With Rank Comes Privilege…Part 10…INSURANCE CANCELLED


A number of tactics were used to cause us to cave or fold or crawl into a hole, move away, fall apart, go crazy, curl up and die or cry…

But they mistook us women for weaklings…

These tactics consisted of intimidation, trash pulls (to find illegal activity), releasing our addresses to the media, releasing HIPPA protected information to others in the police department (Dr. Pete’s reports were passed around, but not the favorable passing ones), we were not allowed to take the SGT’s test, they put us on paid leave, they stopped our pay, when we applied for unemployment they told the unemployment agency we were still “job-attached” so we had to fight our unemployment denial (successfully i might add), when we tried to get other jobs prospective employers were told we were unfit for duty.  Why?  No money = no attorneys.

During all of this, Rachael’s condition became life-threatening, I was sleeping on the floor of her room each night because she would seize and choke or stop breathing. She was scheduled to go to Cleveland Clinic for an evaluation and possible surgery. I had to ask the judge for a postponement of an upcoming hearing that conflicted with the timing of the appointment.  I told my new attorney that I didn’t want to give the reason, because GR would use it.  We went in front of the judge and had to reveal why, with the City Attorneys present.  The Judge granted the postponement on Friday.  I received a notice of cancellation of our health insurance 3 days later on Monday March 29th, effective April 1st.  This is illegal.  You can’t cancel a person’s insurance without notice or the option to have COBRA coverage.  They didn’t cancel Patricia’s insurance because it wouldn’t have harmed her.

My husband (we got married in 2003 remember!) put us on his health insurance. Rachael qualified for Children’s Special Heath Care Services through the County (they help with travel expenses and accommodations) and my attorney wrote a scalding letter (is this a new retaliatory action?).  By the time her surgery was actually preformed, Rachael was back on my insurance, had my husband’s, and we had assistance with travel and our costs for accommodations.  We stayed in the Ronald McDonald House in Cleveland.  Ronald McDonald Houses across the country have helped so many families in similar situations.

On July 4th, 2004 the Doctors at Cleveland Clinic shaved her head and, Rachael had a hemispherectomy.  It saved her life. She is now doing quite well!  You can read about her in some of my other blog posts.

We had gotten jobs here and there.  I had one a few months after they “put us off”.  i got hired by Spectrum Health Security.  Why?  Because they knew me.  I was a regular as a Police Officer.  The hospital was in my patrol area.  I came in and took assault reports, domestic reports, murders, car accidents.  Not once, did I ever treat anyone in the security department like a rent-a-cop.  I always figured we were on the same team.  That’s why they hired me.  I was working there after being put off work.  GRPD Officers would come in to do the same as I had been doing as a police officer.  Some (very few) would talk to me.  Others wouldn’t.  Most ignored me, pretended they didn’t see me, or quickly moved through (uncomfortableness!) and then left out another door when they were finished.  One particular SGT (yes you TMcG) who’s wife works at the hospital came in one night, to visit or eat dinner with his wife.  As he walked by he got a nasty smirk on his face.  My hospital co-workers saw it too.  One of the very nicest, sweetest V.A’s (Visitor Assistants, they helped sick people from the cars into the E.R. etc) that worked there with me came over and said “Wow! What an Asshole!”  I had never heard her talk like that.  She was mad for me!

I never knew they had to put up with that kind of stuff until it happened to me.  It had never crossed my mind to behave like that.

Then something unexpected happened…

Patricia and I got police jobs. 

With Rank Comes Privilege…Part 11 The unexpected, the win and why you should care


Patricia and I got jobs. 

Police jobs.  She was hired first, and he was so impressed with her he asked if the “other” officer was any good and needing a job.  We found the one person that would give us a chance.  We did such a good job, he gave us more responsibilities.  Our new Chief started receiving phone calls urging him to fire us.  He had a little fun with it. He did news interviews telling reporters that we were the best officers he had ever had and thank you to Grand Rapids for training them so well (this irked GRPD).  Then, when it came time for the trial, he told us since it was on days we had to work, we would have to wear our uniforms and report directly to work after court was done.  The City of Grand Rapids/GRPD was mad.  They went after him too.  The SGT (GCJR) who had been after the Chief job for years was unhappy.  A local told me that many Chief’s had come and gone, but GCJR was always the only one left standing, and somehow always came out smelling like a rose.  He got into our department emails.  He badmouthed us to the Chief (Renee said this, Pat said this/He lied).  He told Pat that I had asked for her shifts (UNTRUE).  He told the Chief we were fighting over each others’ shifts (UNTRUE).  We didn’t have any idea this was happening until Pat asked me why I wanted her shifts, wasn’t I getting enough hours?  I said, what?! I never asked for your shifts!  We smelled a rat disguised as a rose.  And his behavior didn’t change until another more crafty and better looking rat got him fired and replaced him.

