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....

Dental Dilemma

Studies link dental x-rays to brain tumours, thyroid cancer, and low birth weight
Growth in dental use of CT machines raises radiation exposures dramatically

by Alex Roslin
The Georgia Straight
August 14, 2013

CAROLE-ANNE STANWAY HAD lived with blinding headaches for 17 years before she decided enough was enough.
The grandmother of five in Kelowna finally asked her doctor for an MRI to see what was wrong. He refused to give her a referral, saying the headaches were just from tension. He had put her on Tylenol 3 and antidepressants, but those hadn’t helped.
Stanway got an MRI done privately anyway, at a cost of $2,700. The result: she had three meningiomas, a type of brain tumour.
The good news was the tumours weren’t cancerous. The bad news was the specialist didn’t want to remove them unless they became cancerous because of the risk of brain damage.
Stanway put up with the headaches for five more years until, in 2002, they and other health problems forced her to stop working as an assistant in a medical office. She’s been on disability leave ever since.

Buffet of Pain Drugs
She has been prescribed a buffet of pain drugs, which, along with noninsured medical procedures and travel to see specialists, have drained her savings. The drugs reduced the pain for a while, but her body quickly got used to them. Then they didn’t help anymore.
She stopped taking the pain meds five years ago after they started to cause her kidney problems. Some of the drugs also gave her severe nausea. But she’s still on the antidepressants. “Chronic pain is difficult to deal with otherwise,” she said in a phone interview from her apartment.
A few months ago, her eyes started moving uncontrollably while she was reading, likely a side effect of meningioma, which can cause optic problems.
Stanway said doctors don’t know what caused her meningiomas, but she thinks dental X-rays are a possible culprit. “I had a lot of dental work done when I was younger. As children, we received a lot of radiation.”

Brain Tumour Risk Higher
In a study in the journal Cancer last year, 1,433 people with men­ingioma were found to be two times more likely to have had a “bitewing” dental X-ray as those without the illness. Those who reported having a panorex scanning dental X-ray (which gives a two-dimensional panoramic view of the mouth) before age 10 were 4.9 times more likely to have meningioma.
Meningioma is the most common form of primary brain tumour (tumours that start in the brain). Women get it more than twice as often as men.
Other studies have linked dental X-rays to thyroid cancer, breast cancer (in women who hadn’t worn a shielded apron), saliva-gland tumours, and glioma (a cancerous type of brain and spinal tumour).
Pregnant women who got a dental X-ray were three times more likely to deliver a low-birth-weight baby (weighing less than 2.5 kilograms), according to a 2004 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Dental X-rays are the most common way Americans are exposed to human-made radiation, the 2012 Cancer study said.
Yet despite growing awareness about the risks of X-rays, radiation in many dental offices is actually rising. That’s thanks to the explosive growth of 3-D cone-beam CT (computed tomography) machines, which give off up to 60 times the radiation of a conventional dental X-ray.

[Read the entire story here.]