Thursday, September 27, 2012

Waffle's Information

Waffle started Kindergarten this year. She catches the bus at noon and has to be accompanied by a parent. She's picked-up, by a parent, at the corner when school is finished and gets off the bus with 7 or 8 other kids.  It's safe because either Blue or I are always there for her and when she leaves us she is with the bus driver and other children.

On the first day of school all of the Kindergarten kids were given big buttons to wear on their backpacks. The button is bright yellow and very noticeable. On the button is all of Waffle's important information; her name, where she catches the bus, her bus # and the name of her school.

Blue has been thinking about speaking to the principle about this. He sees this as a serious risk, freely giving out our daughters name and information to anyone who walks past her. We teach her not to talk to strangers, but the truth is, Waffle would run up to a creepy looking man in a dark van and ask him to push her on the swings before thinking twice. She's just that kind of kid. It makes it harder when that individual might know her name and street and school from the button on her backpack. The button has fallen off a number of times so I've just stopped putting it back on and will continue to leave it off until told otherwise.

I can see why the school asks the kids to wear the buttons and since she's always with a parent I do think that everything will be fine. I don't live in fear of my kid being snatched. But every year there are 30+ little kids being given these buttons with their information on it.

What are your thoughts on this? As a police officer, or the wife of one, where do you stand on having a child's information on display for the world to see?

Saturday, September 22, 2012


It's lovely having a quiet Saturday afternoon.

Blue is sleeping, Mozart is playing in the background, The Boy is working on some math, Waffle is working on writing her letters and I just finished organizing/cleaning a bookshelf.

I need to enjoy these moments while Baby Blue is still in my tummy.

Only two more months until we are a family of five.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Posted by: Blue

Last night, on a fatal motor vehicle collision, we had to shut-down one of the biggest streets in the city going West-bound right in the middle of rush-hour.

On at least 5 separate occasions, pedestrians and cyclists crossed the bright yellow police and fire tape "DO NOT CROSS" lines, ending-up in the middle of a crime scene.

There were also countless vehicles who tried to sneak-by the road flares, officers in bright reflective vests and cruiser cars with lights flashing to enter the working scene.

On top of that, the only two witnesses to the crash refused to wait and provide statements.  One of them said "Dude, I just want to get a hamburger and go home."  They both had outside wants and cautions for drug tafficking.

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to reason with people who have no common sense whatsoever.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Blue has action packed dreams about being in officer involved shootings.

I have action packed dreams about buy one get one boxes of block margarine.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Posted by: Blue

Tonight we had a Domestic Assault arrest.

He had punched her repeatedly in the face and then choked her.  We were called because a neighbour heard her begging him to stop.  Her screams got quieter as she got closer to passing-out.

When we arrested him, he kept asking if she would be okay.  I said: "I think she'll be fine if she never sees you again".

Upon reviewing his record, it came to light that this was the fifth time he had been arrested for assaulting her.

She declined to provide a formal statement each time, including tonight.  Each time the charges were dropped.  Each time she went back to him 'cause he said "sorry".

Maybe he'll kill her next time.

We can solve the crime.  Not the life.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

On the Home Front

Posted by: Blue

As I have posted before, I have a second life as a finishing carpenter and cabinet maker/installer.  It was one of my previous careers.

We bought a "fixer-upper" house.  Here is a list of the things that I have done to it so far:

