COLUMBUS, Ga (WRBL) – It’s no question, the day to day work of law enforcement can be filled with a number of potential dangers. We wanted to get an inside look at what goes on in the city, both good and bad.
Deputy Lori Weitzel was in the medical field for about 20 years before transitioning to becoming a school teacher. After doing that for some years, she then spoke with someone about becoming a police officer. That turned into becoming a Sheriff’s Deputy.
Weitzel has been in law enforcement for several years now. She says it felt like a pull or a calling. “It’s just one of those things. I absolutely love it,” Weitzel says.
It’s second nature now that she jumps into action when calls like a bank robbery come across her radio. “First it’s safety, get there as fast as you can, assess the situation then get in and get in and do what you need to do. In a situation like that, then we need to secure the scene and let the people whose job it is once we secure the scene to continue to support them,” she said.
Because of their shortage, the Sheriff’s Office has been helping the Columbus Police department monitor calls for the last few months. Since October 1st, Sheriff Donna Tompkins employed her deputies to help out fellow law enforcement officers. They have units who are dispatched to answer CPD calls.
“It is definitely a balance.” Deputy Weitzel says she feels her coworkers feel more comfortable now answering 911 calls than before because they didn’t receive them previously.
We rode along with Deputy Weitzel during her day shift. It’s not all crime related though, law enforcement officers are help to anyone in need, especially when someone’s car needs a jump.
Weitzel was in the medical field for about 20 years before transitioning to becoming a school teacher. After doing that for some years, she then spoke with someone about becoming a police officer. That turned into becoming a Sheriff’s deputy.
Deputy Caleb Kiker has been with the Sheriff’s Office for five years now. During this ride-along, he worked the night shift which is 6 p.m to 6 a.m.
Kiker has lived in the Columbus/Phenix City area all of his life. He first wanted to be a firefighter, but eventually changed his mind to become a deputy. He says the reason he joined law enforcement was because there’s never a dull moment.
“There’s always something going on in a county this size.. day or night shift there is always something going on,” Kiker says.
During one of his stops, he conducted a sobriety test. But his anxiety and adrenaline quickly increased as he pulled the car over. “You never know what to expect. They said there’s nothing routine about any traffic stop,” he said.
Kiker explained that although they are there to protect and serve, their main goal is to go home to their families.
Fortunately, for deputies Wietzel and Kiker.. they were able to go home safely to their families.