So my buddy/coworker who lives in a seaside Southern California city sees a dude going through unlocked cars in his neighborhood. Buddy calls the guy out. Dude challenges him and flips out a knife.
Well buddy goes "Oh crap, my gun is inside," but does pull his own knife and says "You call that noife?" Kidding, he said "Bring it." Suspect beat feet. Buddy is already dialing 911.
Anyhow a captain from craptown PD calls him up and "blah blah blah" next time just be a good witness. Sound advice to avoid a knife fight, right? But on the other hand, he does have a moral responsibility to say something as well as (one could argue) a duty to.
Also, my buddy was hoping an officer was in the area (but no, probably dealing with a raving homeless derelict or booking a drug addict into jail for 11550 for the 347th time this week).
Other buddy agrees, however, his attitude is...much saltier. Essentially: "Captain, I respect you but you don't know more than me so save your energy and unf--k your state so citizens don't have to step in AND THEN get a lecture about civilians/off-duty dealing with mass low-level crime."
I posted on Twitter about the importance of knowing your local police patrol beats. While this is more of a SHTF kinda thing, it's beneficial to know for general scanner monitoring or having an idea of how many cops are covering your area. It's also an excuse to post about Ventura County Sheriff's Office beats, so why not?
Most of this information in each state is public information. I pulled this PDF off the public website some years ago. I presume it's still there. If not, a public records request or even a polite email to Crime Analysis can probably get one for you. These beat maps don't change much.
Note this applies only to VCSO, but systems are somewhat similar in the local cities.
So the beats correspond to patrol call signs. Number (east/west county patrol), Letter (beat), 1 or 2 (shift, 1 is day/2 dawn), number (beat number). So 9A21 would be TO patrol, Adam beat, dawn shift, car #1.
3 West County
4 East County
5 (call signs only) Special Services/detectives/SA
7 (call signs only) Custody/Special Services
9 Thousand Oaks
10 not used
11 Todd Road transportation
VCSO beat maps PDF
Support my work, buy my books! These books talk about policing Ventura County.
Note: this an adaptation from my non-fiction book Suburban Warfare: A cop's guide to surviving a civil war, SHTF, or modern urban combat, available on Amazon.