Showing posts from September, 2011

Albany Citizen's Police Academy - Week 4 - Crime Analyst & Deputy Medical Examiner

Last night was my fourth class in the Albany Citizen's Police Academy. Community Education Specialist Westfall started by talking to us about our upcoming class on Saturday and encouraging us all to show up for the day.

After she spoke to us a few minutes, Crime Analyst Patrick Hurley spoke to us about analyzing crime. He also does intelligence analysis and phone forensics.

Basically as I understand it, he looks at patterns and trends for crime around the city to help the chief determine how resources can best be allocated to impact criminal activity. His job is to show correlations not to draw cause and effect relationships. Still he works with raw data and often that's not the best indicator for allocating resources.

He showed us a video representation of an actual 24 hour time period at the Albany Police Department that showed the calls and cases. The day he chose had 226 calls resultingin 100 cases with thirteen citations and thirteen arrests. It seemed like a lot for our …

Poem, Redefining Common Ground, Now Available

You can now read my poem, Redefining Common Ground!

Albany Citizens Police Academy - Week Three - DA's Office and Probation and Parole

Tonight was the third week of the Albany Citizens Police Academy. We learned about the role of the District Attorney during the first half of class. The second half focused on probation and parole.
Deputy DA Douglas Marteeny spoke to us about the role of the District Attorney's office in the criminal justice system. In Linn County, prosecutors prosecute everything rather than be divided into departments based on crimes.
He spent a considerable amount of time discussing the role the public plays in preventing and fighting crime. The public often makes law enforcement aware a crime has been committed and act as witnesses during the prosecution of the crime.
He emphasized that the best defense against criminal behavior is for children to be raised in good homes whethere they're encouraged to be law abiding citizens. He gave several examples of fathers and sons who both end up as criminals.
He talked about how cop shows get so much wrong. DAs do not investigate and rarely visit cr…

Forbidden Now Available for Your Reading Pleasure

Please check out my poem, Forbidden! Enjoy!

Creativity Lives in Energy

Since the beginning of 2010, I've written eighty-seven, give or take one or two, poems that I've kept. I've written a few others that I tossed, revised some old poems, and finished a stack of unfinished ones. But, eighty-seven is more than I'd written in the previous ten years combined, possibly longer. For a while I was making my own cards and there's some card verse that I never moved into my poetry files, so I'm not including those. Perhaps I will eventually take the time to dig through all those cards and use what I left behind, but it's unlikely.

As I sorted through my poems recently for my upcoming books of poetry, I began to really notice the years when I wrote more poetry and the years I didn't. I began to analyze the trends. Big surprise, huh? A few possibilities came to mind. I hadn't felt inspired. Life had been too good. Life had been too bad. The card verse I was writing detracted from my poetry writing. My focus was elsewhere. I'd …

Fighting My Muse

When people ask me about my poetry, I often tell them that I save poetry for myself. I don't study it. I don't write for an audience, per se. I write what I want, when I want, and how I want. I don't pay attention to form or technique or any of that stuff. This is true.  It is the one thing I never force and only write when inspired.Often my poetry is self-indulgent. I readily admit that. However, I think the themes are universal themes of humanity.

I thought about this yesterday as I finally gave in to my muse - that little voice in my head that nags the crap out of me until I write down what she wants me to write. You men who think you have nagging wives, you don't know nagging, trust me. My muse could give your wives lessons that would make your arm hairs stand on end and possibly try to run away.

Often this nagging begins as a simple phrase such as the one she'd been whispering in my ear for the past two weeks or so. "I Broke My Own Heart." I ignored …

Albany Citizen's Police Academy - Class Two -The Chief, Recruitment, Field Training

The second week of the Albany Citizens Police Academy started with Community Ed. Specialist Carmen Westfall speaking briefly and getting our t-shirt sizes. We get t-shirts! I don't know about you, but I can always use another t-shirt!

