Jenee Littrell Fights Against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

May 17, 2016

Knowing that I’m writing a non-fiction book that incorporates issues related to sexual trafficking, Ms. Jenee Littrell recently sent me an op-ed piece that she’s authored on the topic. Her abbreviated bio follows below and I’ll publish her actual article on Thursday May 19, 2016

Jeneé Littrell was recently named the Director of Safe and Supportive Schools for the San Mateo County Office of Education. She has more than 16-years-experience as a strategic leader and innovator implementing effective supports for students.

 For five years, Jeneé concurrently served as the Director of Guidance and Wellness for the Grossmont Union High School District in eastern San Diego County and as Director of Project SHIELD, a federally funded, multi-million dollar Safe Schools/Healthy Students grant. She has led numerous trainings for teachers and administrators in Positive Behavior Supports and Restorative Justice Instruction. She has also held such roles as Crisis Team Coordinator, Parent-Community Liaison, SARB (Student Attendance Review Board) Coordinator, and has served as Director of Camp LEAD, a student-centered leadership program, since its inception in 2009.

 Ms. Littrell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration, a Master of Arts in Educational Counseling, a Master of Science in Educational Leadership and two educational credentials, a PPS (Pupil Personnel Services) credential and an ASC (Administrative Services) credential. In 2010, she earned a Mental Health in Schools Certificate from George Washington University in Washington DC.

 In 2011 Jeneé was appointed by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors to serve as the Chair of the Human Trafficking/Commercial Sexual Exploitation Advisory Council. This multidisciplinary group is charged with identifying best practices in prevention, enforcement and protection of minors involved in domestic sex trafficking.

Jeneé recently authored Human Trafficking in America’s Schools with the Department of Education. This guide is based on the CSEC model that she created in the Grossmont Union High School District and serves as a resource for schools across the nation to address and prevent CSEC on school campuses.

Jeneé is a nationally recognized expert in the area of CSEC (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children), and this past spring was named Citizen of the Year by the Department of Justice and the Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

 

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May 14 Book Signing in San Diego

May 8, 2016

For immediate release

Contact: Nicole Sours Larson 858-274-6160; nsours.larson@gmail.com

T.B. Smith, Author of Luke Jones Novels, to speak at San Diego Chapter of Sisters in Crime May 14.

Partners in Crime, the newly reestablished San Diego chapter of the national organization Sisters in Crime, will welcome T. B. Smith, retired San Diego Police Department lieutenant and author of the Luke Jones cop novels, as speaker at their second meeting to be held on Saturday, May 14. He will have copies of his novels available for purchase and signing. His subject will be Understanding the police: why authors, movies and television shows nearly always get it wrong and what to do about it. (Please see his bio below.)The chapter will meet from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.at San Diego Writers Ink, 2730 Historic Decatur Rd., Suite 202 (located above the Women’s Museum) in Liberty Station, Point Loma.

Sisters in Crime is a national organization with local chapters which supports mystery and crime writers and promotes reading the genre. We are authors, readers, publishers, agents, booksellers and librarians bound by our affection for the mystery genre and our support of women who write mysteries. We are open for everyone’s participation.

Each meeting will feature a short reading from a recently published or soon-to-be-published novel followed by a presentation by a mystery or crime writer or knowledgeable professional in a field of interest to mystery writers and readers. San Diego chapter meetings are held on the second Saturday of the month, starting with a social period with refreshments, followed by a brief membership meeting.

Attendance is free for members and $5 for non-members, which may be applied to membership. Dues are $25 per year, plus membership in the national organization. Members may join at our meeting, with payment by check, cash or credit card, or online athttp://www.sistersincrimesd.org.

Please let us know you’re planning to attend — but drop-ins welcome, too! Please RSVP to SDPartnersinCrime@gmail.com.

T.B. Smith, a former police lieutenant, joined the San Diego Police Department in 1978. He began his second career as an author while recovering from a car accident that forced him to retire from law enforcement.

During his police career, Mr. Smith gained extensive experience as a trainer, teacher, and public speaker. He worked as one of two teaching specialists responsible for the ongoing training of a police department with 1800 members. He’s also taught traffic school and lectured at the University of Southern California’s Delinquency Control Institute. Mr. Smith has spoken to dozens of business and community groups as a Community Relations Officer in the Historic Gaslamp Quarter and is a founding member and former vice president of the SDPD’s Toastmasters Club in addition to being former vice president of the San Diego City Schools Police Officers’ Association.

