Walking in their shoes

The Cynic took a look at what it’s like on the other side of the law, and things may not be as bad as students make them out to be. Officer Bob Bailey and narcotics dog Dozer spent April 16 driving around campus from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. discussing his opinion of college students after four years of being a police officer. “I think I can speak for most of my colleagues when I say that none of us hate college students, we appreciate them,” Bailey said. “We just don’t like it when they don’t appreciate us or fully understand what we are trying to do.” He said he knows that there are more important things than busting a dorm room party with a couple of beers, but it has to be done. “I have a responsibility and [busting that party] could be the difference in someone getting into a serious fight or having to spend the night in Act 1,” Bailey said. Detective Brandon King joined him to conduct rounds on Trinity Campus around 11 p.m. Bailey had enough probable cause to knock on the door of one resident’s room because he heard one student saying he only had six drinks left. As he and King collected 12 beers from the nine students in the room, one student said he was not a huge fan of cops. Students stated their negative views on cops but Bailey did not get upset. Instead joked around with them. Soon, the students started discussing topics of interest they shared with him. “I pride myself in having things in common with the students,” Bailey said. “It makes you seem more human and puts them at ease.” Bailey said he’s happier dumping those 12 beers down the drain than ruining someone’s night by having to write them up. “I don’t like to bust all nine people for 12 beers, so I try to ask whose it is so not everyone has to get into trouble,” he said. Bailey pulled over two students for making an illegal left turn into the Harris Millis parking lot, yet he said this was not his primary purpose in stopping the car. “On a Friday night in Burlington, it’s all about looking for something more,” Bailey said. “The driver could be drunk out of his mind or have something illegal in the car, and this is the only way I can find out.” Around 1 a.m., Bailey followed a car that sped around the corner of Summit Street, nearly clipped a parked car and skidded across the street in a cloud of smoke. The student driving failed all the standard drunk tests that Bailey had him perform, such as walking in a straight line. The student was taken into custody and questioned at the police station. Bailey said he was not happy about making the arrest or the filling out the necessary paperwork that goes along with it. However, he said that he would prefer to deal with students than the greater Burlington community, where students are prey to theft, drugs and assault. “I would much rather keep the UVM community safe from the outside than within, but unfortunately a lot of our calls come from inside [the UVM community],” Bailey said.