Susan Sleggs

Reflective observations to inspire conversation

From a Policeman

It’s worth the read. This was written by a police officer that just got off of “work”. Remember as you head into work today… #BMCC  –  WBEE, Rochester, NY

J Van Dyke

I am home after an 18.5 hour shift. And yes, I am safe. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the calls, texts, Facebook messages… even from people I almost never talk to, or haven’t talked to in years. It’s always a huge comfort to know people care. If I haven’t responded, please know that I am fielding a lot of these calls from family and friends, and doing the best I can. I’m super exhausted so bear with me… a little about the incident…

The first 7 hours went pretty much like every other shift goes. Then while I’m sitting there eating my much-anticipated Chipotle on my lunch break, radio broadcast… active shooter at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. For the next 11 hours, we all experienced a number of things. Stress and anxiety were among the most common emotions. Listening to the radio while we were headed towards the Mandalay Bay, listening to the stress in my partners’ voices, listening to them shouting about how many victims they saw, the fact that shots were still being fired. The chaos of not knowing where the shots were coming from, or who was shooting them. The fact that it was a fully automatic weapon, machine-gun style…. Whoever this was, he outguns us. Hearing gun shots on the radio while my partners were asking for help, knowing you are still miles away, is nothing that any cop wants to ever experience. On arrival we moved in on foot, still not knowing where the shots were coming from. Learning vague details from numerous panicked 911 callers… some of them saying there were multiple shooters in the Tropicana Hotel, New York New York Hotel, Mirage Hotel, Paris Hotel… the ongoing radio traffic about more victims being found, more shots being fired… Even that didn’t compete with the faces of people running away. The citizens and tourists we all swore to protect, running for their lives, hoping that we could give them a miracle. And of course the frustration we get when people question you… “Why do I have to leave?” “But my hotel is that way.” “Why are you yelling at me to put my hands up? That’s not very nice.” “Why are you pointing rifles at me? That’s scary.” The herding dogs get frustrated with the sheep who don’t want to listen. That’s why the Sheepdog has to bite the sheep, growl at the sheep, essentially scare the sheep into submission, for their own good. Because some just don’t know how to save themselves. Some don’t know or understand the magnitude of what is unfolding. Now the most deadly active shooter incident in modern American history, and I try to save your life and rush you to safety, and the Sheepdogs, herding the sheep to safety, are criticized for their “aggression.” But all those negatives are forgotten when you find a crying, terrified family sheltered in place inside a bathroom stall. When you get to guide a horrified mother and her crying child to safety.

But even that… even that does not compare to the most powerful, and to me one of the most important aspects of this whole thing. The bravery and courage of first responders that only we get to witness and fully understand. The fact that one of my coworkers was on vacation tonight, heard what was happening, and suited up at home and came with us to fight the wolf. In my 12-man unit, only 9 of us were “on duty” – the other 3 came from home when they heard what was unfolding. At the end of the day, we fight side by side, and we go in together. Unfortunately, we don’t always all make it out, and today, an LVMPD police officer who was off duty attending the concert, was among those who tragically did not make it out of the festival alive. Today I will honor that Officer, along with the more than 50 people who died. Today I will think of their families and friends, who now have to learn how to go on without their loved one. And today I will ask you, for one day, to put your politics aside. Forget about Donald Trump. Forget about the NFL. Forget about whether you should stand or kneel. Forget about our differences in opinion when it comes to policing in America, and how cops treat their communities. Let’s come together as a UNITED nation, and honor the victims and their families. Let’s come together as a UNITED nation and honor the first responders who worked incredibly long and stressful shifts, without food, water, or even bathroom breaks. If you wonder how cops view the communities they police, consider the fact that so many of them came in today, off duty, to help. Not because it’s a job, but because it’s their calling. It’s who they are.

The sheep don’t always want the sheepdog around, because he reminds them there is evil in the world. But, still, the sheepdog is willing to fight in defense of the sheep, and at a moment’s notice, he is willing to lay down his own life for the sheep he loves. It is simply who he is.




