Chattering Mind

Chattering Mind

NYC Shootings Near My Door

I’m distressed by the news that two NYC police officers were shot Monday morning when they stopped to question the drivers of a stolen SUV. One officer was shot in the face and is fighting for life. His partner was shot in the arm and chest, but was saved by his bulletproof vest. Police are engaged in a manhunt for the missing shooters right now. One man has been arrested.
So all that would be painful enough, right?. But these shootings occurred one hundred fifty yards from my front door!
Some might say, “Oh, in New York, that can be a million miles.” But it isn’t. Energetically, I am linked and feel connected to the pain more intensely.
But since I’m visiting Massachusetts–eating organic raspberries, and driving around with an OM sticker on my car–so distanced from my neighbor’s reality, I can only count the steps out my Brooklyn front door in my mind to get to the scene of the crime. It’s just three blocks, true… into a more dangerous section of my neighborhood–(I can see the garbage on the streets, the iron railings, and a fire hydrant), especially at 2:30 a.m. (right, I say, I’d never be out at that hour).
But I do walk the dog over there sometimes, and I pass by on my way to the post office, and I drive by when I take the kids to school. We are all linked. We are neighbors.
When I spoke to Mr. Chattering this morning, I said, “What can we do?” And I reminded him of a boy’s bar mitzvah project we’d heard about: This wonderful kid we know went to his local fire house, and asked the fire-fighters there if they needed anything. Turns out, the fire-fighters needed a microwave oven the city couldn’t pay for, and some other supplies. So for his bar mitzvah project, the boy worked within the neighborhood to raise the money to buy whatever the firemen needed. And then he gave it to them.
We all might consider reaching out to assist the public servants protecting us. I’m confident our block association will create a fund for the police officers’ families, and we’ll contribute generously to that. But what else would you do? I’ll return to this idea in subsequent posts. How does a neighborhood heal from a trauma like this? Have horrific things happened on your block? What did you do to help and foster healing?

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Elizabeth Nora

posted July 13, 2007 at 2:39 am

I am a Houston Police officer and have been for over eight years now. I work in one of the worst areas in town, southwest Houston. We have such a shortage of officers that on the weekend we will only have 2-4 officer on duty. I’m not kidding! And this is on night shift, 11pm-6am. The chief of police has decided to start this sqaud system for the department but what he fails to realize is that we not not have enough people. He wants every officer to have a part of the weekend off. This is nice but it leave an extreme shortage on the weekend and becomes very dangerous for us. I pray everytime i get into the partol car that I make it through the day and make it home. But what do we really need? Not material things but a moral bust. I have racked my brain and can not find the answer! Any suggestions??

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posted July 13, 2007 at 11:42 am

Elizabeth Nora, sometimes those police officers’ associations call, asking for donations, and I have no idea whether or not the money reaches you guys in tangible ways. A moral boost is what people want to give…would be cool if there were more ways to actually interact through community meetings, block gatherings, etc. It’s fascinating this boundary exists between regular community residents and the people being paid by the city to serve us, given the enormous fascination with cop/crime tv shows.

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