Day in the life of a police officer

Day in the life of a police officer

By NICOLE PEREZ Staff Writer

 Many people are under the assumption that police officers have an easy job without realizing the difficult challenges they encounter everyday. But what exactly are the hardest obstacles that police officers may have to face?

“The mental aspect of being a police officer is pretty tough. You never know if you’re going to come home that night,” explained a resigned Camden police officer. According to courierpostonline.com, Camden city’s crime rate rose to 42.5% in the first quarter of 2016. Among these crimes are murders, sexual assault, robberies, and gun violence. Regardless of what the crime may be, Camden police officers are trained to deal with a considerable amount of difficult situations.

However, that does not mean that this comes easily to a police officer. Last year, Camden was reported to top the list of the most dangerous city in New Jersey,  according to nbcphiladelphia.com. It is a frequent occasion that police officers are sent to a scene that was too graphic for them or more intense than they anticipated. There could be victims on the scene that died and police officers have to keep moving forward and do their job, regardless of how they feel about the situation. “Constantly seeing such negative events happening will eventually take a toll on a person’s mind,” said the source.
The former police officer went on to explain, “It’s tough, it’s definitely tough. You’re tired, you’re stressed, and you just saw some crazy stuff happen. Then you have to go home and act like everything is normal, which is tough to do. You need time to yourself or somebody to talk to.”

There are times that police officers have to work 16-hour work shifts for seven days in a row. Some police officers suffer from depression, anxiety, or even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Police officers have one of the highest divorce rates and suicide rates, which is something that is taught in the Police Academy so officers know what they are getting into.

The Police Department offers their officers options for help to those seeking it, but there are still approximately 150 police officers that commit suicide every year according to badgeoflife.com.

“I’ve helped countless people shot, stabbed, and sexually assaulted. One that probably stuck to me was this man. I was working in the area, finishing up a report with my window down. Next thing you know I hear what sounded like 20 or 30 gunshots to the left of me. Immediately, I headed into that direction because that is what we do. We just head into gunfire. We get there and there is a male on the ground who was shot approximately 20 times. He was laying on the ground, he was dead already. He had a cell phone still in his hand and lollipop still in his mouth,” the former police officer explained.

On top of everything that police officers witness everyday, there are even people in the community who harass them just because they are police officers. Whether they believe all policemen are corrupt, or they just felt like bothering them, this is what the people who go out everyday to keep our communities safe have to experience. “Most cops are just doing their job. They just want to get their job done as best as they can and get home to their families at the end of the night,” said the experienced officer.

No matter how many times police officers are mistreated and how many horrible things they see, they still wake up everyday with the mindset that they want to help the people in their community. Without them, the people in our society would not have a secure environment to live in, safe from all of the violence happening in our world today.

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Zika Virus Awareness

Zika Virus Awareness

By JACOB DAVIS Staff Writer

Between the end of summer, the start of school, and football season, many of us have forgotten one of the many topics that overtook the news just before the summer of 2016. No, this is nothing about Donald Trump, or Colin Kaepernick. We’re talking about a more health related topic, The Zika virus, which broke out just as summer was starting. A majority of people had only first heard about this virus during the most recent outbreak. However, the disease has been around much longer than that.

In 1947, the Zika virus was initially found in “rhesus macaque”, which are small monkeys typically used in medical research. The monkey was taken from the Zika Forest, in Uganda. What kind of a name is “Zika” anyway? According to zikavirusnet.com, the virus obtained its name from the word zika, which means “overgrown”. Since then, there have been two major outbreaks. The first was in 2007, in a series of  islands known as Micronesia, located north of Australia. The other outbreak was in 2015 and is still going on in Europe, as well as the United States. The main cause of the outbreaks are mosquito bites. Aedes mosquitoes are the specific mosquitos that can carry, as well as spread the disease.

After the initial wave of Zika in the news, many people forgot about the virus, which had been “swept under the rug” by the various other news stories of 2016. The general consensus among people was that they could only get the virus via a mosquito bite in either South America or Europe. This assumption could not be more wrong.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 43 Zika cases have been identified in the United States in many different ways. To begin with, people who have been bitten in other countries have returned with the virus. Additionally, there is a small section of Miami, Florida, which currently has infected mosquitoes. Also, Zika has been passed through sexual contact. The final, and most concerning way this disease is spread is through pregnancy, being passed on to the child through the infected mother.
Zika has very negative effects on childbirth. It can cause birth defects to a child whose mother has the virus. For the most part, the defects are brain related and often times fatal. One of the defects is known as Microcephaly, which results in the child being born with an unusually small head, as well as an underdeveloped brain. In Texas, a mother who contracted the disease while out of the United States, gave birth to a child with Microcephaly due to Zika. The child died shortly after birth due to said complications.

The biggest problem with the Zika virus is how little we know about it. In fact, many people have never even heard about the virus. Ben Ash, a student at Cumberland County College, majoring in business management said he “didn’t know much about the Zika virus.” He also said, “I only heard of Brazil being an area to contract Zika because of the Olympics.” If people remain unaware of what Zika is, it will make it that much harder to stop the spread of the disease in the future. The best way to reduce the chance of spreading Zika are as followed; First, take additional precautions to avoid getting bit by mosquitoes, such as wearing bug spray. Second, avoid sexual contact with those who have the virus. If you are unsure if your partner has the virus, use protection. Lastly, avoid going to areas that are confirmed to have infected mosquitoes in the area. Bug spray is not a fire way to avoid bug bites.

To help stop the spread of the Zika virus, the best defense is awareness. The more aware people are, the more likely they are to take precautions in avoiding the virus and its effects. With a disease as potentially dangerous as Zika is, we all need a general idea of what Zika is.

Photo courtesy of CDC.gov

CCC Student Clubs

By JESSICA ROLLE Staff Writer

College is an exciting time in life. Whether you’re fresh out of high school or returning to school as an adult, this new experience can be a wonderful journey.

A great way to feel more comfortable entering any new chapter in life is to surround yourself with others doing the same thing, and to sweeten the pot even more, people whom you share common interests.

Joining a club in college adds exponential value to your college experience and life simultaneously. CCC offers student clubs to become involved covering many interests.

Are you into theater and drama? The drama club offers “an enriching theatrical experience” and “a supportive environment through artistic excellence”.

Do you have a strong religious background? Express your faith with the Faith Fellowship Club and enrich your spiritual life.

Maybe you’re more of the free thinker creative type? The various art clubs would allow you to stretch that noggin and put your creativity to use, or GLOW (Gay, Lesbian, or Whatever) offer’s equality and education on bullying and spreading acceptance. CCC offers clubs for many different interests, ranging from Student Nursing Organization (SNO) to the Business/Finance Club.

Not only do clubs give you a sense of purpose as an individual, joining a club adds value to the college and community through events and activities within the various clubs. It’s also a great way to meet people and potentially make new friends.

Let’s be honest, there’s no shortage of people on our campus, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to create new friendships and put yourself out there. Joining a club is a great avenue for meeting scads of people while you take part in something that feeds your interests.

Clubs also offer opportunities to lead. Every club requires an advisory board made up of a faculty advisor, student president, vice president, secretary, and at least 5 members. Every club needs strong-minded individuals with great ideas to contribute. These skills are undoubtedly essential in everyday life and growth, and if you don’t feel as if you possess them now you might find them within your club membership.

For more information contact Jean Erwin at ext. 1454.

Cumberland County College Celebrates 50 years

By BAILEY DIGHStaff Writer

Over the span of 50 years, many aspects can change on a college campus and CCC is no exception.

Students have enrolled and graduated, professors have engaged and challenged their students, and most importantly, Cumberland County College has expanded and become a great educational institute.

It was 50 years ago when CCC became the first community college in New Jersey to open its own campus on October 17, 1966 with about 350 students enrolling and offering nine associate degree programs of study.

In 1968, the first graduating class consisted of 150 students. This past year, Cumberland County College saw its largest graduating class ever with a size of 710 students and it now offers 21 areas of study.

There are more than 50 events set to take place to commemorate Cumberland County College’s 50th Anniversary. This list consists of newer events and existing events that will have a 50th year twist to them.

The college’s website will have pages dedicated to the milestone with fun facts, photos, and timelines. Also on the website, a message from the president, Dr. Yves Salomon-Fernandez, will be displayed.

A collection of videos will be available where alumni, professors from past and present, and other faculty and staff will give their greetings and congratulate CCC on its 50th year.

The college’s Facebook page will also be part of the fun. Each Thursday there will be a throwback Thursday post about the college’s history. All year long, alumni events will take place and it will be like an all year reunion. Throughout the county, banners will be hung to help celebrate this important milestone.

This year is not only special because of the 50th Anniversary, but Cumberland County College has a new president. Dr. Yves Salomon-Fernandez is the 7th president and the first female president in school history.

I recently spoke with Sue Ann Perry, the Executive Director of foundations and alumni, who also chairs the 50th Anniversary committee.

When asked how special it is celebrating CCC’s 50th year and a new president, especially the first female president, all in the same year, Perry replied, “It is really exciting. I am appreciative and looking forward to the new opportunities a new president can bring.” From May 4 through May 6, several events are scheduled to combine the celebration of a new president and CCC’s 50th year. The Student Inaugural Celebration is set to take place on May 4, the Presidential Inauguration will be on May 5, and the Inaugural Ball is scheduled for May 6.

The difference between the first graduating class and most recent graduating class is nearly 600 students, there are now 12 more areas of study from when the college first opened, and the college now has a female president.

Much has changed in 50 years and it will be interesting to see how different Cumberland County College is in 2066.

Mental Health Awareness @ CCC

By JONATHAN MOSHETTI

Staff Writer

Imagine waking up for that important 9am class at 8am and instead of getting ready like you should be doing you lay there for another half hour debating if you should go. Worried about if people will like what you’re wearing. Wondering if you’ll actually talk to anyone this time or just sit in silence listening trying not to put your head back down and slip back into the sleep you crave for so much. This is depression, this is anxiety, this is not your fault. This is not something to apologize for, and this is not something that you are dealing with alone.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), mental Illness is one of the biggest issues surrounding today’s college students, mostly the issue of anxiety and depression. Bense seems to think the factors that serve a big part in this growing rate of mental illness is the increase of poverty, stress and pressure surrounding todays youth. NAMI states that about 1 in 5 adults suffer from some kind of mental illness and many of them never get the help they need, be it lack of interest in seeing a specialist or not wanting to be seen as weak for having these troubles.

I have recently had the pleasure of talking to the Academic and Mental Health Counselor for Cumberland County College, Heather Bense. She was able to inform me of the services provided by CCC for any and all students dealing with mental health issues. CCC provides counseling and guidance to any student that is currently registered and offices are open Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm. All counseling is completely confidential unless outside help is needed and permission is given by the student. Offices can be found in the EOF/SSS suite in the Student Center.

Depression and Anxiety Disorders are the leading mental illnesses in the country, but it seems to be an issue that no one wants to believe or no one thinks is real. According to medicine.net approximately 18.8 million American adults suffer from depression and approximately 19.1 million adults suffer from an Anxiety Disorder of any kind. These disorders have been shown to lead to many more problems such as Eating disorders, sleep deprivation, and Suicidal tendencies.

I was able to hear stories from three Cumberland County College students who dealt with mental illness or still do. These students wished to remain anonymous. All three students suffer from anxiety issues and depression but none have gotten any type of medical care or counseling, which is something they wish they would have done sooner.

My research has shown me that Mental Illness is something that shouldn’t have such a bad stigma around it. People need to know that they are not weak, they are not less of a man or less of a woman. Please know that if you deal with any mental illness you need to reach out to someone. You should never keep all your emotions, thoughts, and sadness bottled up. Seek out help, people care about you and want to help you, you’re not in this alone.

If you wish to seek support please contact Heather Bense at hbense@cccnj.edu.

Are you ink-tolerant? Tattoos in today’s society

By JESSICA ROLLE Staff Writer

tattoo-artist-kat-von-d

Tattoos are arguably more popular now than they’ve ever been before. Tattoos have become a part of our everyday scenery. Tattoos were once a sign of rebellion, but are now described more often as a fashion statement or fad. Despite their growing popularity, tattoos are still being stigmatized by society.

We live in a generation that seeks tolerance of all kinds. Tolerance is the willingness to accept something despite the opinions and behaviors of others with contrasting views. More and more people are getting tattoos and their prevalence in our society aids in the changing of people’s perceptions. An individual may feel tattoos are not “for” them, but can accept them as a part of our new and ever changing culture. Others may still be firm in their beliefs and associate tattooing with a past stereotype. According to an article by Scroobius Pip, “Getting a tattoo doesn’t have to mean a lot these days. I think it used to mean something – it was edgy, a sign of the counter culture. Now it’s just … a tattoo. Nothing more.”

