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  1. #1
    TheFuture's Avatar
    TheFuture is offline Cadet
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    Best Way to Learn Street Names

    I have always wondered how an officer learns all the street names so fast. Usually an officer would only spend around 12 weeks with an FTO and then there on their own. I know that is not enough time, especially in a bigger city/county. What tricks do you use when your working street patrol. Any games that you can play?

    I am applying for a CSO position in my town and any trick someone has that I could use might be helpful. Community Service officer is just a position until i graduate then become a real officer. Thanks for anyones help.

  2. #2
    K9 Police is offline Bite and Hold Moderator
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    May sound way too easy, but just look at the street sign everytime you turn onto a street. If you do this repeatedly, you will soon know the street witout every looking at the street sign. Start with knowing the major highways, streets, thoroughfares so that you can get from one area to the next in a short amount of time. From that start memorizing the major streets in subdivisions, around businesses, etc. You can go even further to the small side streets, dead ends, courts, etc. from the bigger streets. That is how I learned my area the quickest. You spend a lot of time during training driving around. The FTO knows all the streets, but your the one that has to give the correct answer when he says, "Shots fired, where are you?" Asking your location by the FTO happens a lot when you are just driving around normally.

    In FTO training it was more important to know where you are going and getting there, then taking a guess at where you are going. I would routinely stop the squad, take out the map to know exactly where I am going, then take off. Better than pretending you know where you are going and never getting there. I still take out the map when I don't know where I am going, usually one of the dead end streets or courts.

    Then you have some cities like Kenosha where most (if not all, Kenoshacop will correct me) streets are numbered. I went into Kenosha to find a store, never been in Kenosha before, and found it easily without a map. Unlike my area where there are acutal street names in no particular order.

    K9

  3. #3
    ATF SAC's Avatar
    ATF SAC is offline The Moderate Moderator
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    Narrow it down. Is your location on a grid pattern and does that help you locate. what are the key exceptions. Always note nearest intersection. Learn the conventions of numbering houses (north and east odd, west and south even?). How does numbering run, up and down from midtown or across the city map from S to N and E to W or vice versa. Pretty soon you can consume major chunks by knowing the 3000 blocks are always north of Main and east of Central. Grab some landmarks. (GA folks in the Atlanta area know where the Big Chicken is).

    Years ago, my old department merged some areas and moved what had been the second precinct into the first. One of my pards took a call and the dispatcher asked his location. He said "Beats me, but there is a Waffle House and some guy dressed up like Dracula." First precinct officers responded directly to it, some landmarks are human (well, we hope).
    ret.

  4. #4
    kenoshacop's Avatar
    kenoshacop is offline the K9 handling moderator
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    I agree with what everyone else says. As an FTO, I always tell the new deputies to use your map! I've been on the job almost 9 years, and if I'm not positive on how to get to a call, I check my map. If you have the time on your days off, take your hot sheet(or whatever your dept. calls it), and drive around to the different addresses listed on it.

    K9 is right though. I do have it pretty easy in Kenosha. The whole county (except for 2 villages that have their own pd's), is set up on a grid system. 99% of the roads are numbered, and run in sequential order from one side of the county to the other. Those that are named are that way because they don't run in a straight line, but will always intersect with either a street, place, avenue or court. The street's and places run east and west and start at 1st street at the north county line and go to 128th st at the state line. Avenue's and court's run north and south and start at 1st ave on Lake Michigan and end at 408th ave at the west county line.

    -Kenoshacop

  5. #5
    ATF SAC's Avatar
    ATF SAC is offline The Moderate Moderator
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    Hell, years ago cut out a city map and glued to one side of a piece of cardboard with street locater glued to the other. Today, I would put it all on my PDA and ask dispatch for the GPS coordinates.
    ret.

  6. #6
    gbcop is offline Sergeant
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    At my PD we have a "cheat sheet". Granted I've lived in my city all my life, I KNEW where all the dead ends where... How to get to point A to point B, but I didn't know the names. Then I was given a "Cheat Sheet" of the streets. But in order to use it, you have to know the major cross streets.

    But once you get cut loose, your not going to be expected to know all of the streets, but you better know them pretty good after a year. Just takes time...

  7. #7
    spyder007 Guest
    The easiest way is to just get out there and drive the area. That way you will become familiar with it, and know the areas.

  8. #8
    CGtoCop Guest
    I still like to repeat where I am and where I'm heading...when you come to a corner, repeat to yourself or out loud if you're alone, the name of the street you were on and the street you are turning onto.....State Street turing onto 3rd Ave...3rd Ave turning onto Ritter Ave and so on....

  9. #9
    kels is offline Officer
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    Learn the big streets first.

    If you have time when you start a new job, drive around your
    town/county off duty. You can see a lot in a hour a day.

    Everyone's patrol vehicle should have a set of maps.
    Mine has the following maps, county, the the four towns,
    tornado spotter locations and roadblock locations.

    The odd streets and roads usually get learned the hard way.
    If someone is in a chase, remind them of the T-intersections and bad curves.

    If you work in town, try to learn 2 streets a day.
    In a month you will know 60 streets.
    Drive them so they have meaning, not just a name.

    Worse comes to worse, ask the dispatcher. DUH
    They usually have better maps than you do.......................

  10. #10
    Joe159's Avatar
    Joe159 is offline Moderator
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    One of the things that really helped me was driving around my beat during my off time. And always have a detailed map of your patrol area.

  11. #11
    wannabecop Guest
    The city where I will be applying for is quite large, but I have lived there my entire life. I know the streets pretty good, but there is one thing I am doing to prepare.

    I have a police scanner. I listen to it CONSTANTLY. I also bought a really good map of the city, and I listen to the scanner, and I follow along on the map to the different calls, figuring out the best way to go to the call.

  12. #12
    gbcop is offline Sergeant
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    Originally posted by wannabecop
    The city where I will be applying for is quite large, but I have lived there my entire life. I know the streets pretty good, but there is one thing I am doing to prepare.

    I have a police scanner. I listen to it CONSTANTLY. I also bought a really good map of the city, and I listen to the scanner, and I follow along on the map to the different calls, figuring out the best way to go to the call.
    Just a word to the wise, and I'm not accusing you of anything... But don't start driving by call's.... Because eventually they will notice and you'll get a reputation before you even enter the profession.

  13. #13
    vc10851 Guest
    "gbcop"-I re-read "iwannabe"'s post and I think he said that he follows on the map...not actually drives to the calls (lets hope that I am correct).

    "thefuture">>>What I did was write down the names of the major north/south streets in my city in the order they appear from east to west. I then took the first letter of each street and memorized it to help me recall the street name...example:

    Pine Ave
    Chestnut Ave
    Pacific Ave
    etc...

    Would=PCP...etc

    If you memorize the first letters in groups, you can do a little at a time.

    I would repeat the process for the east/west streets.

    Of course this would probaly only work well in an urban city like the one I work in.

    Good Luck!

  14. #14
    nyfo Guest
    Cross streets, get to know the "main roads" and get a cross street reference for your area. It will give you a cross of a main street and road to bounce off of that.

  15. #15
    Raven231's Avatar
    Raven231 is offline Rookie
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    As a FTO I make a point out of consatantly asking a trainee where they are at while we are driving, and if they miss it they get marked down. It makes them constatnly aware of where they are at for traffic stops, in progress crimes and geography. After a while I back off but they know when I ask they had better know.

    Suggestion is to think if I were to make a stop right here where am I? or if I was just injured or god forbid shot where am I so I can get help.


    Raven231


 
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