CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - You probably have the heat running all day at your job now that winter seems to be creeping in, but what about those who call the outdoors their office?
Some Charlotte Mecklenburg Police officers are never as warm as they would like to be. A lot of them are not bundling up because they say they need to be able to move around to do their job well – and they can’t be tied down by an overly heavy coat.
Fighting crime is a demanding and tough job. Fighting crime in the cold can make that job even harder.
“Yes, had to grab the long sleeve shirt today,” said Officer Charlissa Reiber.
Reiber is a 10-year veteran with the department. She works in the Metro division on Beatties Ford Road. When it starts to get near the 30s, she says there’s a mental block she forces herself to hop over.
“You just have to deal with it, you don’t have an option,” said Reiber.
This weather also means she’s usually sent to handle men and women who call the streets home.
“It’s sad to know that we do have such a large homeless population. The news is all over the gentrification in some of these areas where people are being pushed out and rents are going up,” she continued.
Officer Reiber says sometimes, those people will want to go to the hospital or check themselves into a mental health facility to get out of the cold. There are times she says she’ll see people become so desperate to stay warm, they’ll start committing crimes just to get thrown in jail.
“I haven’t seen it as much lately because the shelters are doing such a good job of getting assistance. When I first came on, there was a lot of that,” said Reiber.
Even though these temperatures can be crippling, it’s your safety these officers are mostly concerned about. According to Officer Reiber, you won’t hear her or her co-workers complain.
“I don’t think people always realize that a lot of officers out here that are out in the field – our goal is to help people,” she said.