Today we got met with Columbus Division of Police Community Liaison Officer Joe Townsend of the 17th Precinct. Since so many of our volunteers are from the 17th Precinct (northwest Columbus area), and indeed since we were founded there, we thought we should introduce ourselves, let him know what we're up to, and hear his thoughts on our group.
He is very, very nice. Very down to earth, and just generally seemed to be a happy man. It was really nice to talk to him.
He gave us some pointers on actions we can take to stay safe when we go to meet people in high crime areas. Last week, I rushed into a situation I should not have, and frankly I'm still embarrassed by my recklessness. Nothing happened, thankfully--Jennifer pointed out that I needed to be careful and I was able to adjust accordingly with the help of some friends--but it gave Starfish leadership an opportunity to come up with some guidelines regarding how we respond to Assignments. Ofc Townsend's input was crucial, and we'll respond as he suggested.
He seemed enthusiastic about our mission and is willing to talk to others on our behalf. We're hoping to speak at the 17th Precinct second shift roll call soon. (First shift's roll call is at 6:00am--maybe I'll just let Ofc Townsend put in a good word for us with them for now. :D ) We're also hoping to speak at the roll call of all the city's community liaison officers in the coming weeks.