Mr. Smith’s radio interviews about police use of deadly force have aired in such cities as San Diego, Los Angeles, Denver, Washington D.C., Dallas, and New York. His academic achievements include being both class president and honor graduate of the 107th Delinquency Control Institute at the University of Southern California where he subsequently joined the faculty. He majored in Literature and Creative Writing at San Diego State University.

Mr. Smith lives in Ashland, Oregon, where he enjoys attending the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Partners in Crime

April 25, 2016

I recently had a brief email discussion with Nicole Larson of the San Diego Chapter of “Partners in Crime,” in preparation for a discussion with her group on May 14. Here are a few of the thoughts that we shared.

Hi Nicole: Your question about a prospective topic is more expansive than you might guess, as is the scope of crime writing. Novels related to crime can be grouped into several categories, among them are: mysteries, suspense, thrillers and procedurals. Just one of those, mysteries for example, can be broken down into several categories including cozies like those of Agatha Christie, Nancy Atherton and Lilian Jackson Braun, and the hard-boiled type in a sub-genre championed by Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.

To answer the question about a proposed topic directly, I’d say that one might be the importance of authors knowing their genre, and when they begin to write, staying true to that genre even while striving to transcend it by finding ways to bring in a wider audience. In my case, I’ve written two procedurals so far that incorporate Shakespeare for several reasons that might interest your members.

Speaking to your question about whether there are authors who get things right and those who don’t, the answer is an emphatic Yes! On point, I’d mention a blurb on the back of my first novel, “The Sticking Place,” provided by Bonnie Dumanis, district attorney for the County of San Diego. “Mr. Smith does what so many other police writers don’t–he gets the little things right. And best of all, by using Shakespeare, Mr. Smith reminds us that cops are human beings too.”

To be precise, I strive for similitude or, to be correct, as opposed to verisimilitude which is more about seeming to be correct. The difference may seem indistinguishable but the nuance is more like whispering in your ear that I love you than it is like my standing on a busy street corner trying to be heard above the horns and screeches of the traffic.

If the reader is interested in realistic writers who get it right, they should look for the authors who have really done the work on the streets like Wes Albers, Joe Wambaugh or Paul Bishop.

 

 

In the Rodney King Case, Police Have Taken a Beating,Too.

June 2, 2012

In cleaning out my files recently, I found a couple previously published articles on the Rodney King incident. What follows is an updated version of my opinion piece that appeared in the April, 1991 edition of the San Diego Union-Tribune under the headline, “In the Rodney King Case, Police Have Taken a Beating, Too” with input from my writing partner, Linda A. Shubeck.

The physical damage the police inflicted on Rodney King most likely healed long ago. Healing the damage to relations between cops and the public they serve took a lot longer and is still on the mend.

Many things have changed since 1991, when a bystander serendipitously armed with a camera videotaped Rodney King’s drubbing. Most police cars now carry video cameras and some officers wear head cameras and microphones. Cell phone communications and their ever present cameras add to the levels of public scrutiny.

However, two things remain immutable; the physical and mental reactions of cops who chase scofflaws at speeds exceeding a hundred-miles-per-hour, and the fact that it’s the offenders, not the cops who start police pursuits.

Cops get angry when lives are needlessly jeopardized by the stupid actions of thoughtless people. This anger is magnified by the adrenaline rushing through their bodies as they careen through the streets and along the freeways of urban areas, wondering all the while if the risk is worth the potential cost.

The rush of adrenaline dilates their air passages and pushes elevated levels of oxygen into their lungs. Blood vessels constrict throughout their bodies, redirecting the blood toward their hearts, lungs, and major muscle groups. Their body’s systems react to the adrenaline and other hormones within seconds, giving the officers a nearly instant physical boost of strength as their respiration and awareness of immediate surroundings heighten and brain chemicals make them slightly dizzy.

That’s a partial description of the “fight or flight syndrome” that affects an officer’s physiological state during a pursuit and informs their actions during the arrest. Exercising their best judgment under those circumstances is certainly not easy.

