Please Drop the Inciteful Rhetoric and Offer Solutions

I wrote this letter to the editor in response to a commentary article titled "Police need to be able to do their job" in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. The article can be found here.

Hi Brittany,

Please Drop the Inciteful Rhetoric and Offer Solutions
I opened your article hoping to find some insight that would move the conversation forward on "keeping the peace in our nation's communities". Instead I read an attack on a fringe point from an internet blog post. Nearly everyone who reads your article will likely agree with you that law enforcement officials should be armed - particularly with a population as well armed as we are in the United States. My question is: why not use your editorial space to address and offer potential solutions to the controversy? Why not offer solutions that would protect good officers while also bringing officers abusing their powers into check?
One solution might be encouraging police officers to wear relatively inexpensive body cameras. Multiple studies, including a report released by the Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services has pointed that body cameras increase transparency from police and witnesses as well as reduce complaints of force by officers. In cities like Rialto, California and Mesa, Arizona complaints against officers dropped 88% and 60% respectively. It reduces the stress on the officers, allows for increased transparency, and reassures community members that they are being treated fairly by the law.
It appears that you are passionate and protective of your husband and his profession. My little brother is also a police officer so I think we share that passion. What worries me most is that he would ever be put in a situation like Darren Wilson. It was a terrible situation. But I think we can all agree that an unbiased third person (in this situation the body camera) would likely have prevented everything else that happened in the days following the altercation.
Jake Vennie-Vollrath
Saranac Lake

Monarch Butterfly Emerging from Chrysalis

This past fall we adopted and released a few Monarch butterflies. Here is one emerging from its chrystalis.

Power Breaks!

Trying to keep the breaks I take during the day "productive" by using my trainer to generate electricity for the fan and laptop (catching up on "24" which I have apparently been out of the loop on since early last decade).


Here is the earlier video of Derek and I when we first put it together. I've made a few modifications since then.