Policing rural America

As we look back on our nation’s history we think of lawmen of the early days, the lone officer riding horseback from town to town either alone or with a small posse to keep the peace. If you work in a rural area you probably feel the same way at times. It can be no fun being out there alone.

As a result we learn our own tricks to keep ourselves out of trouble. Grabbing the microphone on your portable and talking to your imaginary backup in front of your suspect may have kept you from a fight or two. Out of radio range quite a bit? That’s why you have that small voice activated recorder in your shirt pocket, if the worst happens, that “black box” can document quite a bit of information about your last contact.

What about stirring up the gravel a bit as you follow that suspicious car down those dirt roads? It might make it easier for your backup to follow those fresh tracks and find you. There are administrative headaches that can make the job a bit difficult for us also, like working with small town district attorneys and judges or that sheriff who says, “That stuff doesn’t happen here.”

These are all issues worthy of discussion, so please e-mail us your concerns, tips, and questions relating to rural law enforcement and we will create a forum that will help us maintain our tactical edge in this unique environment.

About the author

Patrick (Pat) Novesky has spent most of his life working in a rural environment not only in law enforcement, but also has been employed as a wildland firefighter working several states and as a guide for a hunting outfitter. Pat’s law enforcement background consists of a 20 year career ranging from positions as a sheriff’s deputy, ranger, and police officer holding assignments as intelligence officer and investigator. Pat has also been assigned to two narcotics task forces. Pat has served as a police firearms and Verbal Judo instructor and has been involved with various training for all types of law enforcement & other users of the outdoors and remote areas. The past several years of Pat’s career have been spent working as a conservation officer in Northern Wisconsin. Pat’s goal is to bring a common sense approach to issues that pertain to the rural law enforcement officer. Contact Patrick Novesky

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