  • Tore-out kitchen, re-designed it, built a new kitchen, installed it
  • Tore-out 3 walls (lath and plaster), re-designed main floor layout (including re-routing ducts) 
  • Re-painted every square inch of wall and ceiling
  • Replaced all of the flooring on the first and second floors and stairs, including sub-floor on second floor
  • Re-cased all doors and windows, repainted the same
  • Painted the exterior (minus trim)
  • New door for kid's room
  • Walk-in closet addition to master bedroom, including manufacturing built-in cabinets and shoe shelves
  • Built-in pantry cabinet closets for kids' room
  • Built and upholstered 2 chairs
  • Built office desk
  • Milled and replaced all of the railings on second floor
  • New curtain rods and curtains on most windows
  • Multiple electrical upgrades
  • Crown moulding in the dining room and living room
  • Re-drywalled the dining room and living room
This is what is left to do:
  • Remove all sod, re-grade front and back yards, replace sidewalks and front steps, re-sod
  • Replace front chain-link fence with hedge and wrought iron gate
  • Scrape and paint all exterior trim
  • Baseboards
  • Replace kitchen flooring (again) as I tore the vinyl with the fridge pushing it in (stupid rookie move)
  • Replace stairs into basement and all of the flooring on them
  • Re-drywall the back entrance
  • Replace much of the flooring in the basement
  • Finish the spare bedroom in the basement
  • Touch-up all paint
  • Hardware for a few of the cabinets
  • Knock-down shed and garage, build mega-garage with shop
  • New parking pad
  • Repair and replace parts of the back fence, repaint entire fence
  • Take out current flower beds and re-design, re-plant
  • Clean gutters
  • Trim pine trees
  • Tear-out both bathrooms and replace tub, shower, sinks, possibly toilets and rough plumbing
  • Install exhaust fan in main bath
  • Build medicine cabinet and shelves for bathroom with mirror
  • Build entertainment unit for rec room
  • Install false stringers for stairs
  • Sell this stupid, stupid house and buy one that some other schmuck has already finished
Out of all of these things, the only thing I have not done myself (or plan to do myself), is the carpet for the two bedrooms.

Most weeks, heading back to "work" at the station means I get a bit of a break.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Parentless Children

Posted by: Blue

In our province, there is one service which takes care of children.  It governs all of the smaller off-shoots and the variety of levels of care which are needed for the variety of concerns.  CFS (Child and Family Services) is the organization, and it is mandated to care for children whether in temporary care, emergency care, foster care, or as long-term wards of the state.

In a city of just under three quarters of a million people, there is one locked facility of an emergency nature where problem girls can go if they have not broken the law or are not intoxicated, but have become a danger to themselves due to behavioural issues (running away from care etc.)  It is frequently full.  Police are not given power to determine to place the run-aways in this home.  I don't know exactly how many beds are available for girls there, but they number in the low double digits, possibly even single digits.

Runaway girls are at exceptionally high risk for exploitation.  They are also far, far more frequent to run away than boys.  Girls as young as 10 frequently leave their CFS mandated homes to prostitute themselves for money, crack, meth, booze or other drugs.  It is not surprising that suicide risks often accompany young girls in these situations.

The CFS workers do nothing to stop the girls from leaving.  Indeed, it is in their policies and procedures that they may not physically stop a child from leaving a house, whether they are threatening suicide with a razor blade in their hand or just going down the street for an ice cream at the corner store (though this policy is contrary to both the Criminal Code of Canada, which grants the use of reasonable force by a legal caregiver or guardian to enforce rules and discipline and to ensure the child's safety).  Ironically, the policy could also result in criminal charges, as Failing to Provide the Necessities of Life to a Minor.

Their procedure instead: call the police.  That way, the responsibility is entirely off their shoulders.

Now a child threatening suicide is a reasonably simple procedure for the police (when they are in immediate danger of following through).  We form the opinion that they are a danger to themselves and have them undergo mandatory psychological examination.  The doctor has a brief meeting with them (around 5-10 minutes in the emergency room) and then almost always releases her.  Very, very, very few are admitted to hospital psych wards.  I have repeatedly had teenage girls in the hospital waiting rooms with cuts to their wrists or rope burns on their throats who have been stitched or bandaged up and released without being admitted.

The wait before seeing the doctor is frequently between 4 and 10 hours.  All while in the custody of the police.

When a child is not an immediate danger to themselves or to others, they are not able to be forced to undergo this typically meaningless examination.  Ergo, a child thinking of suicide rather than planning it is not able to be taken into custody as it is not a police matter.  This is where everything gets very fuzzy.

A child who is not able to be taken into custody because they are not a danger to themselves, because they haven't committed a crime and because they are not intoxicated, but who has shown that they will run away from their caregivers as soon as the police leave, with no restraint from the caregivers is a major problem.  And it happens far more often than you think or would like to believe.