SGT GCJR had learned from his dad.  His father was a police officer in a  nearby city. GCJR rode along with his dad.  He told us his dad (GC) would yell and scream at people and treat them badly.  He also told us that his father always said, Don’t do what I do, do what I say.

The SGT was mad because he went to school with people who got jobs at GRPD, but he didn’t.  He told us he hadn’t passed the background, (or was it the Psych?).  He was in one of the GRPD officer friend’s wedding. They were in his.  He was talking to them about us and them to him.  We hadn’t even worked with those GRPD officers that much! There were 400 officers, 4-5 areas of the City and 3 shifts as well as administrative positions.   When I went into the Detective unit, I never met any of the new people who started out on nights for years until they switched shifts!

Our Chief lost his job.  The SGT finally got him.  But our Chief sued and settled out of court with that municipality.  He was the only person with the guts to give us a chance, and we delivered for him.  We solved cases, mentored other officers.  The SGT was not  happy and undermined our efforts from the beginning while trying to pretend to be everyone’s friend, but trying to pit them against each other.  Karma, or another Rat got him, eventually.


During the trial, The City depicted us as dangerous, put pictures of us up on the courtroom screen with pictures of handguns super-imposed over us and pointing into the air. As If we would go off and shoot up the town at any moment.  We were just glad they used some decent pictures of us.  It seemed whenever we were winning, nice pictures of us appeared in the newspaper, when we were down they put in the worst pictures of us they could find.

In court, the first City Psychologist, “Dr. Pete” finally admitted he added “drama” to Patricia’s report, he thought it was funny, but the way he did it, turned the event she received a commendation for, into a crime.

The City’s second Psychologist, Dr. Tony, continually claimed that we didn’t take “responsibility” for our “shortcomings” (this was also said about me to Chief HD by “Woody” after I complained about him).  When we pointed out that Dr. Tony had our documents switched (pats in my evaluation, and mine in hers) he blamed his secretary.

Dr Tony was asked if he was friends with Dr. Pete, the First City Psychologist. He said no. Patricia’s attorney produced a copy of Dr. Tony’s vanity book, and pointed out the forward which read, I want to thank my friend and mentor Dr. Pete.

Dr. Tony tried to explain this by saying well you know, we’ve run into each other at conferences and stuff so we are not “friends” but “friends”.

The icing on the cake came from my attorney.  She got up and asked Dr. Tony, Do you remember the Union Steward introducing you to my client before her evaluation as she gestures at me.  Tony nods vigorously, “Yes, yes I do.”  And do you remember after going into the conference room asking her if she preferred to be called “Pat, Patty or Patricia?”  Do you remember what my client said?  He shakes his head no.  My attorney says, you don’t remember her saying, “My name is Renee’?”  The whole court room burst out laughing.  It was the most satisfying, comedic thing I had ever seen!!

Needless to say we won.  The Jury doubled our damages.

Several months later the judge overturned the Jury’s decision.  This rarely, if ever, happens.

We appealed.

The appeals court overturned the Judge.  We had won again.

The judge reduced the award and thinking he was being “fair” gave the City two options.

  1. You can re-instate them to their jobs
  2. You can pay them according to the union contract as if they were working but they don’t come into work.


The city chose option 2.  We are not allowed into the Police Department.  Our lockers are still padlocked with our belongings in them sending a very clear message to all other women at the police department.  They take taxes out of our paychecks, even though we are not residents, and we do not do any work for or in the City of Grand Rapids (more on this tax issue later).


