The men and women in blue rely on more than the letter of the law and the facts of the case when they protect and serve. They receive aid from God, dreams, signs, and symbols. But like the rest of us, officers can also experience paranormal encounters in everyday life. A nearly twenty-year veteran of the Michigan State Police, Detective Ingrid P. Dean collects some of these odd and strange police narratives in her debut book, Spirit of the Badge.
Dean combines her experience in uniform with her master’s degree in transpersonal psychology. As she explains in the introduction, transpersonal psychology “impl[ies] a greater force or intelligence within or beyond ourselves, which we have…not explored enough.” She divides Badge into chapters, each exploring a different type of transpersonal encounter. These chapters include “Angels and Apparitions”; “Dreams and Intuition”; “Signs, Symbols, and Synchronicity”; and “Unexplainable Phenomena.” Detailed black and-white drawings by the author and photos from contributors enhance the volume.
In one piece, an anonymous officer from Sault Saint Marie, Canada, writes about how he lost his badge in the woods. Before he has a chance to file a report on the lost item, he is called to investigate storm damage in a forest 100 miles away. When he arrives, he sees a toppled eagle’s nest on the ground and decides to see if the birds inside are hurt. The birds have abandoned the nest, but inside he finds his badge.
Every officer’s contribution to this compilation convincingly demonstrates how “we are all interconnected” and how police work involves “highly developed…awareness, attention to detail, and in noticing things out of place.” She successfully disputes the claim that “only science will solve a serious offense.” Although the storytelling ability of the contributors varies widely, there is sincerity in all of the officers’ accounts; these men and women truly believe in the truth of what happened to them; indeed, some were skeptics themselves until their own transpersonal experiences. Believers and non-believers alike will be shaken after reading many of these anecdotes.
Indeed, Dean’s aim is to shake readers out of complacency, which she does by showing the human aspects and the transpersonal facets behind the badge. She reminds readers that uniformed personnel have fears and foibles and an officer’s reaction often comes down to personal discretion. Badge also celebrates the honesty and decency of its contributors in the face of a culture that often views cops as corrupt. Dean intends for this installment of Badge to be the first in a series, and anyone with an interest in law enforcement or the paranormal will eagerly await the author’s next book.