I meet so many incredible people online. I talk about you at work. I tell funny stories from comments on my blog and relay the Twitter conversations that make me smile. I’ve met police officers from around the world and learned about our differences but more than that, I learn what all my brothers and sisters in blue have in common. We are a worldwide family.
I spent this past Tuesday at the shooting range having a great time. For some reason though, it left me with a pinched nerve in my neck and a raging headache. No old age comments please. I don’t usually get headaches so I wasn’t very accommodating for the next few days while it ran its course.
But, I woke up Saturday feeling better and decided to catch up on the social media end of writing. I checked in with friends, read their Tweets, and read new blog posts.
I have a good police friend in Ireland who entertains me constantly with his humorous wit. His wife doesn’t think he’s quite as funny but it’s obvious he’s loved. I first noticed his Twitter avatar picture had changed and then I started reading the Tweets I’ve missed.
For my friend Jason, life has not been good and he’s in a rough place right now.
On Friday, an Irish police officer/detective tragically died. In Ireland they’re called “An Garda Siochana.” Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe, a father of two, was gunned down a half mile from his home as he tried to stop fleeing suspects during a robbery at a credit union in Co Louth.
Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe’s wife and two brothers are also An Garda Siochana and share the brother and sisterhood of the badge. From reading the articles about his life, Garda Donohoe and his family have dedicated their lives to protect the people they serve.
Regardless of the thousands of miles and great ocean separating our service, Detective Garda Donohoe wore a badge and I honor his life and sacrifice. My friend Jason’s sadness has no barrier when touching my heart and I grieve with him. For everyone who served with Detective Garda Donohoe, these next months will be incredibly difficult. Please stay safe!
To all Detective Garda Donohoe’s family, friends, and brothers and sisters in blue; may his memory bring you comfort, may his sacrifice make you proud and may you find peace in knowing we never forget those who give their lives to save others. Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe may you Rest in Peace.
The following links give additional information about this tragic story:
“Tis’ the season to beat your wife.”
This has been my before and after holiday slogan since becoming an officer. I don’t mean to be snappy or humorous. Domestic violence effects every economic group, gender, race, and religion. I’m no longer on patrol but I keep my ear to police traffic and backup fellow officers on domestic calls. In the first ten days of the year I’ve dealt with uncontrollable fighting brothers and a homicide/suicide threat with a lethal military knife. The brothers went to the hospital and the knife suspect went to jail, and no he was not a Veteran.
Our report log fills with domestic situations almost daily. I encourage my readers to get involved. Report domestic violence and learn about its impact on our children.
A few wonderful resources are:
Break the Cycle www.breakthecycle.org
Safe Horizon www.safehorizon.org
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence www.NCADV.org
Your gift can be as small as forwarding these links to someone in need and/or donating a used cell phone. Thank you!
Pink Handcuff Tour
I spent this past weekend on my couch with a box of Kleenex, hot herbal tea, and a stubborn head cold. I won’t call it the flu because I got my flu shot. My poor husband took care of the animals, cooked for me, and listened to me moan and groan through his birthday.
Whining like a baby didn’t keep me from being productive though. I managed to write 5,000 words on my next Bad Luck book, YEAH! I’m planning a summer release and also using my creativity to outline a pink handcuff tour. It’s in the early planning stages but here’s my idea.
I want to send my extra pair of pinkies (non-fur lined) to fellow readers and bloggers that think they can come up with fun photos using my pink cuffs. Sorry, no nudity allowed I’ll post the pics on my blog and let readers choose the best one(s). The winner gets to keep the handcuffs and I’ll pony up a gift certificate to someplace like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. I’m stealing the idea from the Mr. Bacon tour but I don’t think he’ll mind. I would love to see what my blogging friends and readers come up with.
Put your creativity caps on and start thinking about what you could do with pink handcuffs and yes, I’ll be sending the keys too. Email me at: suzieivy at gmail dot com, if you want in.
Criminal Lines Radio
I’m very excited to announce that I will be the guest on Criminal Lines Radio this Thursday, January 17th, from 7 to 9 p.m. central time with host Marguerite Ashton. Click here and scroll to the bottom right of the page to listen. Who knows what I’ll be discussing but I promise to be fun and informative, or wacky and intense.
Here’s the wonderful video promo (I look like such a baby cop in my academy graduation photo):
To all my friends and LE officers; stay safe, wear your seatbelt, and smile at someone today,
The End of Watch for an officer culminates at the funeral when his or her watch/patrol is turned over to fellow officers. The dispatcher who monitored the officer at their time of death makes the last radio broadcast and officially passes the watch to his or her brothers and sisters in blue.
Just A Little Thanks
By: Katelyn Lord, Wyoming Valley West 8th Grade
(1st place county winner of 2006 S.O.L.E. Cultural Arts Contest)
You are brave, strong, and willing
To do what most would not dare.
