Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Recommended Reading… Memoirs of a Public Servant — Charleston Hartfield

A little off topic from the business of process serving, skip tracing and legal document preparation.  This will be published in an upcoming issue of the APSA Newsletter:

The senseless murder of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officer Charleston Hartfield and others at the Route 91 Harvest Festival was a shock to so many of us.  The memory of the crimes committed by the madman who brought us this atrocity in the city of lights will live for a long time.  For the victims, it was an altogether unjust ending.  However, for one, he left behind a written legacy documenting his feelings, thoughts and interactions about his personal and professional life.
I first heard about this book when reading some postings on Facebook.  After reading the recommendations and blurb on Amazon (“Documenting the thoughts, feelings, and the busiest and brightest city in the world, Las Vegas. This memoir takes you through the personal interactions experienced by a Police Officer with not only the community he seeks to serve but with his partners and their personalities. Some calls are over in an instant while others stick with you forever...”), I felt compelled to buy it. 
I’m glad I did.
Reading gives insight into the mind of others.  It also gives perspective.  When most of us see police officers, we  stop looking past the badge and uniform.  This memoir brings us beyond, for a greater opportunity to see the human side of the officer — the child who grew up, the husband, father and son haunted by his parents’ abandonment, and his determination not to repeat their bad behavior.
I found his candid note of August 22, 2016 to be a most striking example of personal insight into his own character as a father and husband:
Been grinding and working all kids of crazy hours over the last few weeks.  I have taken pretty much every overtime gig that I can find.  Consuming myself with work isn’t new to me,...however in doing so I have missed out on a few things happening at home.
...As I was scoping out Snap Chat I see that my son has dyed his damn hair...Have I really been that disconnected from my own family that I didn’t know that my own son has dyed hair?  Have I really become a provider that doesn’t exist?  The dad that’s dad via water, power and mortgage minus the guidance and present living conditions?...
This is terrible, but let it be acknowledged, accepted and never forgotten, I refuse to not be there for my children and my wife.  I have fought so hard to have the things that I never knew existed when I was a child.  I want to provide and give them the world, but I also want to experience it with them.  Presence is by far the best form of parenting I can ever provide.  It’s the largest piece of the puzzle that was missing from my childhood and I can see myself starting to follow that trend. ...not being there is not an acceptable parenting practice.
Memoirs of a Public Servant is available on Amazon for less than $15 and well worth it. -- BRG

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