When Disaster Strikes

As the population ages and natural disasters grow increasingly calamitous, Alex Roslin says it's time emergency agencies developed plans to look after those who are always hardest hitseniors.

Seniors flooded in a Texas nursing home when
Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017. They were initially
told no help was coming. This photo on Twitter
finally got the seniors rescued.
(ZOOMER Magazine) February 26, 2018The floodwater from the Rivière des Prairies rose slowly at first, then quickly. Rene LeBlanc, 71, watched with great alarm a block away from the river, on Des Maçons Street in Montreal's West Island.

LeBlanc had spent a lifetime thinking about disasters and risks of various kinds. Now retired, he had worked 45 years in insurance, specializing in loss prevention. When the river overflowed onto his street, he sprang into action.... Read the full article here.

The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence: How It Affects Us All

(Domestic Violence Report) February/March 2016, by Alex RoslinIn 2019, in Utica, New York, police investigator Joseph Longo, Jr. killed his estranged wife Kristin Palumbo-Longo in their home, stabbing her more than a dozen times. He then stabbed himself to death. One of the couple's four children discovered the horrifying scene upon coming home from school that afternoon.

Utica's then-Police Chief Daniel LaBella said the killing was completely unexpected—an incident "no one could have prevented or predicted." But Kristin's family filed a $100-million wrongful death suit saying city and police officials did not do enough about Longo's troubling behavior before the tragedy.

Kristin had contacted police at least five times in the weeks before she was murdered, saying she feared her husband might kill her and their kids. But police supervisors discouraged her from making reports or seeking a protection order, according to the lawsuit. In a preliminary ruling, a federal judge agreed that the police actions may have "enhanced the danger to Kristin and amounted to deliberate interference." The city settled the suit in 2013, paying the couple's children $2 million.... Read the rest of the article here.

The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence: How It Affects Us All

(Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly) Spring 2016

Abstract: This article shines a light on the extremely risky landscape on which family members of abusive police officers are forced to live. In this piece, author Alex Roslin articulates the terrifying situation endured by many spouses of domestically violent police officers as they seek protection from a partner who happens to carry a gun, because he happens to be a police officer. Among the most intractable barriers to justice is the habitual extension of “professional courtesy” as per the “thin blue line” of police officers who “protect their own.” Casting this situation in an even more dire light is the fact that the rate of abuse perpetration by police officers is 15 times higher than in the general population. © 2016, Alex Roslin. 

Alex Roslin is an award-winning investigative journalist and author of the book Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence, 2nd Ed. (Knowlton, Quebec: Sugar Hill Books, 2016), winner of the American Society of Journalists and Authors’ Arlene Book Award and a finalist for four other international book prizes.

Read the article here.

Fire and Ice

ZOOMER Magazine
December 1, 2014

[This article was nominated for a National Magazine Award. Read the full article here.]

A year after a nursing home fire devastated a small Quebec town, Alex Roslin revisits that fateful night and asks whether continued political apathy on safety measures might expose how we value the vulnerable.

It was one of the coldest days of an unusually nasty winter, even for L'Isle Verte. A bracing northern wind blew all day out of the snowy Charlevoix Mountains. It tore across the frozen mouth of the St. Lawrence River, 25 kilometres wide at this point, and blasted the village of 1,400 nestled on the river's south shore, six hours northeast of Montreal.

Fifty-two elderly denizens of L'Isle Verte huddled in the warmth in the Résidence du Havre seniors home, gazing out at the colourful row of ice fishing shacks that stood on the frozen river. They were used to harsh weather. Most had farmed the land and fished for smelt and herring all their lives. But even for such sturdy folk, this day -- Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 -- was a little much. Most hadn't ventured into the bitter weather and deep snows for days....