I thank you for all the help
And my promise to you is, I will care.
I will obey the law,
I will respect what you do and say,
I will tell my friends to be aware of,
What you Sacrifice for us each day.
Thank you, Katelyn
My dread builds as I turn on my computer to enter the web address for the Officer Down Memorial Page. I go through these feelings every year. I put it off and check my email, cruise Twitter and peek in on Facebook. Finally, my delays are over.
Every picture is a smiling face; showing pride, hope, and joy for life. Each officer has loved ones at home who will never be the same and will mourn their loss forever. My tears make it hard to read their stories and pay homage. But, if they can die in blue, I can wipe my tears and praise their sacrifice.
There were 124 line of duty deaths in 2012. Every officer death is one too many but the number dropped 29% from 2011.
The most dangerous states to work as a police officer are Texas, leading the country with 11 officer deaths, Georgia at 7 followed by Colorado with 6. The deadliest months for line of duty deaths were January at 18, and 14 each in August and September.
There were 18 K9 deaths this year. Having served with a K9 dog I feel they deserve a mention for all they do.
111 male officers died and 13 female officers. 47 of the fallen were shot, 12 physically assaulted and 5 stabbed. Vehicles took their toll again with 40 deaths. Medical issues including heart attack stand at 15 with 5 miscellaneous deaths.
The average age is 41 and the average tour of duty is 11 years and 10 months. Domestic violence and drug search warrants tie for the deadliest events in which officers died.
Remembering…Park Ranger Margaret Anderson, End of Watch January 1st 2012
Park Ranger Anderson was shot and killed while attempting to stop a fleeing suspect near the Longmire Ranger Station in Mount Rainier National Park, in Pierce County, Washington, at approximately 10:30 am.Another park ranger had attempted to stop the suspect at a snow-chain checkpoint near the Paradise Ranger Station, but the suspect fled before being intercepted by Ranger Anderson, who had set up a roadblock. Unbeknownst to Ranger Anderson, the suspect was wanted in connection to a shooting the previous day where four people were wounded.
When the suspect reached Ranger Anderson’s roadblock, he made a U-turn, exited his vehicle, and opened fire. Ranger Anderson was shot before she was able to exit her patrol car.
After being shot, Ranger Anderson radioed for help as the suspect fled on foot. Responding units attempting to reach Ranger Anderson were held at bay for approximately 90 minutes as the suspect continued to fire on them. The suspect’s vehicle was recovered with additional weapons and body armor inside.
The suspect’s body was found the following day about six miles from the initial shooting scene.
Ranger Anderson had served with the National Park Service for 11 years. She is survived by her husband and two young children. Her husband also serves as a park ranger in the park and was on duty at the time.
Remembering…Police Officer Sean Callahan, End of Watch December 18, 2012
Police Officer Callahan succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained the previous day during a foot pursuit in Stockbridge, Georgia.
He and other officers had responded to a domestic disturbance at a motel on Davidson Parkway. As officers attempted to arrest the male subject he began to resist and fled on foot. The officers chased the man around the motel where the subject opened fire, striking Officer Callahan in the head twice. Other officers returned fire, killing the subject. The subject had a long criminal history and had just been released from prison seven months earlier.
Officer Callahan was 24 years old and had served as an officer for only four months.
Remembering…Police Officer Arthur Lopez, End of Watch October 23, 2012
Officer Lopez and his partner observed a vehicle they believed had been involved in the hit-and-run accident near the border of Nassau County and New York City. The officers followed the vehicle into Queens, where they conducted a vehicle stop. The subject opened fire on the officers after they approached and exchanged words. Officer Lopez, who was not wearing a vest, was struck in the chest.
The subject then fled in his vehicle. He abandoned his vehicle and carjacked a citizen, fatally shooting the driver.The subject was arrested several hours later and was suffering two self-inflicted gunshot wounds. He was identified as a former convict who had served four years for attempted murder.
To my brothers and sisters in blue…wear your vest, buckle your seat belt, and stay safe.
Christmas in a small town is truly priceless and this year my holiday came early. The best gifts come in small packages and sometimes justice and laughter have no package at all.
I’ve been working on this case for more than a year. I can’t go into detail but it’s one that haunts me at night.
The long court process takes its toll on victims and officers. So often everyone arrives in court and nothing happens but setting a date for the next hearing. Explaining to victims that the wheels of justice turn slowly is never easy when my own frustration is at its limit.
In this specific case, the defendant has repeatedly changed attorneys and slowed the already sluggish process down. His latest attorney is a hot shot lawyer from the city. He’s nice enough outside the courtroom but thinks his big city antics have a place in Small Town. He’s written countless motions including his latest to suppress his client’s confession.
Everyone involved in the case was re-interviewed and the legal process continued, again.
