Ride Along: What's it like to police post-Baltimore? - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Ride Along: What's it like to police post-Baltimore?

Kyle Strunk (PHOTO: FOX19 NOW/ Ben Katko) Kyle Strunk (PHOTO: FOX19 NOW/ Ben Katko)

As police-community relations become a hotter social issue, officers are under more scrutiny and their jobs are evolving.

"You just never know what you're going to encounter each day,” said Kyle Strunk, a Cincinnati Police Department officer.

Every day, Strunk has a dangerous job to do. It's a job with no script, and no day-to-day plan.

"Are you ever really safe as a police officer when you wear a uniform? Absolutely not,” Strunk said during a ride-along with FOX19 NOW on Monday.

Strunk and officers nationwide are tasked daily with protecting the nation's communities.

Strunk patrols in CPD's District 3 – the busiest in the city so far in 2015, according to department crime statistics. The district sits on the city's westside, and officers there have responded to more than 1,800 total calls for violent crimes and property crimes so far this year.

"Hundreds of thousands of us every single day come to work, and you don't hear about any of the work we do. That's because we do a fantastic job,” Strunk said.

But police work is different these days.

"When one mistake appears to have been made, it seems we're all lumped in together,” said Strunk.

There are plenty examples recently involving police and community relations. More police encounters are being recorded. In Baltimore and South Carolina, cops have been charged with crimes from assault to murder. In Baltimore, riots erupted. In New York City, officers have been gunned down.

“Every time you see a cop being shot nationally, you just kind of look back at what the circumstances were where they were shot, and you just remind yourself every day to be more careful,” Strunk said. "When we encounter bad situations, I think our training gets us through those situations. When it's all said and done, things are handled the right way.”

It's something he's conveying to new officer Takia Smith as he trains her before she starts patrolling on her own.

"When you come out here and actually deal with the people, I feel like the training we went through actually prepared us for what we're going through now,” said Smith.

Firearms and classroom training, as well as decision-making training, are part of the training that Strunk says happens several times throughout the year to ensure that situations officers are met with are handled correctly.

"I do believe the community, for the most part in Cincinnati, they trust us,” said Strunk.

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