Behind the scenes: Night shift as a CPSO Deputy

CPSO Ride-along
Law enforcement agencies are designed to protect and serve the community, and that's been the idea of the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office for decades.
But what does the title sheriff's deputy entail? Here's a glimpse into a night shift with Deputy Phil Middleton.
He's a ten year law enforcement veteran. But Deputy Middleton is fairly new to the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office.

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - "It's a very stressful job," said Deputy Middleton.

And the situation is always different.

"From one call to the next, from one day to the next, you never know what you're walking into, whether it's going to be a good situation or a bad situation," said Deputy Middleton.

Saturday night started off of the wrong foot.

"I want you to just write down in your words," said Deputy Middleton to a victim. "Don't add anything to it. Don't take anything away,  just the truth, of what took place."

A domestic complaint came in just as the night started.

"She's given us a written statement that you threatened her with a box cutter this evening," Deputy Middleton told the suspect.

And about an hour later, one person would find himself dressed an orange jump suit, charged with aggravated assault, domestic battery and drug possession. As a former narcotics officer, Deputy Middleton takes pride in getting drugs of the street.

"One of the difficult things is dealing with the public when you're just trying to do your job," he said. "You're trying to do the job the best you can, and they don't understand. Maybe they become angry or aggravated because of your presence there. In all reality, all you're trying to do is do what's right, trying to make a fair and impartial decision on the information that you're given at that time."

As a Crime Deterrent Unit, Deputy Middleton continued the night with standard patrol and traffic stops.

Even parenting skills are used. Deputy Middleton stopped two juveniles, hours after the 11 o'clock curfew, miles away from their homes. He says that's all part of the job.

"Another misconception that the public has sometimes is that we're here to punish people," said Deputy Middleton. "That's not true at all. When you arrest someone that has committed a felony, and they've been convicted of their crime, whether it be burglary or a violent crime, narcotics dealer, or whatever it might be. It's not about necessarily punishing them, it's about protecting the citizens."

Whether you're simply encouraging someone is distress or in a life or death situation, it can happen within minutes in the line of law enforcement.

Deputy Middleton said Saturday ended as a surprisingly slow night, especially compared to Friday when his night shift made over 20 combined arrests.

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