OTTAWA — While many families here were exchanging gifts and making Christmas dinner, Sgt. Mark Brecht was out patrolling Putnam County with his K-9 Luka.
He was one of several officers out on the road Friday to slow motorists down and maintain a law enforcement presence in places often targeted by thieves.
There were security checks around businesses that were closed for the holidays and homes that were recently burglarized. There were few false alarms triggered by the wind or someone forgetting their security code.
And there was the rare Christmas Day traffic stop, in which Brecht assisted a fellow officer in warning a couple of women to slow down so the officers wouldn’t have to respond to an accident call later; no ticket this time.
The day was largely uneventful, which how Brecht prefers his Christmas shifts to go.
On a normal day, Brecht finds himself responding to a variety of domestic calls, vehicle collisions, hunter complaints and other calls for service.
A hunter himself, Brecht compares solving crime to “catching the big buck,” still a source of satisfaction for him after 25 years on the job.
Now a day-time supervisor and K-9 officer, Brecht said he doesn’t typically write traffic citations on Christmas Day unless the violations are egregious. He doesn’t typically serve warrants for traffic violations on this day either, out of a desire to not interrupt someone’s Christmas dinner over an unpaid speeding ticket or failure to appear in court.
“Nobody wants to give grandma a speeding ticket on the way to Christmas,” Brecht said.