Category Archives: Personal

Your Opinion Matters!

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I’m just a cop, but I can tell you this: YOUR OPINION MATTERS! Join the discussion in the imjustacop forums, it’s free! Some blogs allow comments in the blogs themselves. I choose not to because I believe allowing comments directly in the blog detracts from the blogger’s message. I do, however, desire to hear what my readers have to say, so I created the imjustacop forums. Registering is free, and it enables you to voice your opinions on what I blog about. It’s a friendly, safe environment for you to express your views. The imjustacop forum community and I would love to hear from you! But hey, I’m just a cop.

http://imjustacop.com/forums/index.php

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“That’s What Men Do Son.”

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Let me tell  you this. Early on a cold, winter Sunday morning, just this past Sunday to be exact, I was driving my twelve year old son to his baseball practice. We were driving on the road parallel to Oyster Bay, when my boy saw this man out on the bay in his boat. I have lived just over a year in Oyster Bay, and I see men in boats daily, out on the bay practicing their trade. I am not entire certain exactly what these men are harvesting, but I believe it’s oysters. (*Edit: I have since been told they are harvesting clams not oysters) They can be seen with what appear to be rakes, raking the bottom of the bay from their boats. My son, likewise, has seen them doing this on multiple occasions, but on this particularity blustery morning, he felt compelled to say something.

“Hey Dad, that guy is crazy! It’s freezing, and it must be even colder out there on the water!”

I pulled over to take this picture. I looked at my son and said, “Well son, that’s his job. He probably has a family, and maybe even a son like you. That is how he earns his living. That is how he pays his bills and puts food on his family’s table. I agree, it is probably absolutely frigid out there, but that’s what people do. That’s what MEN do son. They provide for themselves and their family.”

My son looked at me, then back out at the man on the boat in the frozen bay.

“But Dad, it’s so cold out there! It must be really hard.”

I replied, “I’m sure it is son, but that’s his job.”

I was grateful that my son was able to appreciate just how hard this man, and the other men like him, work. I must admit, I’ve secretly thought similar things when seeing them out there every day, and I’ve always respected them for braving the elements as they do.

“Well son, look at you. You are on a baseball team, right? It’s the middle of the winter, and you can’t play baseball outside now, right?”

He shook his head, and said, “No, we can’t. We can’t play because all the fields are covered with snow.”

“But you still work hard, don’t you? You got up early on a Sunday to go practice, right?”

“Yeah”, was his response.

“Well son, you do that so you can play the best baseball you can for yourself and for your team. That man gets up early and goes to work so he can provide for himself and his family. My point is, you both work hard because that’s what men do: work hard to be the best you can be.”

It was clear by the smile that my son liked being compared with the hard working man on the bay.

“You worked hard too right Dad?”

“Yes, I did son.”

“You used to get up very early to go to work, right? And you worked in all kinds of weather too, right Dad?”

“Yes I did son. I’ve work in all kinds of weather. Snow, rain, wind, really hot days, and really cold days. Police work all the time in whatever weather there is, because we always need police.”

“And now you are retired, and don’t have to work anymore, right Dad?”

I chuckled, “Well son, that’s the plan, but we’ll see how that works out. If I have to go back to work, or if I decide I want to get another job, I will do whatever I have to do. Because that’s what people do son. That’s what MEN do. That’s what RESPONSIBLE MEN do.”

“Is writing on your blog work Dad?”

I chuckled again, “Sort of son, yes. I am practicing my writing just like you practice your baseball, and for the same reason: so maybe someday I can write a book. Then that will become my new job.”

“Writing isn’t the same as working in cold weather Dad.”

I laughed out loud this time and replied, “No, it’s not quite the same son, but it is still work. Not everyone is good at writing, and I’d like to get better. That is why I try to practice a lot, and write as often as I can. Think of it as what you do in school. It’s like school work.”

“Will you get famous Dad?”

I looked at him and smiled, “Probably not son, but you never know. It’s like you and your baseball. You could grow up and be a famous baseball player some day, but we both know how hard that is, and we both know the odds are not in favor of that happening, but you still practice hard all the time, and try your best. That’s what I plan on doing son. I plan on practicing a lot and trying my best.”

