JJ Janetsky is a police officer in upstate New York for the city of Amsterdam, which is about 25 miles west of Albany. He plays in the Capital District MSBL in the 33+ and 45+ divisions and is a frequent participant in the MSBL Fall Classic in Florida. JJ took a moment to explain the stresses of his job and how he is staying safe.
I am about to turn 49 and have played organized baseball every year since I was six years old. I have managed and co-managed teams along the way and am currently a member of the CDMSBL Board of Directors. I have also played in the Fall Classic in Florida the last four years, which has become the highlight of my year. My wife would tell you that baseball is my actual career and police work is my hobby!
All kidding aside, the job has plenty of challenges when things are going well, so you can imagine the added challenges now. We are now responding to emergency calls only, locked the public safety building, keeping traffic enforcement to a minimum, all to minimize our contact with the public. We try to only have one officer in the station at a time and have staggered our start times to avoid contact with each other. We have six officers on each shift so an exposure could devastate our department.
We wear masks and gloves and have plenty of sanitizer. The public/businesses have been great by donating these supplies along with plenty of food. There have been situations where we have dealt with irate family members at the hospital and fought with a male who had symptoms. Luckily, he tested negative and so far, we have been fortunate that none of our department members are sick. Today is April 13th, so far so good.
I have a fully stocked man cave all ready for quarantine just in case I need to separate myself from my family. I knew the dangers of the job when I signed up 11+ years ago, I love every day of it and wouldn’t trade it for anything. I believe more credit should be given to grocery store clerks, truck drivers and the people trying to keep our dwindling economy going.
We still have hope in saving our baseball season and have a hopeful, tentative plan on starting June 1st. We’ll see you on the other side!