Showing posts from October, 2011

New Attitude? Old Attitude? What's in an Attitude Anyway?

I'm not particularly fond of the word attitude. It has to do with my history with the word, but I don't want to go into that at this point.

I have been making an effort to confront things that I would normally avoid, so I am going to talk about why the word attitude is on my mind lately. See, I've recently realized my attitude has undergone a change. At first this scared me because I felt an attitude emerging that I haven't felt in probably twenty years. And, there's a huge part of me that doesn't want to be who I was then. There were things about that girl that I really didn't like, even then. There were other things about her that I loved.

Crazy thing is that as I embraced the attitude I've been feeling over the past several weeks, I realized this is just more of me stepping into who I am. I can face - perhaps even embrace - having a new attitude even if it is an attitude rooted in an attitude I abandoned long ago.

For so long I pushed aside anything …

Cover for Love in Silhouette

Love. We long for it. We feel the sting of love’s loss. We give love in hopes of receiving love. We withhold love out of fear it won’t be returned. Love connects us. Love disappoints us. Love distinguishes us. Love extinguishes us. Love connects us. Love abandons us. Love disappoints us. Love creates expectations. Love fulfills lives. Love is always a risk worth exploring even when it fails. Love is poetry… Poetry is love… Love becomes a silhouette.

Check back soon for the release date!

Albany Citizens Police Academy - Week 8 - Use of Force & Jail Tour

This week's Albany Citizens Police Academy started with Community Education Specialist Carmen Westfall started the class with a few reminders about upcoming classes. Then introduced Lieutenant Hyde.

Lieutenant Hyde explained the law surrounding use of force. He explained the effect that case law has on state statutes. Use of force is always determined by the situation but is governed by five rules:

Self Defense
Defense of Others
Effect an Arrest
Overcome Resistance
Prevent Escape

In determining the amount of force to use, the officer must interpret the suspect's intent as well whether the suspect has the means and the opportunity. All three elements must demonstrate all three elements in order to be an immediate threat. The level of force the officer uses must then be a level above the level of threat the suspect is using and must be reasonable for the situation. Reasonable is determined by what other officers would do in the same situation.

Officers must be mentally prepared …

Albany Police Academy -Week 7 - Class Two - Evidence, Records, Dispatch, & Firearms Training

Saturday's Albany Police Academy class started with a tour of the evidence room lead by Property & Evidence Specialist Debbie Buchert. She explained the different evidence storage techniques and apparatuses including paper bags, plastic bags, and boxes. Plastic bags are never used for anything wet that could mold. Boxes are often used for handguns and other weapons that fit in them boxes. Some weapons are too big for a box or a bag. She talked about the process for logging evidence and how it's improved with the use of a computerized system. She explained the process for disposing of property from the evidence room. Evidence that isn't returned to the owner can be sold with the proceeds going to the department (see or destroyed by fire once it is no longer needed and the designated time period it must be kept has passed. Some evidence must be kept for many years.

One discussion that seemed particularly disturbing to me was regarding anonymous rape kit…

Albany Citizens Police Academy - Week 7 - DUII & DRE

Community Education Specialist Carmen Westfall passed out our Albany Citizens Police Academy t-shirts as we arrived! She gave us a quick update about to expect in the next few classes.
Next OfficerRobert Hayes took over to talk about Driving Under the Influence and being a Drug Recognition Expert.

Officer Hayes began by clarifying the answer to a question from when he taught the traffic class two weeks earlier. Apparently when any part of a person or any extension of a person (i.e. a walker, dog, weekchair) steps from curb to crosswalk with intent to move forward that person is considered crossing the street and people in a vehicle must wait for them to cross. As someone pointed out, intent can still be subjective.

Moving on to discuss DUII, Officer Hayes discussed statistics, penalties, and other reasons to demonstrate the dangers of drinking and driving. Officers work to keep drunk drivers off the streets for safety.

Officer Hayes demonstrated the "walk and turn" test and …

Friends, Enemies, Breasts

As I see all the attention given to Breast Cancer Awareness because it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I find myself squirming in my seat. I didn't understand my reaction at first. I really didn't. I'm all for encouraging women to take control of their health and to take better care of themselves.