Appreciation Goes a Long Way

This is a day to show appreciation to boyfriends everywhere for the good things they do. The National Day of Calendar pointed out there are special days for just about every category of people: mothers, fathers, grandparents, siblings and cousins, so why not boyfriends. Continue reading “Appreciation Goes a Long Way”


Too sad to write!

RIP victims of Las Vegas

Hate the fact this is going to be blamed on gun control. A man who wants to do something like this will get a gun, or more, regardless.

May the survivors and families heal from the brain trauma.

Thank you to the Vets and off duty police officers at concert who aided the injured.

Make Mine Decaf

Coffee has been around a long time. The earliest evidence of it appears in the middle of the 15th century in the Sufi monasteries around Mokha in Yemen.  It was there coffee seeds were first roasted and brewed. Yemeni traders brought coffee back to their homeland from Ethiopia and began to cultivate the seed. Continue reading “Make Mine Decaf”

Look Out For Each Other

With the recent hurricanes affecting the U. S. we have seen wonderful examples of good neighbors on the news. Too bad it takes a catastrophe to makes us aware that human empathy is still present in our crazy world of division.  Continue reading “Look Out For Each Other”

Healthy is Better

According to the National Day of Calendar this day of Women’s Health and Fitness will be celebrated at hospitals, recreation and senior centers, parks, health clubs and schools. Since I don’t frequent those places, I haven’t heard of any events in my area. Continue reading “Healthy is Better”

Love Your Furnace

Here we go with another one of these day names. I had to click on National Tune-up Day just to see what it was about. My first thought was tune-up your attitude. Sometimes I could use that. (Shh. Don’t tell anyone I admitted it.) Then I thought about a tune-up for my car. The more you do that, the longer your car lasts. Low and behold, it is talking about your furnace. Continue reading “Love Your Furnace”

My Home State

As a young Air Force wife in the ’70’s, the first general question I heard was, “Where are you from?” Of course I said New York. About 95% of the people I met thought I meant New York City. In other states, and in Europe, people didn’t seem to understand New York was a great big state. I finally started telling folks I was from Niagara Falls. They understood that was a long way away from NYC.  Continue reading “My Home State”

Who Has a Bowl?

When I was young knowing someone who owned a punch bowl was imperative. Not everyone could afford a nice one, especially if it had at least twenty glass cups that matched. Back then punch was served at many different kinds of parties. My family go-to recipe was a liter bottle of ginger ale mixed with a can of Hawaiian Punch and a large can of frozen orange juice concentrate. Spoonfuls of rainbow sherbet, or a ring of frozen juice with fruit in it (made using a Jello ring mold) floated on the top of the liquid. At a wedding there might have been two punch bowls, one for the kids and one spiked with Vodka for the adults (that the kids like to sneak). Continue reading “Who Has a Bowl?”

Chance Meeting

My husband and I like good music (mostly jazz), an adult beverage and gathering with friends. This past Saturday we had a once-in-a-lifetime experience with a much closer than six-steps away connection. All the way home at the end of the evening, we kept saying, “What are the odds?” Continue reading “Chance Meeting”

Just a Youngster

Do you know how young the Air Force actually is? During the Civil War flags and torch lights from aerial balloons were used for visual communications sending messages from above. The Signal Corps became an official branch of the Army in 1863. After that the “air corps” went through many names and commands. My father was a member of the Army Air Corp during WWII. Finally in 1947, President Truman signed the National Security Act establishing the United States Air Force as a separate branch of the military, the result being advanced technology and superior airman. Continue reading “Just a Youngster”

Freedom Isn’t Free

According to the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency there are still 82,468 military members listed as missing in action from as far back as WWII through current day. Think about that a minute. That’s a lot of families that don’t know what happened to a loved one and are still wondering if they are alive or dead. It’s the not knowing that can eat at your soul. Continue reading “Freedom Isn’t Free”

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