We don’t know what happened between the time when King finally yielded to the police sirens and the videotape rolled. Today we probably would have the entire incident on video. However, we do know that King was shot with a Taser, an apparatus that propels two barbs attached to the ends of wires and delivers 50,000 volts of electrical current, immobilizing almost everyone it strikes. It didn’t immobilize Rodney King. Even with several officers present, the fact that King wasn’t subdued created fear. Add physiologically agitated bodies to fear and frustration and the sum is violence.

What frustration? There’s the frustration of the chase itself and there’s the frustration of policing our society. There’s too little room in our jails and prisons, limited facilities for housing violent or helpless mental health patients and more and more homeless people pepper the streets and sidewalks.  These problems get worse decade by decade.

Maintaining the balance of justice in a free society is an arduous process. We need to recognize that cops are victims of the chaos as well. They police the streets of a degenerating society on a daily basis while suffering under the diminished public support for decades since the Rodney King beating.

Oddly, 9/11 did a lot to heal the breach of trust when the country saw just who runs into a building that’s under attack when nearly everyone else runs in the opposite direction. And today, ubiquitous video cameras can continue to repair police/community relations. Recently, a Philadelphia police officer’s violent encounter with a street crook drew almost universal praise from media pundits in awe of the bravery and mental focus it took to retain his gun during the life-and-death encounter.

It does seem a little odd that today’s proliferation of video cameras can help grant the heart-felt request Rodney King made during the riots following the first trial of the officers involved in his post-chase arrest, “can we all get along?”

Knots of Love

May 15, 2012

The answers to some questions seem obvious before you ask them. But Christine Fabiani surprised me when I asked her motivation for creating “Knots of Love.” It’s a charity that makes and donates caps to cancer victims and I was sure she’d known someone intimately who’d either lost or faced the prospect of hair loss due to illness. Starting a mini-ripple of philanthropy aimed toward one person that swelled into a wave of generosity washing over countless others seemed like a logical progression.

“My son asked me to make him a cap.” The answer was that simple. Only Christine had no idea how to do it and no intention of trying to learn until her son’s requests persisted. It took a series of failed efforts before she created anything that functioned like the cap her son craved. But time mixed with persistence is the recipe that solves most of the world’s solvable problems and her caps soon got so popular that her son’s friends all wanted one and so did their friends…  Christine kept making the caps after demand dwindled, because “making caps is a fun, quick way to pass the time while watching TV or a sporting event… A friend told me she would have loved a cap when she had cancer.  I looked for a charity to donate my caps to and couldn’t find one. That’s when Knots of Love was born.”

Christine’s baby is now a 60 to 70 hour a week job and well worth the time and effort judging from the feedback. One cap recipient told Christine “I never dreamed I’d be going bald at the age of 28. Losing my hair has been devastating. I was so nervous that I’d wake up, all my hair would be gone, and I’d have nothing to cover my head with! Your gift has been the bright spot of my day, and I am so excited to have something I can still feel attractive in. Cancer is awful, but it’s wonderful to be reminded there are amazing people in the world, people who make a difference in the lives of hurting people like me.”

The gift of “Knots of Love” is grander than the solace it brings to the people who receive and wear the caps. The charity has also recruited a dedicated cadre of cap makers who donate their time and skills. Christine tells me, “I hear comments all the time like–thank you for saving my Mother’s life, now she has something to do that makes her feel good.”

Giving and receiving. In the end, Christine tells me, it’s all part of the process for “people of all ages in need of love, kindness and support as they wage the fight of their lives.”

