Don’t Militarize Our Sheriffs

An open letter to Evan Royce, District 3 Supervisor, Tuolumne County

Dear Supervisor Royce,

I am writing to express my concern over the possible purchase of an armored vehicle for the Sheriff’s Department. I am concerned about the message it sends to the public and the attitude it may encourage within the Department. Policing is not the same as military operations and in recent times, confusion between the two has led to tragedy. I admit to having no first hand experience, either in police work or the military. However I am painfully aware of cases in which the police and the members of their community view themselves as armed combatants. Thankfully, I don’t think this is true in Tuolumne County and I wish to keep it that way.

I’d like to know what the designated purpose of this vehicle will be. In my view, SWAT operations should be limited to well defined, high risk situations such as hostage, active shooter or terrorist scenarios. Too often, SWAT teams are used to execute routine search warrants, essentially allowing the use of paramilitary tactics to conduct domestic drug investigations in people’s homes.

In many parts of the country, tensions between police forces and the communities they serve have never been higher. Well educated, affluent people are hesitant to become involved with or assist the police. Increasingly sophisticated weaponry has not made the public or the police any safer. Let’s make sure that our police and sheriffs are equipped to do the job that they’re charged to perform, not make them into an occupying force.

Sincerely,

Greg Falken

“Unbreakable” News Report and Theme Song

If you’ve watched Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix, you’ve probably had a hard time getting the theme song out of your head. If you haven’t watched, the show is kind of Mary Tyler Moore meets the Simpsons, with more gags per frame than anything in recent memory.

The song comes from a news report in the opening episode that sets up the entire series. Watch the interview with Walter Bankston (played by Mike Britt) and then watch the extended version of the theme. There’s a lot going on in there.

Find your lost phone by Googling it

Self driving cars and Wi-Fi bearing balloons are all well and good but Google’s latest feature is one you can actually use. Now you can locate your (Android) phone simply by typing “find my phone” into the main Google search page. If you find that it’s nearby you can also make it ring to help locate it.

A couple of caveats: Your phone must be running the latest version of Google Search and you must be signed in to the same Google account that your phone uses when you do your search. You may also be asked to enter your password again before the location is displayed. Here’s my phone:

Find my phone

Originally published on webdancers.com

New SBDC Digs in Sonora

When I’m working as an Small Business Development Center consultant, I often meet with local clients. Until now our Tuolumne County office space has been shared with the Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority, in downtown Sonora.

Starting January 1st, we are moving to the Innovation Lab, at the site of the old Tuolumne General Hospital. This facility is the only thing of its kind in Tuolumne County. It includes blazing fast Internet, a networking center, meeting rooms, video studio, electronics lab, training area and maker’s lab. It’s ambitious goal is to be the hub for innovation and entrepreneurship in the foothills.

If you have a new or existing business and are in need of free business consulting from working professionals,  check out the SBDC website and get in touch. And maybe we’ll meet up at the Innovation Lab.

Content Battle Plan

Owner logoYou know you need content: blog posts, podcasts, e-books, and all the rest. Before diving in (or after, if you’ve already started) you need a plan and advice from someone who knows what works. Chris Brogan’s webinar How to make more business with content marketing (affiliate link) is a 1-hour Content Battle Plan to help you create effective content.

Watch it live Wednesday, November 5th at 4:00 PM (PST) or recorded at any time. Cost is $20.

Info & Registration