Three First Century Wise Men and One Twenty-first Century Wise Woman

salvation-army-kettleFrom Thanksgiving to Christmas, ’tis the season of giving. The sight of familiar bell ringers drenched in rain, whipped by high winds, or chilled by freezing temperatures prompts us to drop a few coins in the red bucket. Letters from homeless shelters and orphanages may entice us to donate a few dollars. Then, there’s the holiday telephone call.

Deputy Sheriff BadgeThis evening while addressing Christmas cards—late I know, but with a fast truck and high winds, they might make it by Christmas Eve—I received a call from a person who identified himself as calling for Alameda County Peace Officers or something similar that evoked a mental image of a uniform and badge. Caught off guard—my mind still sealing envelopes and pressing stamps on those late greeting cards—I listened politely through the first part of the sad speech about collecting funds for a special event for children of officers killed in the line of duty. Then, like the mystery writer that I am, I asked one question.

“How many Alameda County Peace Officers have been killed in the line of duty?”

He didn’t know. Then I asked a second question (more like an accusation). He hung up. I replaced my phone and hurried past the greeting cards stacked on the table, prancing like one of Santa’s reindeer, to my laptop.

The stats: Out of eight Alameda County Sheriff’s officer deaths listed, the most recent was 1998.  A Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) policeman was killed in 2014 from friendly fire by a fellow officer.

computer-books-pencilsthree-magi-pixabayThe biblical magi trusted astronomy and guarded their gold, frankincense, and myrrh until they found the right child. That event anchored the first century A.D. [C.E.] Christmas story. I trusted my instincts and confirmed online statistics with my laptop, my personal twenty-first century wise-woman tale that kept my coins in my pocket.

On second thought, I might drop them in the red bucket.


Merry Christmas-Snowman




Filed under Events, Holidays, Writing

7 responses to “Three First Century Wise Men and One Twenty-first Century Wise Woman

  1. Merry Christmas my dear friend Detective Violet. I learn more from you each day you grace my life.

  2. This is why I stopped answering the phone! Thanks for reminding us to always ask questions.

  3. Since October 1867, eighty-nine law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty in Alameda County. The most were members of the Oakland Police Department with over fifty LODD. The Sheriff’s Department has lost eleven. If you want to help the children, I suggest contacting the The Martin C. Kauffman 100 Club of Alameda County (

    • George, I researched only the Alameda County Sheriffs Department deaths because the caller implied that he represented officers killed on duty in that department. In rechecking, I see I should have counted an officer who had a heart attack because it followed pursuit of a suspect. That ups my count from eighth to nine. I only had information back to 1898, so your count back to 1867 adds a greater scope.

      Double thanks for sending the link to the legitimate charitable organization that provides financial support to the spouses and scholarships to the children of Alameda County peace officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty.

  4. A wise woman indeed……Cheers…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s