Although at the time I write this, I haven't heard anything officially, I am pretty sure I'm no longer the secretary for the Shaler Township Police Department. Apparently a couple officers took offense to some things I wrote in my blogs and took it up with the township manager. He seemed to think that I painted the township in a bad light, and I was suspended.
I'm still flabbergasted (cool word, don't you think?) that anyone could possibly take offense to anything I wrote. I was always extremely careful not to mention anything confidential. On the rare occasion I wrote about a case, I made sure it was something that was public knowledge and had already been written about in the media. Any joking around or teasing was done in the same way you'd tease a sibling. I thought these guys were my friends. Apparently I was wrong.
That really bothers me. I know some of these guys have read my blogs before--I sent them links--and they never once had anything bad to say about what I'd written. A couple of times I actually got a comment that they liked it! But now? Not a peep out of them. Not a phone call. Not an email.
To me, this is a First Amendment issue. I've never written anything detrimental to the township. On the contrary, I've brought them free publicity. Many people outside of law enforcement think cops are power hungry jerks. I've tried my best to paint them as caring human beings, who have the same foibles as the rest of us. My blogs are written to give (mostly) writers a glimpse into the world of law enforcement. I don't think I've done too badly with that.
So, I'm onto a new chapter. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. I might do some freelance work if I can find it, and I'll probably apply for some jobs doing something a little less stressful than working in a police department. For now, I'll get caught up on things around the house and do a lot of writing. And I'll definitely keep blogging.
The First Amendment to the Bill of Rights:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.