Early on in this whole process, I asked another officer how she was doing.  It seemed like she was always in trouble.  She wasn’t perfect, but who is?  I felt badly for her and so many others (it was my goal to help any new people as much as possible and not treat them like most new people were treated).  The Captain had it in for her.  She eventually switched shifts to get away from him because he kept writing her up constantly.  It was so bad, that in response to me asking how she was doing, she told me that she did not care who they were picking on, as long as it wasn’t her.


Apathy about injustice is a real problem.  Any and all  injustice!  Just because you think it won’t affect you, it will, at some point: If not you, your mother, your sister, your daughter and the men in their lives.  We cannot allow evil people to do evil things.  We don’t need that criminal 5% in charge.  Whether it be a governmental agency, a business or any other organization.  There is strength in numbers.  It started with the 14 of us, word around the department was that they were going to put us all off on a mental.  When the two of us filed the Federal suit it kept the department from doing the same to the others.

I would like to know how they would have explained the contagious nature of Personality Disorders at GRPD.

WOMEN, I’m talking to you when I say we have to stop competing with each other for jobs, men, recognition.  We have to support each other.  We are supposed to be on the same team.  There should not be a Queen bee, and if you wonder what I am referring to google Queen Bee Syndrome.

Men, you need to speak up when you see a woman or any other person being mistreated.  Remember, your voice seems to carry more weight than ours.  These women could turn out to be your mother, your sister, your wife, your daughters.

Those of you in positions that give you power or authority, you need to realize that when you oppress you are contributing to keeping our entire country from unity.  Some of you hold the very livelihood and lives of others in your hands.  Those of you who enjoy this will pay the piper.  Karma will get you.  Beware the corrupting nature of power.  My oldest daughter got picked on and teased at school because her mother was “crazy.”  It was in all the papers, on the tv news stations.  My family and close friends knew better, a few of my neighbors knew better, but most people didn’t.  Even my own Union Steward made a comment to another Plaintiff after I was out on leave, “But she was found unfit for duty?!”  The other girl looked at him and told him, “Yeah, and I’ve got a bridge to sell you.”

Our case has set precedence and has helped others in this situation.   We on the other hand, can’t get part-time or full-time jobs in our own field, no matter how much time, money, or effort we put into it.  Even though I may not ever get another police job, I have the respect, of my family, my friends as well as officers I used to work with and for. No one can call me a coward, and there is no room for cowardice in police work.

We have received calls from across the country from other female officers who have had the same thing happen to them.  I called the National FOP!  They acknowledged it was an upward trend to use Fitness For Duty Evaluations to get rid of employees who complain, but have not done anything about it.

Why should any of this matter to you?  You may be asked at some point in your life or careers to do something unethical, or immoral or just plain wrong.  You need to recognize these occasions and do what is right.  There may be far-reaching ramifications of your behavior, so make sure your intentions are ethical.  Your actions could protect or subject you or your organization to expensive liability.

Martin Niemoller was a Protestant Minister.  He spent time as a prisoner in concentration camps during the holocaust.

Martin Niemoller said, “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist.  Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist.  Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew.  Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

I add this, as human beings we are all supposed to be on the same side.

What Ballroom Dancing Taught Me about Situational Awareness

You may ask, “What is Situational Awareness?”
I would respond, well it depends. It is a pretty standard yet important concept, but can be described in many ways by different people. Some might call it being alert, or present in the moment. Others describe it as consciousness, observance. I call it paying attention and trusting your instincts. We will explore situational awareness a little before I get to what I learned from ballroom dancing (and the super-secret tip given to me by my dance instructor).

This term is not in a standard dictionary, but it is used a lot in a variety of disciplines. I pulled out what I believe to be the most relevant descriptive words from a definition I found.

Perception of sensory input, comprehension of what it signals, recognition that something has changed or is about to happen. “It is also a field of study concerned with perception of the environment critical to decision-makers in complex, dynamic areas.” https://www.definitions.net/definition/situation+awareness

Situational Awareness is used in:
• Aviation
• Air Traffic Control
• Ship Navigation
• Driving!
• Military Command and Control
• Fire Fighting
• Policing
• Martial Arts
• Ballroom Dancing
I am sure you can add to this list if you think about it.

