Thursday, May 17, 2012

They Seemed Like Such a Nice Couple

What is this officer doing?

He is responding to, um, a domestic matter.

Yesterday a woman in Wisconsin aired the [former] couple’s dirty laundry in the front yard, placing two plywood signs on the lawn, one reading "X-HUSBAND SALE" and the other reading "FREE." Surrounding the signs was a large scattering of objects, presumably belonging to the ex- or soon-to-be-ex husband.

The sight caught the attention of passers by, and in this age of cell phone cameras it wasn’t long before the images were appearing on Facebook. Just as quickly, TV and radio news teams began to arrive.

Also arriving were the police. Since the scene included a GMC Yukon with slashed tires and covered in graffiti with vulgar language, the police intervened. We’ve chosen not to post a photo of the Yukon.  By later that afternoon the vehicle, with its graphic messages reinforcing the views of a woman scorned, had been removed from the property.

We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: In police work, you never know what the next call will bring.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Model Officer

Whether or not you are in law enforcement, you have likely seen this famous painting by American illustrator Norman Rockwell.

What we did not know – and we’ll bet you didn’t, either – is that Rockwell used an actual police officer to pose for the painting. We learned this today when our friends at POLICE magazine passed along the news that the Massachusetts trooper depicted had died this past Sunday at the age of 83.

According to a report in the Boston Globe, Richard Clemens was a 29-year-old trooper when Rockwell, his neighbor in Stockbridge, asked him to pose for the painting. The illustration appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post in 1958.

The Massachusetts trooper is depicted sitting at a diner with a young boy in Rockwell's iconic painting, "The Runaway." 

From the Boston Globe we learn that the boy, too, is an actual person, named Ed Locke, and that he and Trooper Clemens because friends as a result of their association with Rockwell.

All these years, and we thought it was simply an illustration.

Below is a photo of Trooper Clemens and the painting taken in 2001.