March 21, 2021
Happy, sunny Sunday afternoon VFOT fans and followers. This weekend marks the beginning of Spring, and I took the opportunity to mark the occasion with a couple of special events…last night I fired up the SoloStove in the backyard and we had a beautiful early evening fire…today I put on my weighted vest and ruck and got out on the road for a couple of hours of ruck marching. Happy Spring!
I’m still working my way through Transforming Leadership (Burns, James MacGregor. Transforming Leadership-A New Pursuit of Happiness. 2003. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press.) This one is going really well and I’m enjoying it. The format makes it an easy read and I’m getting a lot out of it.
While not strictly pro-reading, I also finished reading Tangled Up In Blue: Policing The American City, by Rosa Brooks (Brooks, Rosa. Tangled Up In Blue: Policing The American City. 2021. New York: Penguin Press). This one popped up on several of my online law enforcement groups and was simultaneously recommended by a member of our local police advisory board. I did not have high hopes for Ms. Brooks to present a fair and balanced view of law enforcement based on her bio. I was pleasantly surprised. Ms. Brooks is a journalist with a strong background in human rights and is also a law school professor at Georgetown. In her 40s, she decided to join the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department’s Reserve force as a volunteer police officer. While she does inject the narrative with some social commentary, for the most part, it is a retrospective look at her experience as a police recruit and a rooking police officer. I really recommend this book.
After Tangled Up In Blue, I needed to lighten it up a bit. I turned back to Terry Pratchett and downloaded a new title to my Kindle. I’m just getting started with A Hat Full of Sky, another one of the Discworld series. I really love fantasy/science fiction as a palette cleanser and am having fun with this one.
Other Learning Opportunities
To start of this reporting period, I participated in NOBLE’s virtual annual CEO Symposium on Monday and Tuesday afternoon. I hadn’t attended the CEO Symposium in a number of years, and it was a good opportunity to gain some national perspective.
On Monday afternoon, I had to take some time to write a special blog post. I had some pretty disturbing nightmares and thought it was important to document this. You can find the post earlier on this site.
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been participating in a Municipal Public Safety Labor Law certification class. I’m learning a lot, but I really wish that I’d had the opportunity to learn some of this stuff earlier in my career. Labor law is not all that interesting, but it is pretty complicated, and I feel good about getting some specialty training in this area.
Last week, I got to take a training trip for the 1st time in a long time. It was refreshing to return to an activity from before the pandemic. It was also nice to catch up with some old friends and reconnect.
This Tuesday we had a great supervisory roundtable meeting to wrap up the quarter. We’re getting a lot done with this series and I’m looking forward to moving into the next quarter.
Some Stuff About Me
Here’s something that I don’t think that I’ve ever blogged about before. At one point in my past, I was a SCUBA diving instructor. I got into diving shortly before becoming a police officer. It was something that I’d been fascinated with since I was a child and that I’d always wanted to do. When I got out of college and got my first real job, I decided to treat myself to lessons.
As is my normal MO, when I learn something new, if I really enjoy it, I go all in. That’s what it was like for me as a diver. I went straight from basic open water diver into Stress and Rescue and recovery diver. I completed several specialty classes including night diving, navigation, and ice diving. After that, I started racking up dives and worked my way through Dive Control Specialist, to Assistant Instructor, and finally to Open Water Instructor. I kept that credential right up until I became the Chief.
When I got promoted, I could no longer commit to regularly teaching classes. After a period of time, it wasn’t cost effective for the shop that I certified through to continue paying my instructor’s insurance. As a result, I had to let my credential lapse.
Over the past several years, I haven’t been diving much. The only dives that I’ve done in the past several years were the 2 that I logged while on our honeymoon. I need to get in the water more.
The reason this came to mind this week is that I recently got a text from a dive buddy to tell me that my buoyancy compensator was serviced at the shop and is ready to pick up. That might be a sign.
We’ve had some fun date nights. We had to shift the first one early to accommodate my trip. That one was a little messed up because we had to slide date night in between work and an evening meeting.
This week, date night fell on St. Patrick’s Day. That meant revisiting a new tradition…dinner from Patrick’s Pub and some dark beer. This was a fun date night, but it was also the anniversary of the day that our City shut down for the pandemic. That was a bittersweet memory.
This week I got to get back to my regular training. Thursday night jiu-jitsu, Saturday morning Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu and a good ruck march today in the Spring sunshine. I’ll take it.
On another note, during my rucks I’ve been listening to podcasts instead of music. One of the things that I’ve been doing is listening to old episodes of Zero Blog Thirty from the beginning to catch up with the story arc. Last night and today, I got to the archived episodes from 1 year ago. It was very odd to hear the hosts start talking about coronavirus and not think that it was going to be a big deal. One of them actually said, “I don’t think this is something that we have to worry about in this country.” It is amazing how little we collectively knew and how we couldn’t suspect what was in store for us in the next couple of days and weeks. It’s unbelievable how dramatically our world has changed in one year.
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Well, that’s enough for this week. See you soon. Until then…be well, stay healthy, and be kind to one another.
Be Safe, Keep the Faith, Do Good Work, 1*
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