In Aviation, situational awareness is used to evaluate situations and make decisions.
• Look
• Think
• Act

Ensley’s Model (2005), describes it as three things:
• Perception
• Comprehension
• Projection

Cooper’s Code                                                                                                                                                         The late Jeff Cooper (May 10, 1920-September 25, 2006) was a marine, who created the “modern technique” of handgun use and was an expert in the use and history of small arms. He also developed “Coopers Code”. I found this chart here: https://www.bsr-inc.com/awareness-color-code-chart/

Here are some links to learn more about Jeff Cooper and Cooper’s code:

In Law Enforcement -> a reactionary gap.
A reactionary gap is space between the officer and a suspect that gives the officer time to avoid an attack. It takes time to recognize the problem, evaluate the situation, come up with a solution and implement a response. Here is a link to learn more about the reactionary gap: https://www.policeone.com/police-trainers/articles/6258834-The-reactionary-gap-Reminders-on-threats-and-distances/

What does situational awareness mean for you and why is it important?
Think back to driver’s education. Can you remember what the three-second rule is? It is the time and distance you keep between you and the car ahead of you. This is so you have time to react and evade a problem in the road or be able to stop in time without rear-ending the car in front of you. Hopefully, the car behind you was following the three second rule also! Situational awareness, can keep you from being mugged or robbed, being caught up in a developing situation, as well as keep you from getting in an accident.

Now, what does Ballroom Dancing have to do with situational awareness?
First I’ll tell you how I happened upon this. I was newly single, had some time on my hands and asked myself. What would be something fun and new to do with my personal time? I decided to take Arthur Murray Dance Lessons. It has been many years since I took these lessons. I cannot for the life of me remember how to quick step, cha cha, waltz, rumba or tango (my favorite). But I can tell you that people crash into each other if they are not aware of the other couples dancing around them.

This type of situational awareness is called “Ballroom Floor Craft.”                                            It is the ability and practice of gauging other dancers:

• Speed
• Distance
• Trajectory

If you check out Ballroom dancing videos on YouTube you will see what I mean. Pairs act as a team to avoid colliding with others. The lead and partner do not usually look at each other. They are looking the direction they are travelling or into their own space. A squeeze of the hand or on the shoulder is used to signal impending problems. Just like there are rules of the road there are rules for dancing! One must follow the line of dance. Ballroom dancing follows a counter clock wise direction around the floor. If you are an in-experienced dancer you are either dancing in part of the middle or the periphery, staying out of others way or merging in traffic.

What is that super-secret tip I learned that I have remembered to this day?                     My dance instructor told me to “Think from the top of my head” as if you have a string at the top of your head like Pinocchio. This helps to keep your head up and opens up your field of vision (peripheral vision). This helps to be able to see disaster coming for you out of the corner of your eye and take evasive dance maneuvers. He did warn me that at first practicing this may give you a headache (he was right); but that I would get used to it (he was right about this too). I use this tip every day, but not for dancing!

I posit that situational awareness can be a solitary practice, a team or family exercise. Teach your spouse and your kids. Watch each others back. Don’t walk with your head down buried in your cell phone.  Watch and learn to read people.  This is Situational Awareness and it can help you stay safer.


There is a lot of ugly happening in the world today.  Look at any news day and something is happening somewhere around the world. I am talking about Active Shooter/Active Assailant Incidents. Why?  No one really has a complete handle on why.

But I’ve noticed a trend.  Marginalized individuals, bullied individuals who turn into bullies, those without well-developed coping skills, and who knows what else.  Individuals dealing with breakups, work problems, other humans, financial problems.

The death tolls change, the places change: Nine in a church, 26 in an elementary school, 49 in a nightclub, now five in an airport. The faces in the memorial photos change every time…

884 victims

Each gun was used to kill an average of four people, not counting shooters. The 884 people came from nearly every imaginable race, religion and socioeconomic background, and 145 were children or teenagers…


It doesn’t matter your religious, financial, socio-economic status, race, neighborhood, this can happen to anyone.  Most victims are chosen at random.

There are always signs, but most people are too busy to pay attention.  This graphic from the FBI describes where these things happen. At work, at home, at the mall, at school, at church.  Everyone says, “It won’t happen here.” But it can, and it will.  It’s only a matter of time.


