the power of community service

Yesterday was a significant day for me in in interesting way: I took part in a webinar for LEAPS.TV (http://leaps.tv) around the topic of domestic violence 911 call handling. We had a panel of experts from local E911, two different police forces and Haven House, a local domestic violence shelter and advocacy service.

This webinar was wildly successful from the standpoint of attendance alone, and certainly from the information being exchanged between panel members and the audience.

Being the moderator, I had my hands full juggling technical issues (inevitable in a program as complex as this one was), fielding questions and keeping the conversation fluid. Much more than this, the topic is of great personal interest to me, and it was extremely important to me that the information itself be passed around and shared so that every participant benefited, and came away with new ideas.

It worked.

The response so far has been tremendous; so much so that we’re already planning follow-up sessions.

Domestic violence is an epidemic. Over half of the calls that come into an E911 service have to do with domestic violence, and thousands upon thousands of cases occur each year. It represents among the riskiest calls a responding officer can take (remember what happened in Pittsburgh), and getting the right information, at the right time, to the right people, can literally be a matter of life and death.

In the course of working with Haven House and the members of the LEAPS.TV panel, I have learned a great deal and shared a great deal.

I firmly believe everyone–everyone–should participate in community action of some kind. My cause need not be your cause, nor yours be mine. But service to our neighbors is a giant part of how this country came to be built. Reach out. Help. Be part of your community.

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