Then Chief Ed Boyd spoke to us. Something about Chief Boyd made me smile. He is definitely comfortable in front of a crowd and exudes confidence. I must admit I was distracted for a second by his purple dress shirt, but he wore it well, to paraphrase Rod Stewart. He encouraged us to interrupt him to ask questions. He talked easily about the department, his career, and what he sees as the challenges faced by the department. He provided statistics about Albany's policing staff as compared to the national average. As I understand it Albany has a force of approximately 1.1 officer per 1000 people, which isn't too bad. Ideally, the force would have approximately 1.3 officers per 1000 people.

Chief Boyd, though, feels the numbers aren't the mos…

The Process: Ecstatic or Not So Ecstatic

In the song, X-static Process Madonna sings "I always wish that I could find someone as beautiful as you but in the process I forgot that I was special, too." and she ends the song with " I always wish I could find someone as talented as you but in the process I forgot that I was just as good as you."

The first time I heard this song, I cried. Let me rephrase that; I wept. Okay, perhaps I sobbed. Those words went through my heart like a wooden stake through a vampire's heart. I felt like I was disintegrating just like those vampires on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I didn't understand my reaction at the time. I was happy. My life was nearly perfect. So why did I have such a strong reaction to a simple song about losing one's self in the presence of another person?

This is the power of words. They resonate sometimes with our inner selves in a way we don't understand at the time. And, it's why I love words so very much.

I've been working on compil…

Albany Citizens Police Academy - Class One - History and Department Structure

Last night was my first class of the Albany Citizens Police Academy. I arrived on time, actually a couple minutes early. The class was fuller than I expected. I don't know why I expected it to be small, but I did. Okay, I didn't count the number of people, but I was pleasantly surprised. I looked around the room looking for a seat. There were only a few left. A girl on the opposite side of the room smiled at me, so I headed for the empty chair next to her. We struck up a conversation and chatted again later.

Binders were provided for each student along with a stenonotebook and a pen. We also have to wear nametags. Oh, joy!! At least they're the necklace kind instead of clip things that destroy clothes. And, I get it, really I do. After all, I chaired a conference, so I know name tags make it easier to identify one another.

The presentation started with an orientation lead by Community Ed. Specialist Carmen Westfall. She explained what we should expect from the class and wh…

Reaching Out When It Hurts Isn't Always Easy

Yesterday morning I logged on to Facebook and was disturbed by a friend's status post.  She pondered ". . . wants to know why we expect those who hurt to ask for help? When you're in that hurt, reaching out is often the last thing you think to do." - Pari Noskin Taichert, author

I felt like someone hit me right smack dab in my heart. It took my breath away in an instant. I stared at the screen and blinked back a tear. Okay, they're simple words, but sometimes simple words are the most effective. Yeah, I know I've said that before. Still true and bears repeating.

I thought about the many times I've seen a pained look on a friend's face or a cheerful smile belied by the pain in someone's eyes, and kept silent. All the times I didn't ask the simple questions "Are you okay?" or "Is something wrong?" or "Is there anything I can do?" just to let the person know I noticed. I thought about all the times I've read betw…

My Life as a Book 2011

I saw this on Beth Groundwater's blog. She got it from Kaye Barley's Meanderings and Muses blog. I thought what the heck, might be fun. If you want to play, please join us. All you have to do is fill in the blank with a book you've read this year.
My Life as a Book 2011
One time at band/summer camp, I: learned Killer Instinct (Robert Walker)Weekends at my house are: One Hell of a Journey (L. Christian Amougou)My neighbor is:  not Missing in Mexico (Stuart Gustafson)My boss was: never filled with Faith (Jennifer Haigh) in people to do the right thing.My ex was: the definition of Old Loves Die Hard (Lauren Carr)My superhero secret identity is:The Four Ms. Bradwells (Meg Waite Clayton)You wouldn't like me when I'm angry because: anger makes me see NHI: No Humans Involved (Ray Ellis)I'd win a gold medal in: being Out of Character (David De Steno and Piercarlo Valdesolo)I'd pay good money for:Writing the Life Poetic (Sage Cohen)If I were president, I would: issue…