So, you want to know about my trip? Let me tell you – it was a whirlwind and I can’t wait to go back and see everything we missed. We did manage to pack in a lot of sights in our short time but we didn’t get to really experience any of the big attractions, like the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty. We saw them but weren’t able to get all up close and personal. We did experience Legoland, M&M World and FAO Schwartz – one guess as to who the tour director was at that time *coughMADDYcough*.
We walked to Times Square Sunday night so we could see the lights, and after our TV obligations on Monday, we walked 5th Avenue to Central Park, then went over to Chinatown, but it was starting to rain, so we headed to lower Manhattan to see the Financial District, Ground Zero, the Bull at Wall Street, Battery Park - I bet we walked for miles on Monday. Then it was off to JFK to wait on a delayed flight back home.
Appearing on The Today Show was surreal – again, it went so fast. We were supposed to meet the producer in the hotel lobby at 7am, but because of the miracle of live TV, he called at 6:40am on the off chance we were ready to go – they moved our segment time. Again. Uh, I’m going to have to say no on that one. We crammed twenty minutes of personal hygiene into ten, and hustled across the street to 30 Rock. Maddy and I went to hair and makeup, then up to the green room (which is actually beige) for our “teaser” shots to be used during the “Coming up next” promotions.
Just before 8:00am, we went to the actual studio, sat on the couch, got miked up and watched the news section of the broadcast. Then the cameras were on us, and our segment began. And then it was over, and we went back to the green room. I wasn’t nervous because I just didn’t have time, it was a dance of “go here,” “sit here,” “now go in here,” “look here,” “don’t look there,” and thanks for coming. In retrospect, I wish I’d had more opportunity to speak – I felt like I only said “yes,” “no,” “that’s correct,” and “thanks.” Still, I am thankful for the opportunity to introduce Jessica and Kelli to a national audience.
After my appearance, I received so many emails and phone calls from other families who have lost loved ones in similar crashes. It’s heartbreaking to hear their stories, and saddens me every time I hear of another family shattered by a senseless death. It also reinforces my drive and commitment of raising awareness and sharing the story of Jessica and Kelli, in hopes of saving lives which would otherwise be lost due to unnecessary police pursuits.
To that end, I will be addressing the Jefferson County, Missouri officers this Thursday. In December, I will be speaking again to the St. Louis County recruits, and the students at SWIC in Belleville. In February I will be on a panel discussing pursuit policy at the Southwestern Illinois Criminal Justice Institute, and also will be travelling to Carson City to speak to the new recruits of the Nevada Department of Public Safety. I was contacted by the head of the Nevada DPS after he saw me on the Today show. I can only hope that this will be the first of many agencies that I will have the chance to talk to about Jessica and Kelli.