Letters

Letters 02-08-2016

Less Ageism, Please The January 4 issue of this publication proved to me that there are some sensible voices of reason in our community regarding all things “inter-generational.” I offer a word of thanks to Elizabeth Myers. I too have worked hard for what I’ve earned throughout my years in the various positions I’ve held. While I too cannot speak for each millennial, brash generalizations about a lack of work ethic don’t sit well with me...Joe Connolly, Traverse City

Now That’s an Escalation I just read the letter from Greg and his defense of the AR15. The letter started with great information but then out of nowhere his opinion went off the rails. “The government wants total gun control and then confiscation; then the elimination of all Constitutional rights.” Wait... what?! To quote the great Ron Burgundy, “Well, that escalated quickly!”

Healthy Eating and Exercise for Children Healthy foods and exercise are important for children of all ages. It is important for children because it empowers them to do their best at school and be able to do their homework and study...

Mascots and Harsh Native American Truths The letter from the Choctaw lady deserves an answer. I have had a gutful of the whining about the fate of the American Indian. The American Indians were the losers in an imperial expansion; as such, they have, overall, fared much better than a lot of such losers throughout history. Everything the lady complains about in the way of what was done by the nasty, evil Whites was being done by Indians to other Indians long before Europeans arrived...

Snyder Must Go I believe it’s time. It’s time for Governor Snyder to go. The FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the EPA Criminal Investigation Division are now investigating the Flint water crisis that poisoned thousands of people. Governor Snyder signed the legislation that established the Emergency Manager law. Since its inception it has proven to be a dismal failure...

Erosion of Public Trust Let’s look at how we’ve been experiencing global warming. Between 1979 and 2013, increases in temperature and wind speeds along with more rain-free days have combined to stretch fire seasons worldwide by 20 percent. In the U.S., the fire seasons are 78 days longer than in the 1970s...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Extinct no longer
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Extinct no longer

Harley L. Sachs - October 5th, 2009
Extinct No Longer
The quest to recover the Tasmanian tiger
By Erin Crowell 10/5/09


It’s hard to argue that police work is not the usual nine-to-five job. It’s a career of long, lonely hours, dealing with unique situations and people. We hear about them in the news – the routine traffic stop gone wrong, the burglar who got away, the standoff lasting hours. But, what we rarely hear about are the personal stories of those officers, the good stories – the ordinary, the extraordinary, and for some, the unexplainable.
Ingrid Dean, a 20-year veteran of the Michigan State Police, gathered some of those stories and wrote a book: Spirit of the Badge: 60 True Police Stories of Divine Guidance, Miracles, & Intuition. Released on October 1, the book is a collection of first-hand, written accounts by police officers from around the country. While some stories may be interpreted in the realm of the paranormal and the divine, all show a side of law enforcement we rarely get to see.
Dean – who has served as a field detective for there years, was a polygraph examiner for 12 years and worked the road for six – is currently a detective sergeant and forensic artist for the Seventh District Michigan State Police Post in Traverse City.
The Express recently sat down with Dean and asked her more about the book and the goings-on behind the badge.

NE: You said the idea for the book came from studying for your Masters in transpersonal psychology. Can you talk more about that?
Dean: I went back to school after 15 years with the Michigan State Police for something new and to stay excited about police work; and also for spiritual growth, so to speak.
I came up with the idea as I thought more about the exceptional experiences that police officers have. They’re seldom shared with the media. You always hear about the bad things or negative situations.

NE: How did you go about collecting these stories?
Dean: I collected them first from officers I knew and worked with through my polygraph office in Grayling, at the crime laboratory. And as the project grew, I sent out bulletins and flyers and talked to officers in other police agencies in Michigan; and then around the country.
It covers not only the Midwestern area, but Washington state. One story is from Ontario, Canada. Another is from Utah. I tried to mix and match and diversify, find officers from different areas of the country.

NE: Did you find a lot of stories within your post?
Dean: I did, actually from the Michigan State Police in general, I’d say 25 percent of the stories were from my own agency.
NE: I had to look up ‘transpersonal psychology’ online because I had no idea what it was. And it’s not just religion. Does it go beyond that?
Dean: Absolutely, it’s not a religious book. I’d like to make that very clear. Really, it’s a book about exceptional human experiences. They’re from the very extreme to the very ordinary – paranormal, metaphysical type stories. Stories that go beyond our five senses or are often unexplainable. Miracles, you might say.

NE: You’ve had your own personal experience?
Dean: I’ve had several, but the one I decided to share in the book has to do with a traffic stop I made as a trooper. The car had a taillight out and the man jumped out of the car and begged me not to arrest him, said that he had a warrant out for his arrest for an OUIL (Operating Under the Influence of Liquor). I checked him, and sure enough, he had a warrant.
I went back to the car and he said, “please don’t arrest me, I have this date tonight.” I thought, oh no.
He said, “I really do. She’s my soul mate. She’s the one and if I don’t see her tonight I just know it’s not going to work out.”
I don’t know what it was about him. Maybe it was his body language, how he said it. Reading between the lines, I thought, there is some element of truth to what he’s saying. So instead of taking him to jail, I used my privilege of making the right decision and just gave him a ticket. I let him go.
I thought nothing more of it until two years later when I stopped a car in a completely different area. It was a snowstorm blizzard. I stopped the car for weaving over the centerline and, after talking to the driver, I could tell he was drunk. After awhile we got into a fight in the snowbank and this truck pulls up behind us and this man jumps out of the truck and assists me with him. Keep in mind I don’t have backup for 20 minutes and this was a big man. So he helps me put him into the patrol car and he looks at me and says, “you don’t remember me do you?” I said, “I’m sorry I don’t.”
“Well, I’m the man you stopped two years ago and let go because I told you I had a date. I wanted to let you know we ended up getting married and I got my license and truck certification back. When I saw you fighting in the snow bank, I knew you needed help and wanted to return the favor.”
What are the odds?
Those are the kind of heart-warming miracle stories that are in the book.

NE: It’s interesting you mention ‘reading between the lines’. You’re always told by people to trust your gut instincts. Is that a lot what this book is about?
Dean: Yes, and some people call it divine intervention. Some people call it intuition. Some people call it angel messages. I didn’t mind whatever belief system a person had. These stories really focus on the miracles of intuition and learning to integrate that with your experiences, education and common sense; because I think that makes a much better police officer.

NE: would you recommend this book to others working in the same field, like firefighters or EMTs?
Dean: Any first responder would really enjoy it, families and friends of first responders would, I think, really love it. And anyone interested in the metaphysical, paranormal world would too. There are some ghost stories, there’s a chapter on unexplainable phenomena like UFOs. So for police officers to share these types of stories is remarkable because of their conservative, shy tendencies. I think they talked to me because I’m in the same field and they knew I wouldn’t embarrass them.

NE: Did you find a lot of them had told people before? Or had they kept these stories to themselves?
Dean: Seldom told. Most of them said, “I’ve never really shared this.” In fact, a couple preferred to be anonymous. I told them it wasn’t about religion or drawing conclusions from experiences, it was about sharing experiences. They are conservative and officers are not so apt to expound upon these more exceptional, heart warming stories. They like to keep their professional air.

NE: have you come across any skeptics?
Dean: You do, and I think it’s all about perceptions. All the officers shared their stories from their own perspectives. I have had some skeptics, but it’s hard to stay that way when all these police officers have shared these stories. Police officers are very reliable overall. They have a reputation to uphold, even in the legal system, so they’re not going to lie about these things. I believe they truly speak from their own perspectives and experiences.
It’s nice to read because you can draw your own conclusions as the reader. If you’re a Christian person, you may perceive some of these stories one way. If you’re more metaphysical, transpersonal-type person you might say to yourself, we’re a lot bigger than we think we are.

NE: Anything else you’d like to add?
Dean: Yes. When police officers walk the path everyday, they walk into emergency situations that sometimes require some quick response; and they’re moved into very unexpected directions; and this is what takes officers way beyond their comfort zone and five senses. They’ll do anything to resolve a case. I believe they learn through experience how to integrate their gut instinct and sixth sense in how to make the best choices in those moments.

Spirit of the Badge: 60 True Police Stories of Divine Guidance, Miracles, & Intuition published by Topaz Heart Publishing, retails at $17.95 and is available for purchase at Horizon Books and Higher Self Book Store of Traverse City, the Cottage Book Shop of Glen Arbor, Cops & Doughnuts of Clare and on amazon.com. For more information about the book and author, visit spiritofthebadge.com.

 
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