Check your HARD DRIVE

No, don’t worry about checking your computer. It’s probably full of pictures of Hooters girls like mine. Check out the novel Hard Drive instead…a fast paced thriller set in todays high tech world of buttons, gizmos and flangdoodles. Follow the crime and enjoy the ride as Toronto Detective Jack Wright races to solve the puzzle contained inside the Hard Drive.

Written by a fellow police officer, J. Mark Collins’ Hard Drive is an eloquently descriptive novel, sans the hardcore gore of Blood, Wings and Whiskey. Don’t worry, you won’t have to learn binary code or how to assemble a microchip, just relish a good read and well written detective story.

Here is the link for the book on Amazon.ca, but you can find it anywhere fine books are sold. 

Had a quick trip to Florida the other week. Enjoyed some sun, wings and beer at Gators Dockside. Best wings in all of Florida so far. 6.99 for a pitcher, can’t beat that. Get them grilled, well worth the extra five minutes and adds a crunch to the skin. 

Stay safe my friends.

AJG 

Remember Your Health and Wellness

I’m not one to talk about health and wellness, let myself get out of shape lately with a slovenly lifestyle of chicken wings and beer. On some of my travels I meet some interesting people, usually as I sit at the bar in whatever town I find myself in. This lady, however, I have known for quite sometime. Let me introduce you to Laine Mores, therapist, personal trainer and aspiring writer in the genre of science fiction. We couldn’t be more polar opposites in our lifestyle, but I have to admit she’s got it together. Check out her blog Homestyle Personal Training, full of good ideas, receipes to boost your wellness and advice to live by. I can’t wait for her writing to see the light of day, I have every confidence it will put me to shame. 

Like I said, Health and Wellness, don’t listen to me. I was flogging this book at Hooters.

Just got back from Thunder Bay, Ontario

Andrew Jay here. I just got back from a quick trip to Thunder Bay, Ontario, my old stomping grounds from when I was a fledgling officer just learning the ropes of the in’s and out’s of the detailed stickiness that is a homicide investigation. While there enjoying wings and beer at a few local establishments I came across this article from the CBC news that seemed to be eating away at some of the local population both police and civilian alike. Just from reading the article, which you can find here, I made some immediate observations just from the print on the paper.

Let me stress, I was not there for this session, so I make no judgements on both the police and the facilitator. I question the article, teaching method, and submit some ideas for consideration.

The opening paragraph states: “­­­­­­­­­­­­­verbally assaulted”. Being there is no such crime as verbal assault, I take this to mean insulted, put down, made to feel inferior, being hurt by words. Any of this, is of course, wrong. I see nothing that validates this by specifics.

“The city trains local volunteers who are paid an honorarium to train to conduct training sessions for all city staff, including first responders such as police.” This brings into account being able to train in the realm of ‘adult learning’, rather than just talking to adults about a subject. Teaching adults about something is vastly different from teaching children. Adults will fall asleep or lose interest in minutes if a facilitator is not properly trained to handle the adult brain, let alone the cop brain. A cop brain is wired differently and if you are not sure what I mean, read Blood, Wings and Whiskey. I myself, have spun in my chair, oozed downward into a gelatinous blob from being bored out of my skull from a dry facilitator that is just regurgitating what they have been told to tell me. Snoozer. Not saying this happened here, again food for thought. I truly believe the facilitator felt wronged but I cannot read this article and point my finger at anyone. I know the adult brain, I know the cop brain, inside and out. The best trainer for this type of sensitive issue is one that can teach, entertain and know how to keep the attention of both adults and cops alike. This is a skill one cannot gain in a ‘city training session paid by honorarium’. This specialized trainer, assisted by a facilitator can get the job done.

 “Officers accused her of lying about the statistics and asked her for proof of differential treatment…that is when she shut down the session.” I certainly disagree with anyone being accused of lying about any statistics they present, but there is nothing, did I say nothing, wrong with asking for statistics to be validated. “I hear you are saying that there is an unprecedented bias on how the way police treat (insert race here), what studies were done and how were these statistics gathered? Do you have any other statistics such as (insert race on race here), or just statistics on police? These are fair questions and the above specialized trainer is ready for this, because they can anticipate such queries from the rank and file.

So, the recipe for success in teaching cops is preparedness. Their brains are different, and that has been scientifically proven ladies and gentlemen by Dr. Kevin Gilmartin. Don’t just walk into a room of cops with a preprinted teaching manual, you will lose.

