Friday, May 20, 2011

Yes, I'm Still Around

Ok, you all know it's been a long, LONG time since I've posted here. I've been entertained by Lt Pata's posts and well, my stuff doesn't even come close! I've had my plate a bit full on both professionally and personally, so the creative juices just weren't "there."

If you've been to any of the courses I've taught, you will here me mention the importance of keeping a life outside of police work; balancing work, family, outside interests and sleep (something, I never get enough of, which is why I'm up at 4am typing this entry!) are important but sometimes work does take over.

If you've been keeping up with what's been going on in the City and Department, you know we've been just a tad bit busy. The people I work with, for the most part, are fantastic. We pull together and get each other through things, good and bad. When things get tough, we get some how dig down and do whatever it takes to get the job done, whatever the job maybe. I've watched co-workers in Patrol, Investigations and CSI, work endless hours. Yes, there have been some bitching and moaning (some much louder than others!) but it's human nature. Bottom line, we know a job needs to get done and well, we take care of business.

It's times like this when work does intrude on our outside lives, whether or not you are directly involved in the investigation or not. So, thank you to the PD families, for understanding as best as they can & for the endless support, thanks to the officers and dispatchers who have had to cover shifts because others were pulled from their primary duties, thanks to secondary employers for understanding that this job needs to come first. I know plans have been cancelled, sleep has been lost, schedules altered and it hasn't gone unnoticed. I know we do things because it's expected of us, it's part of the job and it's just in our natures to step up - but THANK YOU. It's very much appreciated.

Honestly, it has been long couple of weeks for me. Between my regular duties, my volunteer job, the incidents of the last week and training, there's hasn't been a lot of extra time to catch up. But, I can say, this last week has been a great way to re-charge, network, work with a great group of people and exercise the gray matter (yes, I go home more tired after sitting in classes all day than working my 8 hour days at the Aquarium - and it's all physical labor at the Aquarium!). I, along with four other CSI Team members, have commuted back and forth to Napa so we could attend the California State Division of the International Association for Identification's Annual Conference.

I've learned from some of the best during this past week. I'll gladly admit some of the stuff was WAY over my head and above my pay grade and my eyes did glaze over once (or twice) when they were talking chemical compounds and other "stuff." I am coming back with better photography skills, ideas on how to over come some of the issues we run into in the field, and a better understanding of things in general. I've heard fascinating lectures, gone hands on to learn new techniques or test new equipment and have been met some of the most talented and fascinating individuals this field has offer! I need to thank the instructors who gave our team all of the help and individual attention we needed - sometimes, I know, it took a lot of patience and effort on your collective parts but it is much appreciated. Thanks for also letting us borrow your equipment!

Today is our last day in Napa and as I reflect on everything that's gone on, I have to say the best part of the Conference has been the people. I've met some great people from other agencies, gotten to tips from those working in the field and labs, many veterans and some like me, who are still learning. Nothing beats, in my eyes, learning from peers. While I'm very close to some of the team members I went to the Conference with, I think I've gotten to know each of them a little better - learned strengths and weaknesses, both personal and professional. I think this helps us understand each other a bit better and makes us more of a cohesive unit. I know you know this already but Peggy, Lyn, Marc and Lisa, you rock. I am proud to work with you and beside you (and thanks for keeping me balanced!)!