Duck of Justice

The Duck of Justice for 9/21/17: BPD’s Hats for the Homeless-Bangor Campaign is underway

The mystery duck brought into the Center for Wildlife in Maine.
Bangor Police Department

From The Bangor Police Department

I think paying attention to those around us is the most underutilized skill we possess.

I liken it to the saxophone solo in the middle of Hall and Oates classic “She’s Gone.” You are probably too busy with your riffs, runs and embellishments as you sing it out loud in your car to even notice the good work being done by the woodwind section. Listen to it next time it comes on, you’ll be surprised you never noticed it before.

I walked through our lobby this past Friday and saw a homeless man picking up some of his belongings which we had secured after he had been arrested. If you are reading this on a computer with your own Internet connection, I guarantee you have more to your name than this man did.

One of the bags contained two (five-cent) returnable cans. They were important to him. You and I might kick them out of the way while we walked down the sidewalk. Ten cents was important to him. Sure, he would pick up more as he wanders, but these were his security, his investment, his savings.

I asked him how he was doing and he smiled and said he was better now that he was out of jail. I concurred that jail sucks. I told him to have a good weekend and hit #3 on the elevator.

As I rode upward with my $2.24 hot coffee, I “noticed” him. Sure, I made conversation but it took me about thirty seconds to realize his situation, to realize the sour odor was his, to realize how I spoke to him kindly but was truly dismissive. He was going to have a crappy weekend.

I felt like a jerk.

I got to the third floor and hit the down button again. I dug through my pocket to see how much I had left in cash, not because I wanted to pay penance for my dismissiveness, but maybe to make a few minutes of his day better.

He was still there when I arrived. I told him that I wanted him to get something good to eat and slipped him what I could. He would not take it because he said he recently got his SSDI money. I asked how much? He said he had about four hundred dollars for the month. I was able to get him to take enough for dinner and then exchanged a few more words before he loaded up his bags and headed out.

Why the story? To point out that we all fail to notice things, sometimes you can’t help them out financially but you can try to be a little kinder, a little less dismissive. I fail at this all the time.

Now the hook-because I am asking you for something. I never ask for SHARES on FB. You can go through our posts and the only time you will find a share request is when we find a pet that we cannot place, or when we open up our Hats for the Homeless-Bangor campaign.

I am sharing the website, which is also Louise Bourque Cunningham’s blog spot. She took over after we started to gather warm things for our transient population a few years ago. Last year we gathered enough to pass out to shelters, people we ran into and other police departments and agencies that help this marginalized part of our population. It’s a little something we are passionate about (I hate that phrase, but it fits).

Louise told me that donations are down and she needs kind knitters/crocheters. She wanted me to put out notice that she has simple patterns available and we need warm things for our coming winter.

Can you help? Can you take time to notice? All the details are available on her site at, and you can reach out to her for clarification.

We pass these out all winter. Our officers keep them in our cruisers, a box in the lobby, and we keep a few spares around as people always need something warm. Especially if they live on our streets.

We know it’s not much, but warm ears and hands make life a little more tolerable.

Keep your hands to yourself, leave other people’s things alone, and be kind to one another.

All we have is each other.

Don’t you people be sending Lt. Tim Cotton pictures of ducks, without proper outerwear, after being retrieved from a pond.

Do not, I repeat, do not do that to me.

Ducks who are down and out are my specialty. Ducks without down, and who are found out(side) might be my new kryptonite.

Yes, if we can save a stuffed duck from a trash can and make him the most famous police mascot in America, we can probably find some folks who are interested in helping this duck get his feathers back.

You see, while “nekkid” is sometimes funny and interesting, “nekkid” ducks are not really a good thing.

The mystery duck might find some friends of the Bangor Police Department Facebook page who realize that we all need a little help every now and then.

We all are looking for some feathers to keep us warm, a person to hold us, and kiss us, and call us George.

I know the Center for Wildlife in Maine are working on a shoestring budget and might need some help to get this duck his groove back.

Do what you will. I am a sucker for a duck.

Keep your hands to yourself, leave other people’s things alone, and be kind to one another.

The men and women of the Bangor Police Department will be here. We have a Duck.

#DOJ #DuckOfJustice.


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