Today was a lesson in flexibility. My mentor and I left at 8 a.m. to get to the Abrazo Maryvale Campus, a hospital, and the site of the quarterly Coffee with a Cop event where I would be interviewing Rosa Pastrana, the subject of my story. I had the details of the interview scheduled in advance, from where and when to how we’d identify each other. But when a mysterious lockdown led a security guard to tell my mentor and I to “just go home” for our safety, I realized that thinking ahead doesn’t always prevent bumps in the road while reporting—that’s where dedication comes in.
And the lessons weren’t just for me.
“I always take about being flexible in our business and I don’t mean yoga flexible,” said Sean P. Connolly of the Phoenix Police Department. He was one of many officers addressing the crowd Tuesday after the last minute venue change to the Maryvale Community Center. Connolly also announced that after two years in Maryvale, he was being re-assigned to the police department’s violent crimes bureau and that next month the neighborhood would have a new commander. “You guys are used to this,” he said, telling the crowd of about 40 residents that, despite the change, there is still work to be done.
I was inspired by how, despite the chaos surrounding the early morning meeting and the venue change, the show went on. Residents and police demonstrated their flexibility and dedication to the end goal–working together to keep Maryvale safe.