Why am I talking about this?  There are things we can all do to protect each other.  Everyone should learn what to do during an Active Shooter/Active Assailant Incident.  You can’t completely depend upon police, fire, ems, swat.  They’re coming but it will take time to get there.  You may have to take matters into your own hands for a period of time.   According to FBI statistics, “The average active-shooter incident lasts 12 minutes.  Thirty-seven percent last less than 5 minutes.” See graphic below.

If you know what to do ahead of time you can save yourself and others.

Active-Shooter Statistics

  • Active-shooter incidents often occur in small- and medium-sized communities where police departments are limited by budget constraints and small workforces.10
  • The average active-shooter incident lasts 12 minutes. Thirty-seven percent last less than 5 minutes.11
  • Overwhelmingly, the offender is a single shooter (98 percent), primarily male (97 percent). In 40 percent of the instances, they kill themselves.12
  • Two percent of the shooters bring IEDs as an additional weapon.13 
  • In 10 percent of the cases, the shooter stops and walks away. In 20 percent of the cases, the shooter goes mobile, moving to another location.14
  • Forty-three percent of the time, the crime is over before police arrive. In 57 percent of the shootings, an officer arrives while the shooting is still underway.15
  • The shooter often stops as soon as he hears or sees law enforcement, sometimes turning his anger or aggression on law enforcement.16
  • Patrol officers are most likely responding alone or with a partner. When responding alone, 75 percent had to take action.17
  • A third of those officers who enter the incident alone are shot by the intruder.18


Training:  Since the Columbine High School and Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings , training for police, fire and ems has changed.  The goal is to optimize cooperation, speed and effectiveness of a joint response to reduce the loss of life. If you are the leader of a police, fire, ems department you owe it to yourself and the public to get your department trained.  If you are a member of an untrained public safety type organization, get yourself trained.  Yes.  On your day off and even if its costs something.  You can’t afford not to.  Lives are priceless.

If you are not a Public Safety professional, do not be complacent!  Encourage your workplace, church to have a plan.   Make a plan with your family.  Get trained.

Go here for more information:  https://www.dhs.gov/active-shooter-preparedness

I want to bring up one more point.  This is not the time to turn the other cheek.  If we allow the bad to take out the good, things will get uglier.






I decided to write this post because an acquaintance (Rodney L!) of mine recently got to meet Stacy London one of the hosts from “What Not to Wear”.  I am so jealous!  Yes, I watched the show and loved it.  I have applied a number of ideas to my own fashion issues.  A tailor or seamstress is a great person to know!

Ok, seriously, I do love shoes, but my jobs require sensibility and utility.  This usually means something I can move quickly in, or something protective, like work boots.  Even office employees in New York City have learned (since September 11th) to have sensible shoes available for emergencies or for the trek before and after work to and from the subway or train.  Fancy footwear can prove to be problematic as well as painful, for long walks and not at all good in debris or if you have to run.

As a Police Officer and in Private Security I wore a uniform.  The Uniform, like most uniforms, is designed for safety, protection, to project authority and presence.  As a Police Detective, my wardrobe changed.  A good tailor became very useful.  Women’s clothing didn’t have pockets like men’s.  I’m tall and I found most womens suiting jackets were too short. Sometimes, I bought menswear and had it taken in or altered to fit properly as well as to conceal my firearm.  I had internal and hidden pockets added to some of my clothing for keys, a tape-recorder and other stuff.  Female Police Detectives do not carry purses or wear high heels to work!  These days there are so many more clothing options for women who work in non-traditional careers or even if they just want to get their concealed pistol license and carry concealed.  It’s not easy to hide guns!

Let’s talk about the dress code for investigators.  There isn’t one.  What I mean to say is that there isn’t just one wardrobe or dress code.  You have to look professional when meeting with clients.  If you are going into a dangerous neighborhood you don’t want to bring attention to yourself or to the fact you might be armed.  It’s jeans and a hoodie or simple nondescript clothing.  If you are doing surveillance on a subject at a football game, then you’re wearing a team jersey and hat.  If you are crawling army style through a field, you don’t want to wear your good clothing (oh and make sure some big ugly bug that you’ve never seen before doesn’t catch a ride back with you…true story).

