Friday, December 25, 2009

Irish Christmas Traditions--WIN RIVERDANCE TICKETS!--Christmas Lights Bus Tour and Pubs & Irish Event Listings

Brother and Sister Members of the Los Angeles Police Emerald Society,

I'd like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a joyous holiday season for you and yours!

Just a few items....

1. I have included this Irish News E-Missive for your enjoyment and consideration. I encourage you to join the mailing list so that you may become aware of all the Irish cultural activities that might be of interest to us. Emerald Society members may consider going as a group activity and, if you are interested in doing so, please convey your proposed event plan here or to me directly by telephone and we will get the word out to our members for an organized group activity.

2. Our first meeting of the New Year will be on Wednesday, January 20th at the Los Angeles Police Academy at Elysian Park at 1900 Hrs. We are looking to vary the days and locations of future meetings to allow for greater participation. I know that many of you cannot attend a Wednesday meeting due to other commitments so we are looking towards a new meeting schedule that will be more event oriented and with varying days and locations. We also have some wonderful special guest speakers lined up for 2010 which I think will surprise, inform and entertain you! Further details will be forthcoming!

3. It is that time of the year and we are accepting applications and dues for 2010. Please send a completed application with a 25.00 check or payment to the : Los Angeles Police Emerald Society 714 W. Olympic Bl Unit 630, Los Angeles, CA 90015. We are looking towards automating and updating our membership records so that we are more efficient. Your sending in a completed application with dues will ensure that you are in the new system and a 2010 membership card and letter will be sent to you. So please while it is on you mind, just download an application from our and send it in before the end of the year. Your Society thanks you and we will continue to be able fund our scholarship program and make contributions to the many worthy causes we have supported over the years! Thank you!

4. Irish Guard/Royal Regiment of Scotland Concert reminder...I know this holiday season is hectic for everyone but there is a deadline to get the group rate tickets for this concert and that is January 15th! If you plan to go, and I know I am and many of you are, and you want to get the discounted ticket price of only 32.00 per ticket, please send your check to our Secretary: Lyle Lewinson, 1725 Virginia Place, Placentia, CA 92870. The order must be received by January 15th.

5. The Emerald Society will have a booth at the Queen Mary Scottish Fair and we are looking for volunteers to help with the Booth...The Scottish Fair will be on the weekend of 2/14 and Gil Sawyer of Clan Buchanan will be there with an adjoining Booth...If you haven't "worked" the Booth before it is a lot of fun and the Queen Mary Scottish Festival is a GREAT time!

That's all for now...Knowing that this is a busy season I may resend some of this information in a different heading to make sure it is received...

Lets remember our military and law enforcement brothers and sisters and their families in our thoughts, prayers and actions!

Merry Christmas and God Bless Us All, Every One!
Steve Saletros
Los Angeles Police Emerald Society

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Escort

A Cop's Christmas Eve

It was many decades ago when I first joined the police department, I knew there would be special occasions my family would spend without me. Knowing that fact didn't make the task any easier. The celebrations I missed that first year depressed me and sometimes made me feel bitter. Working on Christmas Eve was always the worst.

On Christmas Eve years ago, I learned that blessings can come disguised as misfortune, and honor is more than just a word.

I was riding a one man patrol on the 4-12 shift. The night was cold. Everywhere I looked, I saw reminders of the holiday: families packing their cars with presents, beautifully decorated trees in living room windows and roofs adorned with tiny sleighs. It all added to my holiday funk.

The evening had been relatively quiet; there were calls for barking dogs and a residential false burglar alarm. There was nothing to make the night pass any quicker. I thought of my own family and sunk further into depression.

Shortly after 2200 hours, I got a radio call to the home of an elderly, terminally ill man. I parked my patrol car in front of a simple Cape Cod style home. First aid kit in hand, I walked up the short path to the front door. As I approached, a woman who seemed to be about 80 years old opened the door. "He's in here," she said. She led me to a back bedroom.

