A Night in the Life of a Graveyard Shift


Posted Wed, Mar 13, 2013


COP SHOP: Greenwood Village officers get our share of action on the midnight shift. [Photo by Jen Sasser]

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. – The Greenwood Village Police Department yields an unorthodox group of officers– especially the graveyard shift.

The station looks less like the bland serious Hollywood portrayal, and more like what the offices behind the show Saturday Night Live would look like. Laughter, jokes and a sense of comradely fill the station as the officers prepare for the night.

Due to the smaller nature of the station and the territory, the graveyard shift is usually comprised of five or six officers on patrol.

“We don’t have as much going on as Denver or Aurora, but we defiantly get our share of action,” says Officer Brugler.

Officer Katie Brugler is the only police woman on the graveyard shift. She is one out of four women officers who work at that particular station.

Brugler did not always want to be a police officer. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, worked in her field for a while and was seriously thinking of entering into law school. It was around that time when a friend of hers, a police officer, invited her to go on a ride-along.

Brugler enjoyed the ride along so immensely, she ended up staying the entire shift. It was then that she decided to enroll in the police academy in Lakewood.

Brugler says her reason for deciding on going to the police academy, “Life is too short to not do something crazy.”

After graduating, Brugler was hired on to the Greenwood Village Police Department and has been working there for two years now.

“Not everyone can do this job and that’s what I like about it,” she says.

Brugler says doing her part by making her community a safer place makes her feel in a small way she’s making a difference in the world.

Greenwood Village officers run their shift a different way that what the usual public image is of them. Down to Earth and ready to help. There were no radar speed trackers.

Some officers say that many of their colleagues who used those devices end up having either testicular or ovarian cancer — due to the amount of radio waves coming from the device.

“We use our eyes,” Brugler says.

And the tickets?

“I don’t’ go out of my way to give people tickets,” Brugler says. “People go to court and say that they didn’t do anything wrong. I don’t make up some big traffic offense in order to pull people over. Why would I do that? That is a lot more work for me over…a ticket.”

Evenings and early morning hours usually are quiet ones, checking on private neighborhoods, checking license plates at a hotel, and even a check-up and a quick chat with their friend Charlie, the elderly gentleman who runs the front desk overnight. This scene can change in an instant with a dispatch about a serious incident.

The officers of Greenwood Village will tell stories about how they have dealt with infractions anywhere from DUI’s, domestic violence, to on-foot chases that led to a bag of coke exploding everywhere. It is with professionalism and respect that the Greenwood Village police handle each case.

Each night a new adventure , not knowing what the shift might bring. It is an exciting and a lot of times challenging job, but that is why as Officer Brugler says, “Life is too short not to do something crazy.”

About Jen Sasser

Jen Sasser is working towards a Photojournalism degree with a minor in African American Studies. She is deeply interested in African affairs, non-profits, and travel which is evident in her writing and photographs.

View all posts by Jen Sasser

3 Responses to “A Night in the Life of a Graveyard Shift”

  1. Davy Says:

    Great story. I like how you describe certain things, sounds like it was a good experiance.


  2. Emily Pennetti Says:

    Good story. Nice to see the cops perspective


  3. S.L. Alderton Says:

    This is a really nice profile piece. I like your descriptions. You might want to watch the spelling–I noticed a couple of mistakes.


Leave a Reply