There are things I do repeatedly throughout an investigation that make little sense to some and obviously made no sense to Mr. Hot Shot Attorney.
I read Miranda from a card in my wallet. I read it word for word. I know all the words, memorized them in the academy, and can probably recite them backwards but I never deviate from my tried and true methods. On the witness stand things get tense. If asked by the defense attorney if I read Miranda, I always reply, “Yes, from the card I carry in my wallet.” If asked to recite Miranda, I pull out my card.
I always re-read Miranda even if other officers tell me they’ve read it to the suspect. I take no chances and prefer to read mine in a recorded room. If I do read Miranda unrecorded, I re-read once I get to the interview room. Mr. Steamy Bullet Attorney decided to attack my practices. Unfortunately, he doesn’t understand justice in rural America.
I have a love/hate relationship with the judge. When he rules my way, I love him and when he doesn’t, I go home and call him names out of earshot from everyone but my dogs. I know who has the power and I’m not about to do anything around curious ears that may get me in judicial hot water down the line.
Judge Hoskiss and I go back to my very first case as a Detective. He’s mostly a cranky old man who sports a long grey beard. He’s “small town hick judge” personified and sometimes I want to scream, “But that’s not the way it’s done.” Seriously, America would have a huge problem with his courtroom. He’s known to let criminals out of jail before they go to prison in order to get their lives in order. Hmmm, years of prison, nothing to lose, let me count the problems. Well, there are so many I’ll eventually write another blog post about them.
So, the suppression hearing lasted three hours. Mr. Burning Ammo Attorney attacked everything he could about my Miranda procedures. Why would I read Miranda more than once? I must not have read it the first time, and so on. He was quite dramatic and the courtroom floor was obviously his stage. I on the other hand had a cold, coughed continually, and blew my runny nose. I had to ask him to repeat some of his questions because my loud sniffles overshadowed his voice. Seriously I wasn’t at my best. He used it all to make me appear like a stupid inept detective. By the time he finished, I actually felt like one.
It was finally time for the judge to make his ruling and I expected the worst.
Judge Hoskiss…“When I got dressed this morning I put on my belt and then I put on my suspenders. I wasn’t stupid or an idiot which you’ve tried quite hard to portray this hard working officer as. I just felt the need to be extra secure in my pants. Sometimes a belt and suspenders are called for on the same day. I rule in favor of the State.”
The gavel came down with a resounding thud and court adjourned. The judge left the bench and slowly from the back of the courtroom quiet snickers began. It continued to build and between sniffles and sneezes my giggles turned into full out laughter.
To everyone who carries a gun and Taser, nightstick and mace, wears a belt and suspenders, or just checks their list twice;
Yes, I’m alive!
My day job has been unbelievably busy (huge case) and I’m so exhausted when I get home that I veg in front of the television. If I sit down with a book, I fall asleep within minutes. Please don’t even mention writing. It weighs on my mind especially when my next book is over half written. I miss everyone and wanted to let you know I’m safe and that I will be taking a longer break from my blog but plan to be back after the holidays.
During this unbelievably busy time at work, I had an awesome ray of sunshine. It started with this email.
Subject: Question, and I promise I’m not a psycho
I’m gonna start by saying, as I’ve told you before via e-mail, that you are a great role model/inspiration for those of us in our age bracket (or any age bracket, actually) who only think about the things we would like to try or want to do but are either too chicken or don’t believe we should even attempt to try for fear of being let down/failure. Add to that the fact that you have a kindness for children and animals, and the underdog, that many lack. I always look forward to reading your posts. I was looking around on the internet at a friend’s website, and she had a link to some items that I had previous looked at but didn’t purchase. Well, something made me think of you and what you do and represent….you fight for those who may not be able to fight for themselves, and I don’t know this, but I’m willing to bet you do it with a vengeance. So long story short, I bought something that I’d love to send to you. I respect your desire for privacy. Is there a place that you let people mail things to you? You don’t know me from Adam, and in your line of work, I’m sure an offer of a gift from a stranger might make you raise an eyebrow. I can assure you that it isn’t an illegal substance. ha! I have some kind of unnamed psychological issue with going to the post office – hate to wait in the dadgum lines – so I can’t promise I’ll actually get it in the mail in the next few days. But I can manage to get it in the mail next week. If you are not comfortable with this, I will certainly understand, and I’ll just keep it for myself. :) It won’t be as fitting, but hey, that’s ok!
Hope you have a great weekend,
Now, everyone knows I’m a detective and I guard my privacy, real name, and location with a vengeance. BUT, how do I resist Donna? I couldn’t and she had my address within minutes of reading this wonderful email. She sent me a follow-up message when she mailed my surprise and let me know it should be arriving the following Monday.
