Berkeley Police ride-along, April 5-6, 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Just before 3 p.m., a resident spotted a man jumping over a fence, and police responded. Police also received a report about a robbery nearby in the 2600 block of Etna Street. Police took the man pictured here into custody; witnesses came by this intersection to see if they could identify him.

What does a 12-hour shift with the Berkeley Police Department look like? If you ask officers, they’ll likely tell you there’s no such thing as normal. Berkeleyside took a close-up look over the weekend, via a ride-along from 2 p.m. Friday until 2 a.m. Saturday. Officer Jennifer Coats, police spokeswoman, was our guide. Throughout the shift, calls ranged from domestic violence reports and mental health calls to robberies, with much of the activity late in the night focusing on alcohol-related incidents around Telegraph Avenue. (Photos by Emilie Raguso)

A call came in at 3:55 p.m. about a man sleeping under a dumpster across from Jimmy Bean’s in the 1200 block of Sixth Street in West Berkeley. Officer Jennifer Coats woke him up to determine whether he was able to take care of himself. Officers often wear gloves for protection when they come into close contact with members of the public during calls.
Coats looks down at a man (out of frame) reported to be drunk in public on Sixth Street. She tried to encourage him to move along on his own, but he was unable to do so.
Police ultimately took the man into custody for a warrant out of San Francisco.
Coats puts the man on Sixth Street into the back of her police cruiser to take him down to the station for booking.
A traffic stop on University and Bonita avenues at 7:40 p.m. The driver ran a red light, but Coats ended up writing him a “fix-it ticket” for a broken tail light instead.
At 8:45 p.m., police responded to a report of possible alcohol poisoning at Ridge House in the 2400 block of Ridge Road. The Berkeley Fire Department also responded, and determined that the girl would be all right.
A man with a gun robbed Dollar Tree, in the 1200 block of San Pablo Avenue, just before 9:40 p.m. No one was injured, but employees were shaken up and emotional. The man fled before police arrived. From upper left: (1) An officer takes a witness statement. Officers split up witnesses to ensure accuracy in statement collection. (2) An officer walks out of the Dollar Tree during the investigation. (3) Several officers talk during the call. (4) Coats takes a witness statement.
Police finish up the robbery call at Dollar Tree.
By about 1 a.m., much of the activity in the city was happening around Telegraph Avenue. Police responded to a man screaming at security staff outside Pappy’s, in the 2300 block of Telegraph Avenue.
Pappy’s employees threw this man out after he was reported to have caused a disturbance. Police detained him briefly but ultimately sent him on his way after he calmed down.
An officer keeps an eye on the crowds and traffic as students head home after the Cal women’s basketball game.
The Telegraph Avenue scene. Clockwise from upper left: (1) The crowd outside Pappy’s just before 2 a.m. (2) A police cruiser parked southbound on Telegraph to respond to a call quickly. (3) Fat Slice is a popular late-night destination. (4) A student mugs for the camera.
As we headed back to the station to sign off for the night, the somewhat rare sight of a huge stuffed duck in the back of a mint-condition yellow Pacer seemed like a fitting end to the shift.

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Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist...