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Six Things I've Learned Since Starting The JADE Project

1. That three thousand pound battering ram Law Enforcement uses to breach entranceways? No one carries it room-to-room inside the residence once it’s been used to bust down the doors. Okay I did not ever think someone actually lugged the thing around after it’s served its purpose but neither did I think someone didn’t do that.

2. There are officers that will remain outside their target house when it’s being raided. I didn’t gather this highly critical piece of information while being a secret spectator of searches and seizures, oh no, I heard it viva voce long after I’d witnessed, uhm, more than one of these events in person. I wish I could’ve seen the look on my face right before I said to the nice Charlottesville policeman, in the course of our conversation, “you mean… you… leave people outside?!” then mentally flat-palmed my forehead seventeen times and silently thanked luck for every instance that the men assigned to guarding the perimeters apparently sucked at it.

3. The intense sensation you experience when you suspect you’re being followed and the intense sensation you experience when you suspect the man you’re following suspects you’re following him are identical. ‘Nuff said.

4. Cop Clothing: More Than A Fashion Statement. Shirts and pants with hidden pockets, reinforced stitching to hold the weight of duty gear, linings intended to conceal weapons or wires, invisible Velcro and hooks and loops and D-rings, it’s amazing! Professionally designed attire with practical reasons -- and all this time I thought these guys were just decked out in an ugly pair of Khakis.

5. There are things we don’t know we don’t know. Circumstances and opportunity sometimes cause me to learn things I otherwise might not have thought about, or realized I wanted or needed to know. Well, technically this isn’t a new concept to me but I've been reminded of it many times over during this JADE Task Force interest of mine. Like, aside from big leaguers or cops and their snitches, who thinks about communicating à la baseball hats? I didn’t, until I found out JADE does it. Now I shriek “that’s the signal -- that’s the signal!” and point while doing a hopscotch dance whenever I see someone move, touch, adjust, or basically do whatever to, a cap.

6. Swinging out of the back of a moving F-series truck being driven by a cool crackhead and rolling under a parked vehicle, merely to observe JADE activities without being seen, hurts but is worth the bruises. If you’re a regular reader of iHeArTEjade, or you know me personally, the look on your face after reading that shouldn’t be described as anything other than “vapid.” Nothing I do should surprise you at this point.