WREG goes on night-shift with a Memphis police officer

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It's about midnight near the fairgrounds and Officer Mike Oliver is getting ready to hit the streets and letting me tag along.

"I just thought we'd ride around and monitor the radio," said Officer Mike Oliver.

The bullet proof vest is Officer Oliver's idea, not mine, but after patrolling these streets for 22 years, he's seen too many things go wrong.

He's not about to throw caution to the wind now.

"They were shooting at the police last night over in Orange Mound," said Officer Oliver.

"If we didn't have drugs then we wouldn't have half of the problems we have."

Officer Oliver also sees a bigger problem.

"People just don't respect one another anymore,"  said Officer Oliver. "They would rather pick up a gun and start popping off some rounds. They don't put a thought process into it."

Which is what Memphis police have to do when a call comes in.

Not long after, a call of an accidental shooting came in not to far from The University of Memphis.

"A lot of times a high risk situation like that - The Fire Department won't even make the scene until police officers deem it safe first," said Officer Oliver.

Officer Oliver also said one of the hardest part about the job is how people perceive police officers.

"We have one person who does something wrong or bad, and it makes us all bad."

"The suspect, he's innocent until proven guilty, and the officer is guilty until proven innocent," said Officer Oliver.

Memphis police see a lot of people doing what they are not supposed to be doing. The constant cry of the sqwawk box is proof of that.

Officer Oliver says that he is fully aware that some people are afraid to sleep at night, and he fully understands that.

"A lot of times I have that same fear. I have a fear if I'm not at home somebody might break into my house," said Officer Oliver. "Walking the streets, you never know who's gonna walk up and try to rob you, I mean I have the same fears."

"We're on the streets every night. I know on the midnight shift we`ve got a good crew," said Officer Oliver. "We get out here and we work the streets every night, and we try to make a difference. We do make a difference."