What I’m trying to say is that for every job, situation, arena, or organization there is probably a right and wrong way to dress.  The key is to blend into your surroundings. Sparkles and glitter or fancy duds will just attract attention (unless that is your goal).  As an investigator, your wardrobe may include clothes that are too big (so you can layer and change your appearance alter your size and shape), glasses, hats (baseball, cowboy, stocking, straw/beach) and different styles of clothing and shoes that you would not normally wear.  I highly recommend a good wig (so much fun!) and have found that even people that know me do not recognize me at all.  I can make myself look ten years younger or older with makeup and clothing.  And maybe, once in a great while,  in the right surroundings, one could wear some heels.  But make sure you can run (or walk) in them.

Processed with MOLDIV

shoes shoes shoes….

Non-Traditional Student Problems

I am going to tell you about a funny thing that happened on the way to my bachelor’s degree, as a non-traditional student.   But first, what is a non-traditional student?

According to The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), A non-traditional student is defined as a student with one or more of these characteristics (1):

  • Do not immediately continue your education after you graduate from high school
  • Attend college only part time
  • Work full time (35 hours or more per week)
  • Are financially independent
  • Have children or dependents other than your spouse
  • Are a single parent
  • Have a GED, not a high school diploma

I have attended a number of different colleges at different times in my life.  I attended 1  year of college after high school, got married had children, got divorced, went back to school, got a job.  I then later returned to school, and finished my associates degree in my 30’s.  I did this to be more marketable to other Law Enforcement agencies who were starting to require a higher level of education for their candidates.  I had no idea if I was going to be put back to work or not, and needed to be able to get another job.

Fortunately I have always looked younger than I am, so I was able to blend in a little with younger students.  I really enjoyed college the second time around and got stellar grades (unlike my first year).

10 years later I went back and finished my bachelor’s degree.  This time, I was attending school with people the age of my children. Do not be afraid to go back to school if you are older.  I can tell you, I had a blast!  I was asked to join the Criminal Justice Honor Society.  We did a lot of community projects and went on trips to (New York City and Dallas).  As  college student most of these trips are sponsored in part by the school and partially paid for by fundraising.  I think it cost me $100-$200 bucks at the most (not including shopping or sightseeing)! Eventually they figured it out but I was already accepted into the group.   Again, fortunately I look younger than I really am.  But then this happened…

Several semesters in, on the first day of one of my Criminal Justice classes, the professor handed out a survey.  It asked for a variety of demographics including, what year (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior?), personal income, household income, number of people in your household, age, along with various questions to determine what type of Criminal Justice knowledge we had.  We filled it out and handed it back in.


Much to my dismay, at the very next class, the professor started reading off class statistics…So, we have a range of incomes from $-$$$, this many freshman (she gave a number), and so on.  When she got to age (uh oh) it went something like this…

We have five 18 year olds, two 20 year olds, and so on until she said, and one 40-something (cough cough) year old. Everyone started looking around the room to figure out who the 40- something year old student was. Well I didn’t want to give it away, so I looked around too, as if it wasn’t me (Ha ha, genius right?).  I thought it had worked, until after class.  A guy walks up next to me, gives me a nudge with his elbow, leans over and whispers…”It’s you isn’t it?”

The gig is up…


Well…heres what I think…you are never too old to do anything to better yourself!


  1. https://nces.ed.gov/pubs/web/97578e.asp

“Stilettos on Steel”

I tend to stay pretty busy with my jobs and a number of projects I am working on. Rarely do I get the chance to have a girl’s night or weekend.  I do not get weekends off very often since I am usually working one job or another or attending to family members (my daughter Rachael), but this  past weekend was for me.  I signed up and sent in my payment for a “PMS” weekend.

It’s not what you think…I belong to a women’s motorcycle rider group called “Stilettos on Steel”.   I have been a member for 2-3 years, but have been in between bikes for about 6 months.  The Event is called “PMS, Parked Motorcycle Syndrome”, love the satire of it.  Not a single grumpy, moody woman to be found there.

Here’s how I came to be a Stiletto.  I learned to ride on a Harley Road King while working at EPD,  small police department (about 3 square miles).  I got my learner’s permit and rode with the reserve officers who taught me (Robert S, Mike B.-rest in peace little brother, Tom, Larry N. and a few others).  I thoroughly enjoyed having these guys ride with me and they were so happy to be treated like a person/colleague by a police officer, (because that was not their usual experience).  After I practiced for a while, I went to a motorcycle rider’s course, passed with flying colors and got my cycle endorsement.


