A Cop’s Perspective on Christmas III: Icons

Seeing the lights of Christmas going up around the neighbourhood and around my childhood home brought on excitement and anticipation when I was a child. After thirty four years of law enforcement and working the holiday season, seeing the lights of Christmas going up around the neighbourhood brings on a feeling of foreboding and apprehension. This experience has replaced “oh boy!” with “oh no!” One of those holiday images is that of a rotund, jolly old elf with a white beard in a red suit bringing joy to the world. Even that icon of happiness has taken a beating.

Last night I worked the dispatch channel for the West End again.  I mentioned this district in my last post.  It is the downtown business and entertainment core and one of the busiest districts for police dispatchers to handle.  It was Friday and people were into that holiday spirit, so they were drinking till they dropped and we had to cart them off to detox or hospital.  As always, it was a seemingly endless series of bar brawls and vandalism and stupid.  Fortunately none of the motor vehicle accidents produced injuries and there was a surprising lack of break ins and thefts (that we knew of). Unfortunately at 4 in the morning I get a report of a male in a red suit with a white beard on Burrard Street by the hotels near the harbour. This guy is in full Santa regalia (it is even his real beard, not a fake one) and he’s not bringing joy to the world.  He’s falling down drunk and screaming obscenities and doing his best to put his fist through store windows.  I dispatch a patrol unit and the wagon to corral Santa Claus and restrain him and ship him off to the drunk tank.

And as I’m driving home in the darkness after twelve hours of this I’m thinking: Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

C.A. Ennis

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About cuhulain

Kerr Cuhulain has been a Wiccan for 40 years and has been involved in anti-defamation activism and hate crimes investigation for the Pagan community from 1986 to 2005. Kerr was awarded the Shield of Valor by the Witches League for Public Awareness. Kerr is the author of the Law Enforcement Guide to Wicca, Witch Hunts, Wiccan Warrior, Full Contact Magick and Magickal Self Defense. Kerr has a column with 182 articles on anti-defamation issues and hate crimes on The Witches’ Voice web site called Witch Hunts. Kerr is the former Preceptor General of Officers of Avalon, an organization representing Neo-Pagan professionals in the emergency services (police, firefighters, emergency medical technicians). Kerr retired from the Vancouver Police Department in November 2005 after serving 29 years with them. He was awarded the Governor General’s Exemplary Service Medal. Kerr's past job assignments within the VPD include the Emergency Response Team, Hostage Negotiator, Child Abuse Investigator, Gang Crime Unit, and the Mental Health Emergency Services Unit. Kerr is currently working as a police dispatcher and trainer for ECOMM for Southwestern BC Kerr is the Grand Master and founder of a Wiccan order of Knighthood called the Order of Scáthach in Surrey, British Columbia in November 2007. The Order of Scáthach embraces the Warrior philosophies, precepts and code of chivalry outlined in Kerr’s books. The Order of Scáthach is a study group for people interested in Wiccan magick, energy work and rituals related to the Warrior path, focusing on empowerment, personal development and creative expression. The training focuses on the effective use of magickal energy and developing psychic skills. The Order of Scáthach is constantly developing new rituals, and magick and studying our Warrior philosophy. Our members are spread across the globe and connect through local preceptories and on line. All members are expected to participate and contribute.
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