Today I clicked into my Microsoft Word folder, imaginatively entitled “columns”, to tap out my latest take on police life, and discovered it was in fact my 100th column written for community newspapers!
Being one to celebrate any milestone, this realisation plunged me deep into the diving pool of self-indulgence, metaphorically raising my bat to acknowledge my century to my police station colleagues – who number exactly zero, given I’m the sole cop at my police station.
With a face for radio, voice for mime, and a personality for a sole station, it made sense to contribute a police column.
But fair to say the police media liaison wasn’t a fan of my linguistics, as they gave her a bad case of the “risk averse” chills.
Fortunately my comeback of “no worries, find someone else to do it” has always worked, as no-one else wanted the task.
Political correctness levels surrounding police media opinions are as strong as the All Black front row, and skirting around “generation outrage” is a tippy-toe affair.
For highlights/lowlights – my column Emmy Awards are as follows:
“Most letters to the editor” goes to a column I penned on drugs.
Always a controversial topic, the drugs debate will spark up soon in “pound” not “tinny” quantities with the upcoming referendum on cannabis use.
Liberal me says “legalise cannabis”, but my practical side has seen too many far-reaching life consequences from drug use, and the “gateway drug” theory is absolutely worth consideration.
Hopefully clever minds will find middle ground, where the playing field is shifted but the gate is not left wide open.
“Most feedback” goes to a column on suicide.
Sadly, intrinsically relevant to most Kiwis – how about Mike King as Minister of Suicide Prevention?
“Most abusive feedback” goes to a column on gangs – comparing Anzacs selflessly sacrificing their lives for what they believed was best for their communities with the modern day gang members who see communities as something to be looted. The less-than-constructive feedback was entirely from repeat clients who ironically seem to be among the closest of police social media followers.
“Most threatening feedback”was in response to a column on child sex offenders, with the cliched “I know where you live” threatening letter received.
“Best consistent subject matter”has to go to our students, with their annual events and general vibrancy providing great content.
While I won’t be donning blue long enough to raise my column double century, I guarantee our colourful clients will continue to provide #betterworkstories and good column fodder.