Tattoos were once associated with prisons, motorcycle gangs, and other sub-cultures that go hand in hand with a bad reputation. In our current culture you can spot them on celebrities, business owners, and soccer moms alike. The cultural stigma becomes blurred. Many rappers such as Tyga, Lil Wayne, and Machine Gun Kelly are covered in tattoos and this doesn’t surprise society, because it’s expected of a rapper. Fashion model Cara Delevingne has multiple tattoos as well, something that was once viewed as “limiting” to someone in the fashion world.

Many view tattoos as unprofessional. This is where size and location come into effect. For example, a doctor may choose to cover his tattoos while at work, but on the weekend he’ll sport short sleeves at his child’s soccer games. The fact that someone has a tattoo doesn’t make him or her less qualified or less of a person; the bottom line is they’re situational.

Some of the earliest known evidence of tattoos dates back as far as ancient Egypt. Tattoos were common amongst the upper class as they evolved into symbols of culture and worldliness. Today, with all of the technical advancements tattoos have become far more accessible and far less expensive and now appear on the bodies of people from many social standings.

I recently traded e-mails with a 46 year old retired Master Gunnery Sergeant from the Marines. He explained to me that while he was an active duty marine he didn’t accept tattoos on military personnel. “It was a personal belief of mine”, he explained. “Other’s had tattoos, they were nice to look at but I didn’t see them as a part of the uniform back then.” However, he explained to me that he actually currently has three tattoos. “Once I retired, I realized the military was still a huge part of who I am, military is for life,” he wrote. “The tattoos I’ve chosen for myself, I feel, still represent that part of my life for people to see almost as if I was still in uniform.”

While there are people who are still firmly against the art of tattooing, the overall view of them is changing in society. More are becoming accepting of them than those who remain “ink-tolerant.”

CCC Dukes baseball expands its reach

By BAILEY DIGH Staff Writer

The Cumberland County College baseball team has enjoyed success under Coach Keith Gorman. In 2014, the program’s most successful season, the team finished with a record of 49-10, which is the best in program history, won the Region XIX championship, finished as the top ranked team in the nation, and were the national runner up at the National Junior College Division III World Series. The success under Coach Gorman has not only made the program an attractive one to local players, but to players from outside the county. I recently spoke to two players who are originally from out of county, sophomores Mitch Walker and Dan Goggin. Walker is originally from Pennsville, New Jersey and graduated from Pennsville Memorial High School.

Walker, who was a medical redshirt his freshman year after a shoulder injury in October of 2014, did not intend to play baseball in college and did not think of coming to Cumberland County College. He decided to play in college and that led him to CCC. “The coaches were a big influence on me coming here,” Walker said, “I had some friends who knew the program, so that helped.” When asked about his main reason for coming to CCC he said, “To get better at the game and eventually transfer to a Division I school.” He shared he currently has a few schools who are interested in him. Walker was originally a pitcher, but moved positions and now plays catcher. When asked if coming to CCC to play baseball has helped him with his game Walker said, “It has definitely helped.”

Dan Goggin is from Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania and graduated from Monsignor Bonner High School. Goggin is a third baseman and has recently started pitching. He had some other Division III offers, but said he was convinced by Coach Gorman to come play for the CCC team, “Coach Gorman was very convincing when it came to me coming here. He knows how good his program is.” Goggin knew about the recent success of the baseball program and it was another reason why he chose Cumberland County College over some of the other schools. “I knew about the recent success and it helped with my decision,” Goggin said. Goggin, like Walker, said his goal is to eventually transfer. He wants to transfer to any four-year program that wants him, “I am open to going anywhere. Any school that wants me to play for them would be a place I’d consider.” When asked if playing at CCC has helped him with the transferring process Goggin said, “Yes, it has. I have gotten a lot of exposure playing here. Coach Gorman knows a lot of people and it has helped out a lot.”

Goggin and Walker live with some other players who are not from the area at the Cumberland Green Apartments. When asked if it was tough living away from home Goggin said, “It is hard living away from home at times but baseball definitely makes it easier. It gives you something to do and look forward to every day.” The Cumberland County College baseball program is growing into a very successful one under Coach Keith Gorman. Each year this success has given the team the ability to not only go out of county, but at times out of state to recruit baseball players. This recruiting process is sure to continue as the success of the program continues. For more information on CCC athletics visit http://www.dukesathletics.com.