I worked through the weekend and was so tired my vision was beginning to blur. Don’t worry I wasn’t on the street, just packaging mountains of evidence needing to go to the crime lab. I finished up and realized I didn’t eat lunch so I decided to drive to Subway to grab a sandwich and coke hoping caffeine would help me survive the day.
As I pulled out of the parking lot, I remembered Donna’s gift might be waiting at the post office so I drove there first.
We don’t have home mail delivery in Small Town so the post office is a hub of constant activity. It’s hard to get in and out without stopping to speak with people but somehow I managed. It might possibly have been my tired, unkempt appearance. My looks have been the least of my concerns.
What is it about getting a package in the mail? Through my exhaustion I felt giddy and I hadn’t absorbed my caffeine fix yet. My post office box had a key to a larger box and my heart rate increased even more. The box from Donna was about five inches wide, seven inches long, and two inches deep.
I walked to my car holding it close to my chest. Once I was sitting behind the wheel I should tell you I opened it slowly and delayed the suspense but hell no, I tore into the box with a vengeance.
Inside was a small black jewel type box with the logo “Confidence Beads A World of Good” Inside was a card telling about my bead that was attached to a key ring. There was also a white glossy letter from the company. The following is the first line:
You have received this special gift because someone cares about you!
I was sitting in my car behind tinted windows with tears streaming down my face. I can’t even begin to explain how I felt.
I looked around at the people walking past and going about their day. I forgot about my newest heartbreaking case, lack of sleep, frustration, and anger. No one walking by me knew my secret as they went about their business.
Sitting inside my car, looking out at the world was a warrior who could take on the world.
Thank you Donna for reminding me that I’m living my dream. Your gift will forever be special and you will always have a place in my heart. You renewed my inspiration and focused me on what is most important. Love!
I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and I’ll see you back in the New Year.
Before I begin this post, I want to take a quick moment to talk about gun safety. A friend of mine, a 35 year officer, shot himself while cleaning his gun several years ago. He survived but it taught me a valuable lesson. When I clean my gun and magazines, I place my bullets in another room. As officers we become too complacent with our weapons and that’s when accidents happen. Now on with my story.
I’m a football widow. It’s been that way for 33 years and you would think I’d get over it. I’m not simply talking all day Sunday, its Monday nights, and Thursday nights too. My husband coaches 7th grade football and he plays in two NFL fantasy leagues.
In our game room there is an entire wall dedicated to the Oakland Raiders. Don’t mention LA Raiders anywhere near my husband or you are likely to be tackled. That was a very dark time in his life.
When my children were young and playing competitive sports, my husband would tell them they had Raider blood. As you can see his enthusiasm runs deep.
I try to spend my widowhood wisely; I write, I read, and I complain. He ignores me because he’s too busy getting his exercise running back and forth between the television and his computer in the office; must check those points and must rearrange those players. My Ipad and laptop are off limits to him because he becomes violent and jumps around a lot depending on what’s happening in a game. I’m also happy when the cooler weather sets in and I can close the windows during games. Him screaming, “Go baby go,” cannot sound good to our neighbors.
I’ve always cleaned my gun once a month after range day. I put a vinyl tablecloth down at the kitchen table and then use a few sections of old newspaper to absorb spills and splashes.
A couple of years ago, once a week on Sundays, and only during football season, I began cleaning my gun every week down at the coffee table next to my husband and the seasonal love of his life.
While I lay down the newspaper, a jar of solvent, brushes, cotton swatches, and oil he doesn’t even look over. I slowly and methodically, with soft supple hands, dismantle Clint (Glock 35 .40 caliber) named after Dirty Harry, the love of my life during football season.
I adoringly run my brush through the barrel and then using the cotton swatches make sure I get in between the crack of each separate part. I’m incredibly tender. I use a few drops of lubricant and make sure I have a gentle gliding feel. My hands are steady as I stroke the long cylinder. In my fingers the coldness turns to warmth. I place one drop of lubricant on each rear slide rail and massage it forward to the front slide rails. This relaxes me though my menopausal hot flashes seem to come more often during these sessions.
After Clint’s insides have shattered; slowly, ever so slowly, I place his pieces back together. Each part is a perfect fit. When my husband jumps up from the couch and cries out, I’m placing each piece in its proper slot and match him with silent words of my own, “Come baby come.” I’m in my own little world.
My hand grasps the slide rail and release, I pull it back. Strongly gripping Clint, my arms extend and my eye lines up with the front sight. I take a deep breath and as the air slowly leaves my lungs, my finger makes slow steady pressure on the trigger.
“CLICK” I shoot Tom Brady in the ass. “Slide CLICK” I shoot Clay Mathews in the knee. “Slide CLICK” I shoot Charles Woodson in the arm.
My husband jumps up and runs into the other room ruining my fantasy. Our television is still in one piece, the players continue to pat each other on the butt getting all the fun, and I’m still a widow. But, for those thirty-minutes it’s the most stimulating feeling in the world.