You Think YOU Had A Busy Day

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

There is something about waking up and knowing that your day is just going to be filled to the brim with work.

My eyes snapped open and I lay there for a second, my brain slowly sliding from sleep to wakefulness like a mass of jello sliding on ice. I clicked off the alarm, and threw myself from the sheets.

I tossed away the quick minute of sadness for missing my morning routine of YouTube and coffee in bed and hit the shower. It was already almost 6:30 a.m. and I need to be at the Durham Region headquarters for 8:30 a.m. and also wanted to get some writing in before I got there.

I grabbed a bowl of dry cereal and munched while I got some fiction writing done. The story is progressing nicely, smooth as butter in fact, and I’m trying to keep that creative tract well lubricated with daily effort to ensure things keep moving that way.

So, my first assignment, the 8:30 a.m. one I mentioned, was a meeting of the Durham Regional Police Services Board. An absolutely riveting assignment at the wonderful hour of 8:30 in the morning. I felt bad for the Toronto Star reporter that was also in attendance having to drive in from the city. However, I was happy she was there. Wendy Gillis, the police reporter for The Star, has been an idol of mine for some time, so being able to work alongside her is almost surreal. 

The reason I was at that meeting in the first place was to cover the update regarding the Dafonte Miller case, as the agenda for the meeting noted that some news was going to be shared.

Police Board agenda

For more info on the Dafonte Miller case see the bottom of this post. 👇 (Not right below here…you know…like the very bottom).

So with that small line, I was up, written, eaten, showered and out the door before 8 a.m.

It was worth it.

The DRPS made the pretty notable change of making it policy that in the instances of serious injury to civilians when police are involved, regardless of the police force, if the incident occurs in Durham, the DRPS will report it to the Special Investigations Unit. Now, this doesn’t seem like much, however, it’s the fact that the police have made it POLICY. That’s the reason this news is so big, it’s codified into their regulations now, and it gives the public, the police watchdog, and the media something to point to if this ever happens again (God forbid) and shove in their face saying you should have known better.

Put simply, the SIU investigates any “serious injuries” to civilians when police are involved. If you don’t know, here’s the brief section from the SIU website explaining what “serious injuries” are classified as. Notably, there’s a bit of room for interpretation. 

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 10.49.55 PM

From the Durham Region headquarters in Whitby, I was back in the car and headed to the Oshawa office briefly. I had already missed my 9:30 a.m. meeting at Oshawa City Hall and needed to fire through my emails before my 1:30 p.m. meeting.

There wasn’t much too exciting at the 1:30, but I was there for a couple hours and had some interesting discussions, which I will not share here, that will definitely prove fruitful in the future.

At this time, it was nearly 3:30 p.m. and I still had a collection of stories to write, including two from the board meeting and a few from earlier in the week.

I also had an entire newspaper to paginate and layout.

*Deep breath*

The layout happened first, as I can only do that in the office while I can get writing done at home.

So, that’s what I did. When M arrived at around 8:30 p.m. I was still working at the kitchen table.

I was there until about 11 when I collapsed into bed beside her.

All in all, it was a pretty good day.

Thanks for reading,

J.J.W.