The Gift of Paper

How appropriate that the traditional gift on a one year anniversary is one of paper.

Today marks one year with Behind the Blue Line, a concept first dreamed about and then brought to fruition. 

Even though this blog is read online, the writing itself stems from a need to indulge in the written word, to let flow onto ‘paper’ the thoughts and experiences that shape a profession, and to prove without a doubt the officers of the Vancouver Police Department are good people. 

The stories I’ve shared could be told a dozen times over with the names of other officers in the place of mine and perhaps with only a slight change to the circumstances.  My stories are not unique, only the telling is.

Policing is a calling, not just a career.  I really do hope I’ve made this clear. 

I love my job.  Most officers I know love their jobs.  Even though we often feel under-appreciated and under attack from various levels of the citizenry, we do this job knowing the world is a better place because of it.  We are aware of the silent majority who support us and every thankyou and kind word does not go unnoticed. 

Indeed, they stay with us always.

This blog started out with tentative baby steps.  I felt my way through media reports, current news topics and stories based on experiences from my days at work.  I initially tried to blog every day but this proved to be too difficult with a very demanding full-time job.  To compromise, I’ve settled into writing 2-3 times a week, which seems to suit most people just fine. 

What became abundantly clear was readers (you) had little interest in news they could read/watch elsewhere.  Instead, readers wanted the raw story of what happens to an officer behind the wheel of a police car, what happens when a citizen in need calls 911, and what happens behind the blue line that is policing. 

From the time I’ve started this blog I’ve discovered there are those who think police officers should not write about their daily happenings, that to do so is sacrilege.  I’ve received hate mail and rude comments. 

But I’ve also learned there is a great need for people not exposed to the world of policing to be given a front row seat so they may better understand what it is we do and why we do it, because with understanding comes acceptance. 

To balance the negative and positive I share what I can and there are topics I will simply not write about – undercover work, current projects, departmental politics or significant news events like the Dziekanski Taser incident.  Other stories, ones that will not compromise the safety of my fellow officers, are the ones I can share. 

Of those stories told over the last year, the following have garnered the most attention:

 

Hopefully, the end result of a year’s work is that the curtain has been pulled back, just a little, to allow you a glimpse into what life as a police officer is like.  

Thank you to the Vancouver Police Department for their support, to Rob at iContext.com for taking care of the technical and design aspects of the blog and being there for every question I’ve had, and to the Vancouver Sun for choosing to run with some of the topics covered here and for giving me the opportunity of joining their writing team.

My biggest thanks go to you, the reader, for without your continued support and interest this blog would have fallen.  Your emails and comments are a measure officers can judge themselves against in hopes of never falling short.

And most of all, thank you for your acceptance of police officers everywhere. 

 

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

          – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

15 Responses to "The Gift of Paper"

  • J. F. says:
  • Mom says:
  • Anonymous says:
  • Christopher says:
  • DC says:
  • Rose says:
  • Anthony says:
  • Chris says:
  • Sandra says:
  • slamdunk says:
  • Ed Skinner says:
  • Jon says: