January 20, 2020
Greetings VFOT friends and followers. Well, it isn’t Sunday. It is actually Monday, January 20, 2020…and today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Here in Pittsfield, we commemorate Martin Luther King Day with a Day of Service, aimed at making it a “Day On, not a day off.” Today we began with a reception and keynote address held at Berkshire Community College. After that, C and I headed to the Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center, where we were assigned to an “out of school” program with a group of 8-12-year-old boys. We spent time in the gym playing in the soccer and in the classroom playing a trivia game. That’s a pretty good volunteer assignment. Of course, I’m still a day late…truth is, we had a family commitment yesterday and were traveling. By the time we got home, I was in no mood to write and blog.
The last couple of weeks have been marked with a variety of difficulties…professionally and personally. It’s ok. This is the type of stuff that makes us stronger. I got through it. Let’s get started.
I’m happy to say that I finally finished Lethal Force and the Objectively Reasonable Officer: Law, Liability, Policy, Tactics, and Survival, by John Michael Callahan (Callahan, John, Michael. Lethal Force and the Objectively Reasonable Officer: Law, Liability, Policy, Tactics, and Survival. 2015. Flushing, NY: Looseleaf Law Publications.) I’m sorry, and a little embarrassed that this one took me so long to complete. Let me be clear…this is a very good book…exceptional really. However, I struggled with it. The only explanation that I can offer is that the format of the book is blocky. There is a lot of case law and numerous citations and footnotes. I constantly found myself distracted by the notes and references. It was difficult to get into a routine. No excuses. This is a valuable book. It should be in any Use of Force Instructor’s reference library.
After completing Lethal Force, I started a couple of new books. The first is Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It, by Chris Voss. The other one is the new Field Manual by Commander Jocko Willink, Leadership Strategy and Tactics. I’m looking forward to getting into these two.
I needed to get out of my own head a little bit in the past couple of weeks. So I revisited both of Sean Parnell’s works of fiction again, then purchased a new Clive Cussler novel. Some titles are just to relax.
Other Learning Opportunities
In the first week of January, I took another officer from my Department and a member of the School District on a road trip to Queens, NY. The purpose of the trip was to attend the FBI National Academy Associates’ School Shooting Prevention Leadership Forum at St. John’s College. It was a 2-day workshop with some amazing instructors. We got a lot out of it. Worth it.
Last week, I was scheduled to attend an In-service Training block on Use of Force and Defensive Tactics. When I got to the training location, the scheduled instructor was a little under the weather, so I got the opportunity to cover some portions of the class. This was a great day out of the office. Yesterday, we had an Advanced Concepts Seminar at the dojo. We got to spend an entire class working on wristlocks. Plus, I had a great roll with Tom. What an awesome day.
Last weekend, we scheduled a make-up date night to account for my mid-week road trip. We selected a spot that we hadn’t been to in a long time…Zucchini’s. We had a great time out. On Sunday, we were enjoying some unseasonably warm weather. I took advantage of it and got outside for a run. This was my 1st run in a long, long time. I didn’t do too badly.
This week we started planning a trip that we hope to take some time between March and June. More details will be coming on this as we get more planning done. We started the week by putting in an early date night, since we’d both have to work a couple of evenings. Monday night we went and had dinner at the newly renovated District Kitchen. It was awesome.
As part of my home workout routine, I’ve added a couple of new pieces of gear to the mix. The first is an RMT weighted club from the WeckMethod. I’m having a lot of success working on my bad shoulder with this. The other gear is a training aid called BlazePods. These are basically small lighted pylons that can be set to different colors and timing. They can turn any exercise into a reaction time exercise. I’m having fun with these.
Well, that’s probably enough for now. It’s going to be a short week timewise, but probably not task wise. Until next time…