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POLICE AT NIGHT: THE HEROES OF THE DARK | TF1 | Reportages

Their common feature? Will and commitment. That is what motivates all police officers, especially at night. Confronted with violence, poverty and trafficking, they have chosen to watch over us during the darkest hours. For nine months, these heroes of the dark, the “night shift”, as they are called, agreed to share their unusual routines with us in Paris, Créteil and Lens.

Dimitri is a leader. He’s head of the BAC 75N, the crime squad that patrols Paris and its surrounding area every night. This elite squad is one of the few to deploy its officers on the ground. “When you start your shift you have no idea what’s going to happen that night. (…) You begin operations that have absolutely nothing to do with what was initially planned and, it’s true, that can be exciting. You feel you’re experiencing something new every time.”Although every night brings its own share of surprises, some are planned weeks in advance. Because the “75N” unit conducts wide-ranging operations too! In particular in the fight against drug trafficking.

Cyril, 23, is an emergency police officer in Créteil. In this town in the Paris suburbs, he is faced with a daily level of violence that can be morally exhausting. “You create an armour. From my point of view, the uniform has become a target.”And yet, this man of action, is able to remain calm under all circumstances. A temperament that, he hopes, will enable him to achieve his professional dream: join Dimitri’s squad. His first day’s training in the capital will give him the cold sweats…

43 years old, of which 20 spent with the night police… Carine is one of only two female night officers in Lens. In this town, hard hit by unemployment, social deprivation creates a great deal of conflict between residents. She’s not alone in having to deal with it. She patrols with Patrick, her police partner, who also happens to be… her partner in life! “The great advantage is that we’re more or less identical, there’s no misunderstanding between us. It’s calming and it’s reassuring.”For 20 years now, Carine has decided to work at night, with its irregular hours. A rhythm that she wouldn’t change for anything in the world because it means she can devote time to her two daughters…

An immersion into the very special world of… the night police.