EPD Officers Work Through the Night Keeping City Safe

3rd shift officers were dispatched to more than 1,830 calls including 41 shots fired, 42 disorderly conducts and 103 welfare checks in February alone.

Posted: Mar 4, 2021 11:30 PM
Updated: Mar 5, 2021 9:09 AM

For nearly a decade, Evansville Police Department Sgt. Matt Karges has worked in the dark.

"Me, I've been 3rd shift most of my life," Karges said.

He patrols the streets of Evansville when most people are asleep in their beds, clocking in at 10 p.m.

"I think everybody that's on 3rds wants to be on 3rds," he said.

It's the graveyard shift. Though, it's anything but dead, because while the city sleeps, crime stays awake.

"You get break ins, fights, domestic violence and your shootings," Karges said. "We do get a lot of shots fired; I would say almost every night there's at least a call that comes in."

Just last month, 3rd shift officers were dispatched to more than 1,830 calls including 41 shots fired, 42 disorderly conducts and 103 welfare checks.

They're big numbers, but it's nothing new Karges said.

"It's on par with an average month."

But some crimes have ticked up.

Officers were called to 83 family disputes in February. That's up from 55 the same time last year.

"You're family disputes, your domestic violences, cases with people in the home," he said.

Karges said lock downs, quarantines and cold weather have played a factor.

"It being the winter time, people staying home because of COVID," he said.

So, suffice to say, 3rd shift officers have no trouble keeping busy.

But when the calls aren't coming in, the late shift provides a special benefit.

"You have a lot of freedom to look for crime prevention," he said. "So guys drive around and try to find suspicious characters, talk to people out and about, look into things, have more time to track down warrants, have more time to make car stops."

Reactive or proactive, 3rd shift officers keep watch throughout the night, and for Karges, it's an honor when it's for a city like this one.

"The community really loves us here," he said. "The city has your back and the community has your back and that's the best thing you can do when they're asking us to go out and make these sacrifices and do these tough jobs."

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Following the passage of some scattered rainfall earlier this morning this afternoon turned out to be quite pleasant, albeit cooler overall. After peaking at 73° on Monday afternoon in Evansville, the River City reached just 68° earlier today - obviously a drop of just 5° isn't anything significant from day to day, but that difference signals the arrival of a cooling trend expected to last into the weekend ahead. As for the remainder of our Tuesday, expect our mainly cloudy skies to linger into the evening and overnight hours as temperatures gradually dwindle into the upper 40s for many of us.
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