You might think Officers Brett Paddock and Doug Martelle would stay plenty busy with their duties on the Ann Arbor Police Department. And you would be right.
But Paddock and Martelle have taken on additional roles, connecting with the community as hosts of The Shield, an enlightening program that airs periodically on CTN.
CTN is available on Comcast local-access channels 16, 17,18 and 19 and AT&T 99. Also, CTN is available on YouTube channel ctnannarbor.
It’s a busy schedule, to be sure, but each officer considers the work they are doing informative, entertaining and important.
“I have always believed that being informative as best we can on The Shield is paramount,” said Paddock, who is in the AAPD’s Community Engagement Unit, acts as a Background Investigator and also is a Police Motorcycle Instructor when he’s on the job. “”I think a primary goal is to focus on whatever a given ‘valued topic’ is, from a viewpoint of one of our officers from the AAPD. That being said, the show is only 30 minutes long, so some topics may need a follow-up show.”
Martelle agreed that the information imparted on The Shield is important to viewers.
“Keeping citizens informed so they know how to protect themselves from being crime victims is important,” Martelle said. “At the same time, we want to bring folks topics they will find interesting, beyond the crime-prevention issues.”
Each officer takes his role on the show seriously, considering ideas carefully with CTN staff before settling on a topic. One recent topic was “Greek Life 101,” that dealt with University of Michigan student groups. Another was a show on the police-recruiting process.
An upcoming show that should be highly enlightening will put a spotlight on the opioid crisis. It will air in late January, guests have already been locked in, and the structure of the show is in the planning stages.
“One of my guest will be a father who lost a son to heroin and is the founder of FAN – Families Against Narcotics,” said Paddock. “Other guests on that show will be a doctor and his nurse from U-M that run Michigan Open and deal with this crisis daily.”
Paddock also has plans for a show that deals directly with his expertise on the AAPD.
“Being a Motorcycle Officer and Instructor, I plan to have a show in the spring on our Motor Unit functions and equipment,” Paddock said.
Martelle said topics for shows can vary greatly, from serious to what might seem like simple subjects. All, he said, can turn out being important.
“Anything that can be of service to the citizens makes for a good show,” Martelle said. “Anything from controversial issues like police use of deadly force, to how to safely navigate a roundabout.”
Connecting with the community is what The Shield is all about, and both Paddock and Martelle say that connection is important for the police, no matter what duties they are fulfilling.
“Wow. It’s huge,” Martelle said. “When a police department connects with the community … it builds a mutual trust relationship,” he said. “Interaction with citizens outside the enforcement context is crucial.
“Getting to know people, being visible and accessible, builds relationships. It helps break down barriers and overcome stereotypes.”
Both officers say working at CTN has been a pleasure.
“CTN does a great job,” Paddock said. “Everyone has been so supportive. I really appreciate it.”
Added Martelle: “I think CTN provides a significant public service. It is amazing the amount of passion people put into the final product. There is such a wide variety of programming coming out of CTN.”
For more information on CTN, The Shield, and to find program times, go towww.a2gov.org/ctn