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While Jacksonville residents are watching TV and retiring for the night there is a lot going on in the streets. The police are out there taking care of business.

But what exactly do cops do while patrolling at night?

You might imagine they run from a murder to a robbery to a burglary.

Or, if you watch the TV show “Cops” you might think they run from drug busts to domestic disputes.

I have ridden with them many times, years ago, and I know they stay busy.

Based on a quick look at actual calls handled by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office over one 12-hour period, disputes – domestic and otherwise – indeed consume a lot of their time.

It isn’t easy sorting them out, however. Of all the calls during the period of 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Aug. 25-26, 50 calls were about “disputes.” Another 22 were “domestic.” which generally is a dispute. But there were another six calls recorded as “domestic disturbance” and four more listed “domestic dispute with assault.”

Then there were 11 calls about “dispute, impaired or intoxicated.” Two more about “armed dispute.”

Clearly, people not getting along with each other takes up a lot of time for the police. Domestic disputes also are dangerous and smart cops are wary when answering them.

There were only two robberies and seven burglaries, two of those from cars and one in a business.

Police handled 21 car crashes, eight of them involving injuries and five being hit-and-runs.

What might be of interest is that the most calls – 126 of the 503 logged – were traffic stops.

Some of these might have been simply writing tickets. But I suspect many were devised stops to check out suspicious characters on the streets at night, just based on the locations.

Another 46 calls involved checking out “suspicious persons” on foot and two about prowlers.

Four calls were about drug investigations. Three about firearms being discharged.

It isn’t all coffee and doughnuts out there on the dark streets of the city.

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Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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