Defining Moments

This was an interview being conducted by a friend, Knighthawke.  He never finished the article, so it is reprinted here upon request.
It’s not the BIG moments that define the character and reputation of a person, but the every day moments.  We succeed, or fail, not on a grand scale but on the minute.  When asked what he thought made people see him as heroic, Silver Sentinel, said that it wasn’t the number of arrests he’s assisted in, or the charity work he’s done, but the personal interactions he has with the public.  Notorious for not speaking to the press, and reluctant to report most of what he is involved in to any but his closest companions, the majority of what people know about him comes almost exclusively from what he writes on message boards and social media sites.

Personal Home Security

Personal Home Security

?Now it certainly is not my intention to alarm anyone, but I would like to bring up an important detail to those who may not have thought about it.  If you are involved with neighborhood watch, or community safety patrols, it is important to be aware of your Personal Home Safety.  While other homes in the community may be subject to criminal activities, as someone who actively reports on such activities to the authorities, you may find your own home targeted frequently by vandals, or worse.  Harassing phone calls, graffiti, the loss of family pets, vandalism of your personal vehicle, these are just some of the revenge tactics assholes (not always just the criminals you report) may engage in.  It is important you protect yourself and your family.
posted by Silver Sentinel @ 2:01 AM
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Big Bad Boogeymen

New people, especially [but not always] fakes, are paranoid about letting their faces be seen, and will go to great lengths to buy full face covering hoods, gas masks, and other head gear.  With very few exceptions, the more face that is covered, the more likely someone will be an asshole online.  They use the anonymity to act in ways they never would if their identity became known.  This is why the most popular superheroes are ones that reveal their faces, or show a good portion of their face.  Men like Thanatos, who wears a full face mask because what he does actually does involve real danger at times, goes out of his way to be accessible and friendly.
posted by Silver Sentinel @ 12:32 PM
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Man-Tracking for Search and Rescue Operations

At the time I’m writing this, it is Fall in the Adirondacks, an area that is mountainous, and covered in endless miles of forests, rivers, and lakes. Thousands of hunters, hikers, photographers, and even locals just going for a stroll, leave the roads and pathways to make their way into the Great Outdoors. Some of these folks, both experienced and inexperienced, sometimes get lost or injured, and need to be rescued. This is what most people think of when they think of Man-Tracking, but this subject encompasses much more than that. Man-Tracking is about the location missing or hiding people for either rescue, or fugitive recovery, even in urban settings.
posted by Silver Sentinel @ 6:13 AM
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CERT Training

From the Citizen Corps website..

“The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.”

As an active CERT member in my community, I can not recommend this program enough to other capes and regular citizens alike.  The training is free, but invaluable.  It also opens the door for RLSH and citizens to work with local organizations, and the authorities, during times of emergency where untrained volunteers would be more of a liability than assistance.
As RLSH work towards legitimacy and acceptance in their home communities, taking actual training and working with existing organizations is important, if not vital, to accomplishing those goals.  Certification, training, volunteering, and service mark the difference between active legitimate RLSH, and their keyboard counterparts.  Being a superhero is much more than being photographed with women outside of bars, or having a thousand friends on Facebook.  It’s about doing what you can to make an actual difference in your community.

No Super Powers & Police Powers

Anyone interested in becoming an active RLSH neighborhood watch patrol needs to understand that they have absolutely no rights, privileges, nor powers, over and above what every other citizen possesses.. and absolutely NO POLICE POWERS! 
This can not be emphasized enough.  Several RLSH have actually been arrested for interfering with police during the performance of their duties, or for confronting citizens in an illegal manner.  Wearing a mask and cape makes you no different than the people you seek to help.  Remember that.
Also keep in mind that criminals do not have more rights than you do, but they do have the same rights you do, and those rights have to be respected or you will open yourself up to the legal troubles of possible charges and/or litigation.
Might does not make Right.. nor does thinking you are right make you right.  You can make a difference on the streets, but not if you are no longer on the streets.  Know the law, know the consequences of your actions, and stay out of trouble.
Stay Safe

