Wednesday, April 18, 2007

ILEETA Conference, Day 2: defying stereotypes

What better way to defy police stereotypes than by hosting...a donut eating contest.

Today ended with the annual World Cop Donut Eating Championship. Each contestant was assigned a donut deputy to monitor the number of donuts he consumed within the three minute time limit. The proceeds go to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

It's true. We love donuts, or as some of us refer to them, "power rings."

While donut-eating brought the day to a rollicking close, the day started on a somber note--a minute of silence for the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting. I know I haven't said anything about the killings before now. Honestly, I find the immensity of it too much to deal with, and I know I don't have the ability to even begin to address it. So I'll stick to stories about alligators and perverts, subjects with which I'm more comfortable. I was hoping that I'd find out more about the shootings--at least about the police response and investigation--from someone at the conference. There are a number of cops and vendors from Virginia there I think, but no one has any information beyond what's been in the news. In the meantime I'll just hug my wife and my children tight, be thankful for what I have, and pray for strength and comfort for all the people affected by this horror.

The opening speech was given by Ukiah, California police sergeant Marcus Young. In March 2003, while making a shoplifting arrest, Sgt. Young was attacked by a white supremacist who was with the person arrested by Sgt. Young. Sgt. Young was shot multiple times; his wounds included having his gun hand totally disabled. A police cadet ride-along came to Sgt. Young's aid, placing Sgt. Young's duty firearm in his left hand, allowing Sgt. Young to shoot the attacker 4 times, killing him.

Thinking about those kids in Virginia, and being in the presence of someone like Marcus Young, was humbling beyond words.


Johnny Yen said...

Well said, Bubs-- hug your loved ones with all your might, and thank god they're safe and thriving.

I keep thinking about that professor, a Holocaust survivor, who without hesitation gave his life to keep that sociopath from re-entering the room and saved a bunch of lives. I'd like to think that he's who we're about as human beings rather than the guy he stopped.

Mob said...

Wasn't Sonic The Hedgehog always in pursuit of power rings?

I am amazed by the professor's story, I can't imagine having that kind of bravery to give your life in that situation.

Beth said...

I can't find the words to write about the Virginia Tech shootings, either; my mind wants to escape it.

So ...

Did y'all have Krispy Kremes at the doughnut-eating contest?

Bubs said...

Beth, they use Dunkin' Donuts, powdered sugar, which makes it much harder to glom them down. Krispy Kremes would be easier.

mob, johnny: I'm much more likely to look for meaning, or the presence of God, in the profoundly heroic and humane acts of people like that professor than in the actions of the shooter. mob, what's amazing is how many good people there are out there who are capable of what the professor did.

Here's an interesting point. In hearing my family, and most civilians talk about this shooting, I repeatedly hear phrases along the lines of "I can't imagine the horror/terror of being in a situation like that". Among the guys at this conference, I repeatedly heard honest sadness expressed that they weren't there to stop it.

Dino aka Katy said...

I luv dunkin donuts. Its funny we don't get donuts from drug reps too often but so far every day when the cops bring a prisoner to us for a visit someone will have had given us donuts (i always offer it to them since I am nice and all)

"jew" "girl" said...

bubs, you're one prolific muffin!

the donut competition could not have come at a better time. what a great distraction and sense of comradarie (sp).

it really is such a heartbreaking and tragic event, but as yensky said, "well said".

Coaster Punchman said...

Likewise on the remembrances.

Lulu, are you reading this??? Where is Jane when you need her?

(Jane likes donuts.)

lulu said...

Jane LOVES donuts.

justacoolcat said...

mmmmmmmmmm forbidden donut.

Once when the cops busted up a small New Years Eve party I was attending (loud music) we all shuffled across the street to a neighbors house. They had an unopened box of donuts on the counter and I took them out and politely offered one to each of the 5 squads parked on the street. Not a single taker.

I wasn't very bright when I was young.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I actually found myself wondering how someone in law enforcement would react to hearing of the Virgina shootings. Obviously as a human being first, but it's interesting and heartening to hear how your colleagues reacted by wishing they had been there to stop it. I guess that's what separate those who serve from the rest of us. That, and the amazing ability to ingest powdered doughnuts.

Bubs said...

Barbara, and our ability to grow awesome mustaches and rock aviator glasses.

Coolcat, I'm impressed you didn't get arrested. You must've been pretty damn charming with those donuts.

J.G. thanks

Katy, I used to bring donuts to the emergency room nurses, and to some of the teachers at the junior high school

lulu said...

No one ever brings me donuts, although given my students, I would be hesitant to eat them if they showed up on my desk. (the donuts would be on my desk, not the students)