A short time after I left EPD, I bought a Harley Dyna Glide, my husband bought a Honda VTX and we had fun with those for a few years.


Much to my dismay my husband sold his bike.  His jobs leave little time for riding during the summer months.  He bought a snowmobile instead.   I sold mine because I felt bad for it, sitting in the garage with me working so much and I was thinking about getting something a little smaller. Recently, the hub and I decided we would get a bike we can both ride together, or alone.  We put a deposit on a used motorcycle (no pics yet).  I can’t wait for us to pick it up.   Anyway, back to my story about “Stilettos on Steel”.

One of my friends (Cari D.) told me about the group and I was in.  I joined SOS so I’d have other people to ride with, mainly other non-judgmental women (which is a premise of the group).  SOS has events for members and some that include non-members and other rider groups too.  Needless to say this was the first big group gathering I was able to go to aside from Bike Time in Muskegon.  The first PMS event had around 20-30 attendees.  The second gathering, was attended by somewhere around 50.  This year, there were 95+ women of all ages (so far 24-79!) and riding abilities!

This group is awesome, because it truly is a sisterhood.  “Stilettos on Steel”, is a female riders group that aims for inclusion, empowerment, and mentoring.  There are chapters across the country and the group is growing each year.  It doesn’t matter what you ride, how long you’ve ridden, or how old you are.  I highly recommend it!

“Stilettos on Steel®’s main mission is to empower all female riders. Regardless of riding experience, we welcome you! “   https://www.facebook.com/stilettosonsteel/



Private Investigations: A Force Multiplier for Attorney’s

So what is a Force Multiplier?

According to The Unites States Department of Defense, it means: “A Capability that, when added to and employed by a combat force, significantly increases the combat potential of that force and thus enhances the probability of successful mission accomplishment.” 1.

Josh Kaufman, Business Author, calls Force Multipliers: “…Tools that help you Amplify your efforts to produce more output.  A hammer is a force multiplier…” 2.

The Cambridge Dictionary says: “something that increases the effort of a force.” 3.

In layman’s terms, any tool that can increase the effectiveness of what you are doing is a force multiplier, be it a Bachelor’s degree, social media, news media, hiring someone skilled in an area you need help with, a hammer (pounding nails with your fist won’t work) and so on…

Professional Private Investigators can also be a force multiplier.  As it applies to Legal Support, most attorneys have high caseloads and not enough time.  Hiring a Licensed Investigator with specific skills can help support a legal defense or offense.  Investigators can determine if a spouse is cheating, locate hidden assets in divorce cases, and can locate criminals, victims, witnesses.  If a client is accused of a crime that they didn’t commit but Law Enforcement has blinders on and doesn’t pursue other possible suspects it could lead to a wrongful conviction.  Investigators can run down these other witnesses, interview them and possibly find information Law Enforcement missed.  Some are also skilled in digital (think mobile phones) and/or computer forensics.  If you were accused of a computer crime and the computer has been examined by Law Enforcement, wouldn’t you want a second opinion or expert on your side rather than taking the Prosecutor or Police Officer’s word for it? I’m not saying police officers or police departments are bad, but sometimes their training is limited and there are a few bad apples out there.  Prosecutors get reelected and their performance is based on their rate of convictions, not exonerations.

Professional Private Investigators usually are experienced retired Law Enforcement or have some sort of government investigative experience.  They can also include Accountants and other professionals.  This means they are familiar with the mistakes some Law Enforcement Officers and agencies can make.  They are valuable at looking at police reports and seeing what’s missing or done incorrectly.

If you need a Private Investigator as a Force Multiplier, you should make sure to meet with them, find out what they can do for you (their skills), make sure they are licensed (very important) or work for a licensed agency.  Licensed Investigators are held to laws and ethical standards, and it is illegal for unlicensed individuals to perform some investigative services.

For your force multiplier in Michigan, may I suggest: http://www.bgiassociates.com

  1. http://www.militaryfactory.com/dictionary/military-terms-defined.asp?term_id=2165
  2. https://personalmba.com/force-multiplier/
  3. http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/force-multiplier