When I worked in police records, one day a month I’d process Child Protective Services reports. Originally I’d volunteered to do it because I was new and I wanted to make a good impression. It turned out that there was no competition to do this because it’s the worst job in police records. Spend an entire day writing up the most horrible things you can imagine a person doing to another person and then realize these things are being done to real children in the city you live in and these are their names and statements. It’s not something you can do without it having an effect on you. For me, among other things, it killed horror movies. Nothing in any given horror movie scared me because I knew about things more awful than anything in those movies that was going on in my own neighborhood. On the days that I processed those reports, I wouldn’t go home at night. I’d go to a dive bar, get massively drunk and try to forget everything from that day. It once and for all solidified the fact that I just couldn’t be a cop because encountering that stuff in real life would probably break me.
So after three years of chronicling the homicides in Tacoma, I’ve come to the point where I can’t do it anymore. There’ve been two recent homicides in Tacoma. One a victim of a shooting from April. The other, a three-year-old who was killed by his mother’s boyfriend despite warnings to police and CPS that the child was in danger. And I can’t really bring myself to write more about those tragedies than that.
I’ve spent the past few weeks trying to decide what to do about the homicide section of this site. I know that it means a lot to people. I know it from the emails I’ve received from friends and families of the victims. I know that it’s a good thing to put a real face to the names in the papers. And I’d love to continue doing it, but I just can’t do it right now.
Don’t worry, I’ll still continue to post things here when I can. And I might start up the whole Tacoma Crime section again, but for now I’m taking a break. I’ve got to. I’m not covering it the way I want to and I’d rather take a break than not do it right.
For people looking for more of my writing, check out www.jackcameron.com .
For people looking for the best Tacoma Crime site on the net, check out Lights & Sirens over that The New Tribune’s site: http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/crime/