“Cause that’s what men do, right Dad?”

“That’s right son. That’s what men do.”

But hey, I’m just a cop.

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Last Roll Call

Let me tell you this.

While I officially retired on Tuesday, January 20, 2015, today at 1345 hrs (that’s 1:45 PM for non-military time folks) I will stand my “Last Roll Call” as a Port Authority Police Officer. It will be bittersweet.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with how most police departments work, a roll call is generally held fifteen minutes prior to an officer’s work shift. So the roll call for officers working from 2-10 PM would be at 1:45 PM. Officers stand in a line facing the patrol sergeant and tour commander, most often a lieutenant. The sergeant and the lieutenant face the line of officers, and the sergeant reads each officer’s name. The officer usually says “Present”, or “Here”, and then the sergeant will give the officer his or her assigned post for the day. After attendance has been taken and the post assignments given out, the sergeant will then read important information from the “roll call clipboard”. This information varies greatly. It can be the delightful news of an officer’s wife giving birth, the mundane announcement of some new procedure being implemented, or the tragic death notification of a fellow officer. The mood of roll call, often dictated by this information, can range from lighthearted and humorous, to very serious and grave. It is a fundamental part of most police officers careers, and it establishes a sense of camaraderie, routine, and a procedure for divulging information. Today will be the last time I stand in uniform at a roll call.

For the past twenty-one years, I have had the honor and privilege to wear the uniform of the Port Authority Police Department. During the course of a career spanning just over two decades, my duties have varied. I have guarded a Fabergé egg, and yes it was gorgeous. I have protected dignitaries such as President GW Bush, President Clinton, Senator Hillary Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, and a Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, just to name a few. I have rendered aid to injured and sick people in need, performing CPR numerous times. I have responded to hundreds of car accidents, been involved in more than a few high speed chases, directed traffic more times than I count, and have spent countless hours on patrol, doing my part to keep the community safe. I have handled pounds of narcotics, inventoried property from suicide victims, and deposited thousands of confiscated drug dollars. I, along with all the members of my department, had to deal with the events of September 11, 2001 on a personal level unimaginable by most people. All things considered, I like to think I’ve had a good run.

I would like to thank my fellow police officers: I couldn’t have done my job without your help. I would like to thank my supervisors: when it was good, it was inspirational. Finally, I would like to thank the Port Authority of NY & NJ: you have generously given me a career I can look back on with pride. No agency is perfect, and the Port Authority is no exception, but they have provided for me and my family, and for that I am eternally grateful. Over twenty years ago, a young man in his twenties, with no real plan for his life, happened to take a police test. He passed that test, and became a police officer. He has never been, nor will he ever be, the same since.

Police Officer Capuano, present for the final time.

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Passionate Does Not Mean Close-minded

Let me tell you this.

My first “official” post. Where does one begin? Well, let me start by saying thank you for coming to my new website. I realize that I am but one of millions, and I appreciate that you have taken the interest to come see what I have to say.

Those of you who know me, know that I am very passionate about my beliefs. I try very hard not to comment about things I am do not know much about, but the flip side of that is when I do comment about something I know about, I may come across as close-minded. I assure you I am not close minded. Passionate does not mean close-minded. Passionate means deep-rooted. Passionate means well researched. Passionate means well thought out. Simply because I have invested time in formulating my position, does mean I am not willing to hear an opposing view. It does mean that the onus is on you to convince me that your view is the better way of looking at things. If you can’t do that, don’t get frustrated, angry with me, or simple disengage. Think, profoundly, about what I have said. Ponder on your position. Then decide if perhaps what I am saying may be correct, or if you want to do a little more research.

The world is too polarized today. People have become too intolerant of opposing views, and it appears as though many are not interested in listening anymore. This is not a good thing. When people discredit what others have to say simply because it is not concurrent with their way of thinking, they limit their ability to learn. Education, learning, involves hearing all sides of a position unbiasedly, weighing all facts, all opinions, and then deciding for yourself what you believe is most accurate. That is not possible when you refuse to entertain something you may not like to hear.

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