Anyway, one place for a good feed of chicken wings is Chicago Joes on Arthur Street. I’m not jumping for joy, as Thunder Bay didn’t seem to be big on variety for us wing lovers, but they had a Ghost Pepper sauce that made me sweat like a nervous virgin about to get his first…never mind, just try them. They also had a MooseHead Radler which was quite tasty.

More, or should I say ‘Mores’, coming on my next post. 

Andrew Jay 

Police as Human Beings

People view the police as staunch, unbending authority figures. The uniform, a barrier between the person within, and a member of the public that can only see one with the power to take away their rights, hurt them monetarily or incarcerate them. Behind the uniform is a person, and this person has thoughts and feelings, just like you. 

I can’t count the times that I have walked into a public establishment and a person who thinks they are being funny and unique raises their hands and says “I didn’t do it.” The smile we put on is entirely fake, because that bugs us. Seeing your child, your relative, your most cherished loved one dead, that hurts us.

Police are not robots. Police are not computers. Police don’t always have all the answers to your problems, but we will still try.

I have written this book to illustrate a point, through an entertaining murder mystery, that police are human beings. We are affected by what we see and do, our brains get rewired to absorb it. We get angry, we argue with our spouses, we argue with our co-workers, we drink, we get sad, we can cry too. Just like you. We use humor to help us through the day, we use humor to help us cope with the stresses of the job. 

Police are human, and full of faults, just like you.

– Andrew Jay Gillespie

Blood Wings and Whiskey – SNEAK PEEK from Chapter One

My first book, Blood, Wings and Whiskey is now available! Here’s a preview from Chapter One:

Sheila Gurracci sat alone at her kitchen table, her mind burning with speculation on whether she would survive the night or be thrust violently into Death’s waiting arms. The kitchen was not the decrepit mess that it once was two years ago. She had long repaired and repainted, attempting to paint away the scars she suffered in kitchen that night, the night Death came knocking, but she was not yet ready to answer. Her pretty dress was in the hamper and she returned to an oversized ratty shirt and gym pants, her garb of choice during her relationship with Jake. There was never a man to look good for, and certainly Jake did not count. The fear Jake had instilled in her through years of mental torture and physical assaults was the catalyst to her broken existence.

A crash of thunder was heard, much closer this time, and it jerked her to seated attention. The wind started to pick up and blew through the window. The white curtains danced like exuberant ghosts under the dim light of the kitchen bulb. These imaginary apparitions of her mind sent shivers down her spine and the tiny hairs stood up on her arms. She swallowed hard, got up and walked toward the open window. The ghostly white curtains blew into her face as she reached out and grabbed for the handle, jerking at the always sticky window. Her trembling hands made the effort to close the window that much more difficult. After a few tries she forced the sliding pane shut with a loud slam. The wind immediately ceased and the curtains returned to their normal hanging position. The silence of the kitchen was only disturbed briefly by the approaching thunder outside. She sat back down at the table.

            Maybe he’s changed, she thought trying to reassure herself. Maybe he learned his lesson in jail.

            Another crack of thunder made her jump again from her chair. It was so close she thought the storm clouds had purposefully stopped atop her rusty metal roof in an obscene gesture of ill will. The thought she just had disappeared from her mind because she knew Jake better than anyone, better than any police officer, better than any prison psychiatrist or better than any judge. She knew he would come and he wouldn’t stop until she’s dead. Slowly, she walked across the room to the newly cleaned kitchen counter. She opened a drawer and removed one of the biggest knives she could find. Its honed blade with a minutely detailed serrated edge was just right for the job but this job however, was not food preparation and it was not protection.

            The phone rang behind her with a shrill squawk and Sheila released a high pitched yelp in response. She stared at the phone, gulping frantically to try to quench her heavy breathing. It rang again. She reached out a shaking hand and put it on the receiver. It rang again and she instinctively snatched her hand back like she was pulling it out of the jaws of a crocodile. With trepidation, with caution, she reached out her hand again and picked up the receiver.

            “Hello,” she said in a small soft voice.

            There was no response.

            “Is anyone there?”

            Still there was only silence on the line.

            She swallowed thickly.

            “I’m going to call the police if you don’t say something.”

            It started lightly, and then got heavier. She could now hear the sound of someone breathing on the other end.