Saturday, January 30, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
A couple of weeks ago, the Police Poetry Calendar for Portland, Maine, was released. The program is sponsored by Art at Work which is a national initiative to improve municipal government through strategic art-making projects with City employees and elected politicians. Marty Pottenger was the driving force behind the police poetry project which is in its second year. Portland Police Chief James Craig believes it is "a real opportunity to show the community what police officers are all about." The calendar is dedicated to the memory of Sergeant Rick Betters who died this past year. He was well loved by his officers, and as Assistant Chief Joe Loughlin put it, "No matter what your relationship, you learned something from Rick Betters." The poetry is quite good and worth a read, and as Chief Craig said, it does give you more of a sense of who police officers really are. One poem struck me in particular entitled, "Jenny and I," describing a police officer's involvement in the investigation of the physical abuse of a young child.
"My 18 years wearing camo then blue, her 18 months wearing black and blue, Jenny and I have learned we cry inside."
In addition to giving us a better sense of who police really are, the poetry project allows officers to acknowledge to others and deal more directly with the strong feelings that they must manage on a daily basis, but often without being able to express them "outside."
Ron Breazeale, Ph.D.