A Special Offer

February 1, 2012
Hi Everyone! Hoping this post finds you happy and healthy.
I’m sending along some exciting news regarding my debut novel, “The Sticking Place!”  The LA Times says “it has a high-minded protagonist, rookie (cop) Luke Jones, who is slowly coming to terms with the fact that law enforcement is a blunt instrument not altogether suited to fixing society’s deeper problems.” San Diego’s Mayor and former police chief says it’s “a must read for … anyone with an appreciation for realistic literature that depicts what it will always mean to be a cop.” A police reporter says it “has all the elements of a Shakespearean play; political intrigue, betrayal, comic relief, and an understanding of the dark parts of the soul.”
It is with gratitude I can announce that this past November, editors at Amazon hand-selected it for an ebook sale at $2.99 and sales took off to Best Seller status!! With this good fortune, I’m taking the cue and offering Kindle and E-Reader versions directly on my websitewww.lukejonesnovels.comat the same low price!! It’s important to share this low price opportunity with your friends and social networks  because there’s a special benefit in doing so.
Throughout the remainder of 2012, I’ll be working with a different charity/not-for-profit organization each month AND donating ten percent of all sales generated from my personal website directly to the designated charity!! This February I’ve chosen San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter Association as the recipient since much of the book is set in the Quarter at the beginning of its amazing transformation from skid row to nightlife destination. I’d appreciate your recommendations and/or suggestions for any organizations that could benefit from this opportunity!!
Please take a moment and forward this information to friends and associates and share it on Facebook and any other social media platforms you participate in. I want to make this a win-win for everyone!!
All the best,

Men of Mystery

November 6, 2011

Join me with 49 other men of mystery at the 12th annual “Men of Mystery” event held at the Irvine Marriott on November 19. I’ve added a link for your convenience. www.menofmystery.org  Be sure and check it out. Hope to see you there.

Amazon News

November 6, 2011

Here’s some good news from Amazon. Their editors have “hand selected” The Sticking Place for inclusion in their November “100 Kindle Books for $3.99 or less” promotion. This is outstanding news since Amazon has nearly a million Kindle titles to choose from. Let your friends know they can download “The Sticking Place” throughout the month of November for just $2.99.

Another Review of The Sticking Place

July 1, 2011
This review is from: The Sticking Place (A Luke Jones Novel) (Paperback)

This is great writing.

It features a memorable protagonist who’s fresh from the 1978, San Diego Police Academy and struggling to learn his new job amidst the PD’s complicated culture and internal politics. Oh– and that protagonist, Rookie Officer Luke Jones– is a Bard quoting Shakespearean scholar.

Luke soon finds that standard police dangers are the easiest part of his job as he tries fitting in to a culture rife with hazing, but he won’t tolerate being hazed. He needs to learn how to keep his mouth shut, but he’s too busy vocally fighting for his rights and those of his friends. Fitting in is important, but not as important as staying true to himself and standing up for his beliefs. And, quoting the Bard. He always has to quote the Bard.

All the while, the gloss on the place that has the temerity to call itself “America’s Finest City” is slowly peeling away. Luke deals with the everyday messes that come with police work; suicide, drinking drivers, raging crazies, and homeless drunks. And then there’s the clash between the Mayor, the police brass and the rank and file. As if that isn’t enough, there’s the hatred and mistrust of the police by some, combined with the expectations of the powerful elite who think they can demand special treatment.

Fortunately for Luke–he has all of Shakespeare’s canon to draw from – not just for the comfort of the exquisite prose, but as a battering ram to hammer against the egos of senior officers wanting to belittle him and even as a tool to save a few lives.

San Diego’s alternate name “America’s Finest City” would be a great title for this terrific novel. But since Luke Jones has the courage to recite Shakespeare in an unfriendly environment, “The Sticking Place” is the perfect title.

The More Things Change, the More they Remain the Same

June 27, 2011

Ever heard the expression, “the more things change, the more they remain the same?” Here’s a brief quotation from an essay on initiative and leadership that Napoleon Hill wrote circa 1925 to prove the point.

You are paying and your children and children’s children will continue to pay for the cost of the most expensive and destructive war the world has ever known because nations have not yet learned that a part of the world cannot suffer without damage and suffering to the whole world.

This same rule applies, with telling effect, in the conduct of modern business and industry. When an industry becomes disorganized and torn asunder by strikes and other forms of disagreement, both the employers and the employees suffer irreparable loss. But, the damage does not stop here; the loss becomes a burden to the public and takes on the form of higher prices and scarcity of the necessities of life…

It may be truthfully stated that the high cost of living that everywhere manifests itself today has grown out of lack of application of the principle of cooperative leadership. Those who wish to decry present systems of government and industrial management may do so, but in the final analysis, it becomes obvious to all except those who are not seeking the truth that the evils of government and of industry have grown out of lack of cooperation.