FOX47 NEWS - Rookie Cop's First Day on the Job

Jeff Angileri
Feb 1, 2009, 9:19 PM

More than two dozen new officers are now patrolling Madison streets. It's all part of the city's effort to combat rising neighborhood crime.

WMSN's Jeff Angileri had the chance to ride along with a rookie officer -- his first day on the job.

Richard Friday, 25, knew he wanted to become a cop after a ride-along in his native Michigan.

I wanted a job that could help people. I wanted to see an impact, he said.

Now he's part of the largest expansion of the Madison Police Department in city history. Two days after graduation, officer Friday suits up for his first day on the job.

Today was a little nerve-racking just coming here -- some officers start the car in the parking lot. Now what? I've been thinking -- now what?

Despite his relative youth, Friday underwent a rigorous training program -- six months at the academy, three months of street patrol with veteran cops -- and, of course, his figurative taser scars. Today, he's assigned Capital Square patrol.

I'm making sure I listen to the radio -- that's the biggest thing, because if something happens, I want to be able to go.

Working alone isn't easy, he says, but colleagues are only a radio call away.

The teamwork skills this department has has greatly enhanced my feeling of being safe while I'm working.

Still, he acknowledges, things happen in a profession that's often dangerous and unpredictable.

My family knows that I love them. The people I work with, the people in this community -- they're people who won't let me down.

And as Officer Friday patrols the capital city, he hopes to return the favor.

We're here to enforce, serve, help, protect people. The bottom line -- we're here for them.

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