Blue Byline

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

April
21st

Hate crimes: the slippery slope to genocide

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”                         -William Burke

Last week I had the great fortune to visit the other Washington for the first time. I found our nation’s capital to be so much more than just the seat of power. It is a global crossroads.

There one can find embassies and consulates, lobbyists and think tanks, all symbiotically (or parasitically, depending upon one’s view) situated next to the Capitol, the White House, the Department of Justice, as well as countless

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April
10th

Trying out a novel idea

About eleven years ago I submitted my first guest column to the TNT. The topic was my short tenure as a stay-at-home dad, a guy trapped in a world built for mommies. The piece was lightly humorous at best, but at least it provided some return on my dusty ol’ English degree.

Back then my writing was low brow – I had a penchant for words like “gazillion” and “wedgie” – and my prose demonstrated little appreciation for the subtleties of writing.

Now, like many people who dive into a new profession, I am still probing the vast depths of

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April
6th

“New” overdose drug will save lives on the street

As I stood over the prone body of a man, his pale face relaxed as if in sleep, I wondered what his last thoughts had been.

Had he thought of his family? Perhaps a girlfriend or wife? Or had his only thought been for the heroin seeping into his vein, taking him away from all such concerns and killing him so swiftly that the needle was still embedded in his cold, lifeless arm?

More important, what if the medics had arrived in time to administer the drug that could have saved his life? Of course it is impossible to say what

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April
2nd

Rescuers are case study in courage, compassion

The cloud was orange. It lifted above the cranes and smokestacks, a giant toxic mushroom lit from within by the industrial halogen beams emanating from the Port of Tacoma’s sprawling terminals.

The location of the spill itself was hidden inside the opaque orange mass settling gently over a large portion of the rail yard. As I headed towards the site, I passed a stream of semis and smaller trucks moving steadily away. I also passed several groups of Tacoma firefighters, all of them donning HAZMAT suits alongside their fire trucks. A lone firefighter wearing an oxygen mask waved my patrol car along, past

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March
27th

Lost aircraft, devastating mudslide a reminder of the limits of human endeavor

Your basic modern human lives in a world of his own creation. With the Internet and big box stores, virtually any product is within reach. The answer to nearly every conceivable question requires little more than a few taps on a smartphone. With modern transportation, nearly any part of the globe is accessible within a day.

We control our world, or so our hubris would have us believe. My gawd, are we stupid.

All it took was the loss of a single aircraft, Malaysian Flight 370 to be specific, for many of us to question our

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March
19th

Infused cannabis: the unholy marriage of marijuana and munchies

In Colorado, marijuana is getting a makeover. For the entrepreneurs trying their hand in this newly legalized marketplace, the image of Cheech and Chong giggling behind a reeking cloud of pot smoke is no longer profitable.

Instead, their new mascot must be Willy Wonka.

How else to explain the new line of cannabis infused treats like mints, candy bars and cakes (whatever happened to plain old brownies?) being created at startups such as Denver’s Dixie Elixirs. According to Jordan Schrader’s well researched articles on Colorado’s nascent industry, this is just the first of many entrepreneurial

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March
16th

Happy St. Paddy’s Day – now go reserve a cab

March 17th in Ireland is little more than one more religious holiday in a country tethered to Catholic tradition. Forget the ads for “Best Irish Tavern” and “Legendary Pub Crawl.” On the Emerald Isle, Saint Patrick’s Day comes and goes with little fanfare. The only green you’ll find is the grass.

Obviously, that is not the case in the U.S. (or New Ireland, as the legion of my Irish and Irish-American cousins could legitimately name it), where tapping a keg, dancing a jig and kissing nearly anything green on St. Paddy’s Day approaches the level of a Celtic Mardi Gras.

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March
10th

A cool equation: cup + camera = arrest

As a rookie cop, one of my favorite jobs was searching for clues at crime scenes. If an object bore even a hint of a fingerprint, I’d have it buried under a blanket of black powder before you could say, “That’s my new stereo!”

Despite my zeal, and the success of crime scene technicians both fictional and real, police officers are able to gather plenty of evidence without the need for high tech gizmos. One does not need an infrared camera or a DNA swab to decipher the information on items such as a receipt, a business card or the

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