We passed through a living room that was furnished in a style I had come to associate with older people. The sofa has an afghan blanket draped over its back and a dark, solid Queen Anne chair sat next to an unused fireplace. The mantle was cluttered with an eccentric mix of several photos, some ceramic figurines and an antique clock. A floor lamp provided soft lighting.

We entered a small bedroom where a frail looking man lay in bed with a blanket pulled up to his chin. He wore a blank stare on his ashen, skeletal face. His breathing was shallow and labored. He was barely alive. The trappings of illness were all around his bed. The nightstand was littered with a large number of pill vials. An oxygen bottle stood nearby. Its plastic hose, with face mask attached, rested on the blanket.

I asked the old woman why she called the police. She simply shrugged and nodded sadly toward her husband, indicating it was at his request. I looked at him and he stared intently into my eyes. He seemed relaxed now. I didn't understand the suddenly calm expression on his face.

I looked around the room again. A dresser stood along the wall to the left of the bed. On it was the usual memorabilia: ornate perfume bottles, a white porcelain pin case, and a wooden jewelry case. There were also several photos in simple frames. One caught my eye and I walked closer to the dresser for a better look. The picture showed a young man dressed in a police uniform. It was unmistakably a photo of the man in bed. I knew then why I was there.

I looked at the old man and he motioned with his hand toward the side of the bed. I walked over and stood beside him. He slid a thin arm from under the covers and took my hand. Soon, I felt his hand go limp, I looked at his face. There was no fear there. I saw only peace.

He knew he was dying; he was aware his time was very near. I knew now that he was afraid of what was about to happen and he wanted the protection of a fellow cop on his journey. A caring God had seen to it that his child would be delivered safely to Him. The honor of being his escort fell to me.

When I left at the end of my tour that night, the temperature seemed to have risen considerably, and all the holiday displays I saw on the way home made me smile.

I no longer feel sorry for myself for having to work on Christmas Eve. I have chosen an honorable profession. I pray that when it's my turn to leave this world there will be a cop there to hold my hand and remind me that I have nothing to fear.

I wish all my brothers and sisters who have to work this Christmas Eve all the joy and warmth of the season.

We have all been there. God bless you all.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God" (Matthew 5:9).

Monday, December 21, 2009

Australian Public Service Announcement About DUI

Since this time of the year finds many of us and those close to us attending holiday parties, we thought we would share this Australian produced public service announcement about driving under the influence.

Although the video contains some fairly graphic images, it provides a rather compelling message about the hazards of over indulgence behind the wheel. Especially if you have young drivers in your family, it would be a good idea to share it with them.

Click here: YouTube - TAC 2009 Christmas Campaign TV ad - 20 Anniversary retrospective montage "Everybody Hurts"

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mounties March For Fallen Officers (Tacoma Dome)

Thanks to Emerald Society member, George Carroll for sending the following:

The following link is to Seatlle's KOMO News featuring a great video of The Royal Canadian Mounties marching for the fallen Lakewood, Washington police officers.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Party and Toy Drive

Brother and Sister Emerald Society members,

Members Ann Colburn, proprietor of the Irish Import Shop,and sister of Maeve of Maeve's Residuals in Studio City , informed me of the following Christmas Party at Maeve's Residuals, a cozy Irish Pub! Maeve's Residuals is sponsoring this Christmas Party and toy drive for the children. Toys will be collected and then delivered to LAPD North Hollywood Division where they will be given out to children.

Please review the flyer below and post it at your Stations or workplaces... All members are encouraged to attend and participate and be assured it will be a great time for a great cause!

Merry Christmas to our friends at Maeve's Residuals and thank you to Maeve, Andrew and Ann for brightening the lives of the children and sharing the Christmas spirit!

Seasons Greetings,
Steve Saletros
Los Angeles Police Emerald Society

(click on image to enlarge)