When weather reports warn of an major snowstorm, many people stock up on supplies, hunker down and watch the snowflakes fall and accumulate. While schools may close their doors, and businesses may tell their employees to work from home, police officers cannot take the day off.
Those who hold law enforcement jobs in areas that tend to get a lot of winter storms are no doubt aware of all the trouble falling snow can bring. Whether motorists are skidding into one another on slick roadways, or criminals are choosing to engage in illegal activity in blizzard conditions, cops have their work cut out for them when wintry weather strikes.
However, there are also several cases in which freshly fallen snow can actually help law enforcement do their job, rather than hinder it.
For example, a construction site in Lehi, Utah, was recently the location of an attempted robbery, KSL TV reported. While patrolling the site, Sgt. Kenny Rose of the Lehi Police Department stumbled upon a parked vehicle and footprints in the snow at 2 a.m. in the morning. Rose followed the footprints until he came upon two men he suspected of criminal behavior. Rather than surrendering, they made a run for it.
A chase followed that lasted for 30 to 45 minutes. As parts of it took officers and the suspects through three feet of snow, all parties involved were exhausted. In fact, the deep snow tired out the suspects so much that they were willing to surrender.
Just as footprints led Rose to criminal activity, they can also help skilled police officers track down burglars who are not smart enough to cover their tracks. This was the case in Bristol Township, Pennsylvania, where a burglar recently tried to get away with robbing his neighbor’s home, the Courier Times reported.
When police arrived at the scene of the crime, they discovered a set of footprints that led from the side of the home to its front door. There was an additional set of footprints that began at the house’s rear door and continued for several blocks. This is exactly where police nabbed their suspect, who allegedly confessed to breaking into the home.
If anything, these two examples show that police need to possess the knowledge and skills necessary to think on their feet and sometimes use unconventional methods to solve a case – each of which they may be able to acquire through law enforcement training.