About a year ago I got an email from Kim Bradford, one of The News Tribune’s editorial page writers. I had done a couple of stints as a guest columnist and she was wondering would I be interested in writing a blog for the editorial pages.
Sure, I told her. But first a question: what’s a blog?
A year later I have written a number of blogs for the paper, some of which made the cut to the print edition. Most of these contributions arose from my experiences as a local police officer. Because I have spent most of the years between 1989 and the present as a cop, I naturally felt most comfortable writing about law enforcement related topics.
I am grateful that a few people took the time to read. Some were critical of my view–a few vehemently so–while some where genuinely positive about the content of the column and the work done by my colleagues in blue.
Good or bad, that feedback was likely the reason I received another communique from my editor, Patrick O’Callahan: Would I be interested in writing my own cop-centric online column for The News Tribune?
Hmmm. Does a Taser shoot 50,000 volts? (The answer is yes, but the bite is in the 2.1 milli-amps, just so you know.)
Thus the creation of this blog, the Blue Byline, so named for the thin blue line of police officers on duty every hour of every day. Giving them a voice is my prime motivator. In doing so I hope to add layers of understanding and context to the myriad stories about cops, citizens and criminals that are scattered like grapeshot throughout our daily media.
I will also take any opportunity to defend my brother and sister police officers from the narrow-minded few that insist that corruption and excessive force is endemic to my profession. Conversely, if one of us screws up–and we do, because like it or not, we’re from the same gene pool as everyone else–it is important to identify the problem and deal with it.
Lastly, of course, I enjoy the writing. Enough said.
I hope you like the column. If one of the topics intrigues you, I invite your comments.