough like defensive tactics like wewould do it like practice like on eachother and and I would always be likeagain I’m pretty little I would alwaysbe like paired up with a classmate whoby default was probably twice my sizeand I always remember my instructorsbeing like if you’re ever in thissituation where he’s on top of youyou’re notI’m gonna use your hands like it’stotally justified to pull something offyour about and go for it like okay guyhe could put up like a little bit of afight first but it would totally bejustified absolutely as long as it’sreasonable you know absolutely so it’syou can you can level the playing fieldright thereCaroline thank you so much for coming onyou were really fun to interview andit’s so great to get a woman’sperspective on police work it soundslike you’re kicking ass out there inWashington DC so I’m really happy tohear that and I really appreciate you toset aside the time it was my pleasurethank you for the invite guys thank youfor checking out the podcast if you’vebeen enjoying the podcast and you wantto show some support it would be reallyawesome if you subscribed rated inreviewed in iTunes that really helps theshow out and I appreciate it if you wantto reach the show or if you would liketo be a guest if you’re a lawenforcement officer active or retiredthat has some stories you’d like toshare go ahead and email me at thingspolice C at gmail.comthat’s things please see at gmail.comand that’s also in the show notes soonce again thank you for listening andI’ll catch you next time