Then it dawned on me... I keep wanting to scream  "Can we please, please, please have Breast Health Awareness Month?"

It's not that I don't understand the need to raise awareness about breast cancer and the devastation it can cause. I've seen it. I've had family members suffer from breast cancer. I've had scares of my own. I understand that early detection saves lives and that self-exams are important. It's not that I'm against any of that.

Let me reiterate, I am for self-exams and early detection. I am for finding a cure for breast cancer. Above all, I am for women having healthy breasts

But, here's the thing, too many women aren'…

I Have No Right - Available for Your Reading Pleasure

I posted a new poem, I Have No Right, today. Please check it out! Also, look for it and poems like it in my upcoming poetry collection, Love in Silhouette (release date to be announced).

Albany Citizens Police Academy - Week 6 - Commmunity Resource Unit

This week the Albany Citizens Police Academy focused on the Community Resource Unit which includes Community Service Officers, Community Education Specialists, School Resources Officers, and Traffic Officers as well as the Bike Patrol Unit.

Jim Dohr explained the role of the Community Service Officer in the Albany Police Department. Community Service Officers work within the community addressing complaints that don't require a patrol officer's presence. They handle junk and trash complaints, abandoned vehicles, recreational vehicle storage/use, the radar trailer, found property, animal welfare/control, and traffic control such as at accident scenes. A large portion of their work seems to be directed toward investing animal neglect/abuse cases. Dohr's pride in helping animals find a better life was quite apparent as he talked. The pictures he showed us and the stories he told us of what people can do to their animals broke my heart. I struggled not to cry a couple of times.…

The Itch

I feel that itch again... The one that torments me... The one that divorces me from life... The one that swallows me whole and refuses to spit me out until I satisfy it... The one that makes me myriad promises of possibility...

Yes, that's right... I feel a new writing project starting to form in my mind. The problem? I still have projects in the works that need my attention right now. Projects I don't want to abandon. Projects that are important to me. So I asked my muse to wait patiently with the new idea. Now she's pouting in the recesses of my mind. I explained to her reasonably and rationally that I need to publish the books of poetry, edit my short stories into a book or possibly two, finish writing two short stories, finish the novel I'm writing, edit a manuscript yet again, and work on a nonfiction book that I'm planning. I promised if she helped me with those, then I would give her full reign to take me on a new adventure. And, yet she hides first in one r…

Albany Citizen's Police Academy - Week 5 - Search and Seizure and Traffic

This week's class was taught by Officer Robert Hayes. He taught both portions of the class. Hayes explained the rules that determine constitute a legal search. Probable cause is 51% more likely than not that the person committed an act. Reasonable suspicion is less than probable cause. An encounter is when an officer stops a citizen to make an inquiry without indicating the citizen isn't free to leave at any time. A stop is when the officer makes it clear the citizen is not free to leave. Officer Hayes explained that an officer must be able to articulate proof for any search or stop; however, an encounter doesn't require a report. If an officer can't articulate a reason for turning an encounter into a stop, the stop won't hold up in court. Hayes discussed the different types of legal searches including consent, warrants, and probable cause. An officer often searches an individual during a stop to insure the officers safety. A frisk is to look for weapons that could…

Albany Citizen's Police Academy - Week 4 (Class 2) - Dogs and Driving

We began class Saturday with a tour of the Albany Police Department. We divided into two groups. I was in Community Education Specialist Westfall's group. She walked us through the halls where we saw a case of old equipments and badges, photos of former Albany Police Officers, several closed doors, the dispatch office where we met the dispatchers and heard a little about what they do. We also saw the report writing area and a wall filled with blankets and stuffed animals the officers carry in the car to sooth children at crime scenes. The tour also included a look outside at the storage shed where patrol bicycles are stored and a look across to the building where the detectives are housed.

Sergeant Drum showed us the interior of a police car. He explained that the back seats are hard plastic because arrestees have a tendency to opt to leave body fluids and waste back there. There's also a drain in the bottom, so the back seats can be hosed out. It's always amazing the dept…