Proposed Standards for the RLSH Community

Okay, let’s break this down into each separate component. Some people honestly act like there is some sort of hidden clause or tricky “small print” that they have to watch out for before agreeing to these standards.
“LET IT BE KNOWN That we, the undersigned, do hereby agree and affirm:”
… If you believe in the standards, shouldn’t standing up for and endorsing them be something to be proud of?
That Everyone has the Right to feel Safe in their own homes, and in their home communities.”
… Anyone object to this statement?
“That it is the responsibility of Concerned Citizens to help Create and Maintain Safety, and Reduce Suffering, within their home communities.”
… That is why we do what we do is it not? Because we understand that our communities need the help of everyday citizens and volunteers?
“That Concerned Citizens can Respond in a Lawful Manner to Safely, and Effectively, Reduce Violence and Criminal Activity within their communities.”
… Does anyone feel the need to break the law to make a difference? Does agreeing to obey the law make you nervous for some reason?
“That Everyone has the Right to Dignity, Respect, Fair Treatment, Safety, and Choice.”
… Any problems with this? Does anyone have a good reason everyone isn’t worthy of respect and being treated decently?
“ARTICLE ONE: ORGANIZATION – Signatories have the Right to Lawfully organize and structure themselves however they wish, free from outside interference. No rule, nor restriction, shall be made to infringe upon this Right.”
… Does anyone feel that someone else has the right to tell them how to organize their own group, or tell them what to do (as long as they aren’t breaking the law)?
“ARTICLE TWO: JURISDICTION – Signatories shall be free to operate without restriction within their home territories, provided they stay within the boundaries of the established Laws and Regulations of said territory.”
… If you’re not doing anything illegal, and aware of the local laws under which you can legally operate, is there a problem?
“ARTICLE THREE: FUNDING – Signatories shall have no responsibility for the expenses of any individual, or group, other than themselves.”
… Should any other RLSH, or group, be responsible for your expenses? If someone donates equipment to you, that’s fine, but should anyone expect other RLSH to give them free stuff and money? Hell No.
ARTICLE FOUR: MEDIATION – Signatories shall have the Right to seek Fair Mediation in matters involving possible disputes between Signatory individuals, or groups.”
… If someone makes an accusation, someone else needs to act as a mediary to clear up the matter, otherwise we end up with more drama and bullshit backbiting. There are always trustworthy volunteers, so agreeing to this doesn’t mean you agree to “jury duty”.
“ARTICLE FIVE: LEGALITY – Signatories affirm that they are private citizens, not Law Enforcement Officers, nor do they possess any special arrest powers, and shall abide by the Laws, Rules, and Regulations of their individual home communities.”
… If someone has actual arrest powers they’re already bound by specific laws and policies. This statement is for everyone else that says they understand they’re nothing more than citizens, plain and simple.

What Martial Art Should An RLSH Learn?

What Martial Art Should An RLSH Learn?

Next, after you have learned how to defend yourself, what constitutes defending yourself, and the knowledge necessary for covering yourself legally, you must then learn what are called, “Control and Restraint” techniques, as well as the laws governing, Use of Force, and, Citizen’s Arrest, in your location. All too often people interpret such phrases as, “you may use what force is necessary to stop and detain a suspect”, as meaning they can pound on someone until he submits to their holding him prisoner. This is a grievious misinterpretation on their part. The general rule for application of force is that only necessary force may be used. When force is applied by an individual (for example, to protect life, or property), the amount of force permissible is, likewise, only that which is reasonable and necessary under the circumstances. You are not authorized to beat the crap out of a rapist, or a child molester. The amount of force that can legally be used is only that which is necessary to stop and detain the suspect. End of story.
posted by Silver Sentinel @ 2:37 PM

What Constitutes An RLSH?

What Constitutes An RLSH?

One important note to all of this, is the fact that any and all of these activities must be accomplished while obeying and working within the law.  Working outside the law, breaking the law, and the promotion of such activities, is generally accepted within the greater superhero community as falling under, “vigilantism”.  Vigilantes are criminals, no matter how they see themselves or rationalize their actions.  They see themselves as a law unto themselves, and promote their own personal brand of morality and justice as superior to the rules and restrictions of society.  Anyone in the superhero community that refers to themselves as a vigilante, is either ignorant of how the community views law breakers within the ranks, or doesn’t care what anyone thinks.  These folks usually learn better and shape up, or ship out.  The community does not look kindly upon those who’s attitudes and activities reflect poorly on the rest of us, or make us look like dangerous criminals.  More than a few vigilantes have been uncovered and turned over to the police over the years.The superhero community also has unwritten, though pretty obvious, rules of conduct.  These rules have developed over time to help reinforce the image and ideals of the superhero community.  Community members are expected to treat themselves and others with respect, and dignity.  They are also expected to carry themselves in public in a manner that  upholds the ideals of the community and does not contradict what the community stands for.  Public intoxication, arguing with police officers, urinating on the sides of buildings, shouting racist comments, and similar behaviors are clearly unacceptable.  The community does, and has, ostracized individuals who act this way.  What gives the community the right to distance themselves from these “heroes”?  The actions of an individual can, and has, affected how the public sees the rest of us.  While an individual does have the right to do what they want, they do not have the right to speak for the rest of us, making us all look like amateur morons, racists, or alcoholics.
posted by Silver Sentinel @ 6:29 AM