Photos by Klint Rhodes
Text by Madoline Markham

Klint Rhodes sees darkness differently than he used to. Working the night shift as a Pelham Police officer for six years, he began to notice how light uniquely shone in patterns as he patrolled the area, all the more so when he started to explore photography on his shifts.

“I have had a chance to see more than my fair share of sunsets and sunrises,” he says. “I had never thought about how beautiful sunrises could be. Working at night presents its own challenges, but from a tactical mindset you can use darkness to your advantage.”

Fittingly, it was also policing that first got Klint into photography. As a part of crime scene investigations, he started using a DSLR camera to document everything they found on the site, and from there he took up cameras as a hobby too. Part of his mission was to share insight into what policing looks like that the average person doesn’t see, particularly overnight.

“Working at night is tough,” he says. “Your schedule is the opposite of everybody’s. You tend to lose track of time. Usually the calls you have are more serious in nature; it’s not your everyday business disputes. It’s truly and genuinely an emergency when someone calls.”

But Klint is also motivated by his fellow officers in his photography and his desire to give them documentation of their work they can look back on. “My father-in-law was a Pelham Police officer. Sometimes he will get out his old photos, and his eyes will light up and he will start telling stories,” he says. “That’s something I’d like to be able to give the guys I work with 30, 40, 50 years from now.”

Follow Klint’s photography on Instagram at @ten42photo.

K-9 Unit

Some of Klint’s favorite subjects are the Pelham Police K-9s. One is a narcotics detection dog, another works on narcotics and tracking, and a third specializes in explosive bomb detection. “They serve a very important role, and they are close friends,” Klint says. “Any time they show up and they aren’t working you can play with them. They enjoy being petted and playing fetch.”

Black lab K-9 Thunder is an explosive ordinance detection canine and has his own Instagram account, @k9.thunder.

Night Landscapes

Klint credits growing up far from light pollution in South Alabama for his appreciation of the night sky—and how he enjoys capturing it. “I like being able to go out and look at the stars,” he says. “Taking your camera and setting up for a shot and doing a long exposure, you look for the display and there’s something beautiful there. The anticipation to see it is exciting.”

Klint captured this image of Double Oak Lake at Oak Mountain State Park while on patrol one night around 2 a.m.

Klint took this image from the King’s Chair Overlook at Oak Mountain State Park using a telephoto lens.

Policing at Night

This close-up shows the details of the badges Pelham Police officers wear on their shoulders.

Night shift duty can involve checking closed businesses for open doors, broken windows, etc. like the one on the left in this photo whereas day shift more focuses on neighborhoods since residents are often away at work during those times.

Officers often pair up to conduct traffic details like they are doing here on Cahaba Valley Road.

Sometimes one officer will pull alongside another officer in their cars while they are completing paperwork to be hyper-vigilant.