There is only one organization who can lock a child such as this up.  And they are always busy.  And there are often no more beds.

In short, if a child of any age less than 18 wishes to leave their mandated housing and prostitute themselves for money, drugs or alcohol, there is almost nothing that police can do.  We just search for them, hopefully find them (alive), and bring them home, praying that this time, they will keep their promise to stay.

The most interesting thing to me is that if that child turns up dead or raped or beaten, it is always the police who are blamed first, not the legal guardians who allowed the child to leave the safety of the home in the first place.

So what the hell should a cop who cares about kids do?  Maybe the police should start adopting children and showing these "caregivers" how to parent.  We are the only ones they ever hear "no" from in many cases.  I guess there's a reason they learn to hate us and run from us and fight with us.

It makes me sad.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Different Kind of Life

I've started to run into a few different outlooks, or possibly attitudes would be a better way of wording it, from people around us towards the way Blue and I live. Not everyone. There have been many supportive people during this transition, but once-in-awhile I've noticed this seeping in.

It's not that I feel that they don't like the way we live, they just don't understand it.

They don't understand what it's like for Blue to work 10+ hours doing a job that isn't, by any means easy. It's physically, mentally and emotionally demanding. Then he comes home to let his body and mind rest. Then he wakes-up (depending on which shift he's working these can be switched) for a very little bit of down-time, eats something and heads to the station to start over. This routine goes for 5 or 6 days in a row. When he actually does have a set of days off, he's either working a side job or working on our house renovations, trying to get the bulk of them done before Baby Blue gets here in November.

As a wife, I try to support him the best that I can and I'm still learning what this looks like. I try to keep the house somewhat quiet when he needs daytime sleep. I don't ask anything of him when he's on shift. I don't have lists for him to do on top of working 10 hour days. I realize that a lot of my things have to wait until his time off, or I need to do them myself. I've become very independent.

We can't always make it to family dinners, church or time spent with friends. We're no longer weekend warriors. Planning a get-together usually need to be done weeks or months in advance. Unless it's only our immediate family involved, spur-of-the-moment plans are practically non-existent now. The Boy and Waffle can go days without spending significant time with their father. When they're in school they can go his whole evening shift without seeing him (pictures, phone calls and texts have to suffice).

I'm fine with this way of life. More than fine. It's different and unusual, but it has so many perks that it's hard to see the downsides. What I find irritating is when people just can't seem to wrap their minds around the fact that we're okay living like this. It doesn't bother us. Sure, it was an adjustment, but one that we were happy to make. It's not that I expect everyone to understand a life they've never lived, but it's hard to be talked at, or down-to, with this 'you poor dysfunctional family' attitude a lot of the time.

Does anyone else ever get this? How do you deal with it?

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Posted by: Blue

Last night, on an Impaired Driving arrest (the worst possible type of call and arrest in terms of paperwork and B.S.), our guy tried to sprint when we opened the cruiser car door at the station.  We watched him take 2 steps and then bail in the gravel, likely because he only had one shoe on (he had lost the other trying to jump a fence running from K9).  The turf surf was pretty harsh, 'cause he was cuffed behind the back per policy.

Nothing to break his fall but his face.

Sometimes, Karma does the ass-kicking for us.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Posted by: Blue

The other day, while on a bathroom break at Mickey D's, a young, drunk Native male walked up to me and offered his hand, introducing himself as "Tony".

I shook his hand.  He said "Mind if I ask you a question?"


"I wanna work with kids but I have a history... a violent history to be honest..."


"What should I do?"

It was 3 a.m. and he was downtown, alone in a rough neighbourhood.

"Go home and go to bed.  No one ever gets in trouble while they're sleeping.  Stay out of trouble for a few years and then apply for a pardon."


I ran him when I got back to the car.  He had been convicted of Manslaughter at 18 years old for stabbing a youth to death in a fight.  Under our sickeningly lax laws, he was released on parole after 3 years.

I hope he never gets pardoned.  No one needs him "working" with their kids.