Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Category: Uncategorized

June
17th

Three years later, a blue wrap-up

In 1988 I was a big fan of the cop drama, Hill Street Blues. It was a brilliantly poignant show that myself and many of my academy classmates credited for driving our decision to become police officers. Fast forward to April 2011, and that career choice spurred a new gig as a News Tribune blogger.

Hard to believe it’s been over three years since I first started writing Blue Byline. Back then I was a cop with a penchant for writing hackneyed diatribes, small 600 word missives forever destined to change the way TNT readers viewed the world of law enforcement.

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June
9th

Mass shooter: the rise of the anti-hero

This time it happened close to home. One victim dead and three wounded on a college campus. A lone gunman taken into custody.

Once again it was our turn to stare in shock at the breaking news on the television – a mass shooting at Seattle Pacific University, the quiet, tree-lined campus that hugs Queen Anne Hill (TNT 6/7).

Our reaction to such senseless violence should not depend on proximity, but of course it does.

In an achingly familiar cycle, we first experience panicked shock as we recall the faces and names of students we know (four,

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June
2nd

Red-flagging unstable individuals is not without risk

Who knows what evil lurks in the minds of men?

Simple answer: God. Since he isn’t sharing, and the Shadow (whose catch phrase this is), is a fictional character, that leaves the rest of us to blunder our way through life, locking our doors both figuratively and literally, trying to keep the unknown forces of malice at bay.

Yet in defiance of logic, we often demand that our authority figures predict the future. We curse the weather forecasters. We make boogeymen out of politicians (sometimes rightly so). We point the finger of blame at law enforcement when killers emerge from

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May
25th

A college commencement speech you’ll never hear

If I were a snippy kind of guy, the fact that I didn’t receive a single invitation to deliver a college commencement address might irk me. But I’m not. Sniff.

Outside of a handful of web-surfing insomniacs I recognize that few people have heard of me. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have something to contribute to the graduation zeitgist (whatever that is). This is the speech I might have given, if anyone had asked.

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Hey kids. Thanks for inviting me to speak at the commencement of the class of 2014. You guys look great in those caps and

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May
19th

Eatonville tragedy another stat in a quiet epidemic

Cognitive dissonance: (noun) the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.

Thursday’s scathing news assaulted our senses: A man kills his wife and turns the gun on himself. In that short sentence are a thousand unspoken fragments. Two children, orphans. Family, friends, confusion, grief.

Sadly, this story could easily be supplanted in the headlines of any newspaper virtually anywhere. That it happened in Eatonville is just coincidental (TNT 5/15). It has shaken this small town, yet for all the disbelief and outrage, experience suggests this crime

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Nov.
19th

Could legalized marijuana increase cartel profits, violence?

In the realm of unintended consequences, irony rules supreme.

Take legalized marijuana for instance. It has generally been assumed that the profits from legalization, now a reality in Colorado as well as Washington, would come at the expense of the violent drug trafficking organizations operating in North and Central America. According to Mexican President Felipe Calderon, that may not be the case.

After a recent meeting with leaders from Honduras, Costa Rica and Belize, Calderon and representatives of President-Elect Enrique Pena Nieto spoke at length about the potential implications of legalized pot (Trib 11/12). To paraphrase the politico-speak,

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Sep.
30th

In a land of immigrants we all have a story

Last installment in a series on illegal immigration

In this nation of immigrants, most people can count on one hand the number of generations since their family tree found American soil. The struggle to immigrate and integrate into America is an ongoing narrative.

Of course not all arrival’s come through our front door. The Trib’s comprehensive article, describing Oscar Campos Estrada’s journey from illegal entry to a deportation trial, is a peek inside the world of illegal immigration. It is a bizarre, contradictory reality that resembles the land Alice found when she fell down the

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Sep.
27th

Free speech on the street and in a dangerous world

When gunmen stormed the house occupied by Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens, killing him and three former Navy Seals working as private contractors, they must have hoped their actions would fracture our Arabic partnerships and test the mettle of our resolve in their part of the world. They were correct.

Had they also guessed that their murderous rampage would have us questioning the very framework of our democracy – the right to free speech – they would have again, and unfortunately, been correct.

As news on the tragic event in Libya unfolded, we watched hate-filled mobs burn our flag, storm our

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