Written by By Aminah Jamal, CNN
The night sky above Pearl, Illinois, rings out with screams as an explosion sounds from an abandoned house just behind me. Inside the structure, the town’s tiny police department watches over neighbors and makes visits — and the bad guys try to stand in their way.
It’s the headquarters of If ‘r’ For Police, a quasi-community policing group in Crystal Lake, about 20 miles north of Chicago.
It’s also where one-man-band Paranormal Ventures teaches others how to channel the unexplainable into community peace and security. If ‘r’ For Police, too, isn’t just about the goods; it’s about the whole.
Ammunition restocking, delivering in a busy shopping mall and delivering out of your car … I need your help.
Corporal Gregory Wilson, the brains behind the whole department, is in my apartment asking for help to complete the job: delivering guns, ammo and supplies to police stations across the state in a “Cat Bus.”
The engine on the truck does the work, and the police substation opened this year depends on delivery of essential supplies to thousands of struggling police departments.
“Ammunition isn’t free,” Wilson said. He delivers materials, which he shops for himself and gets from friends.
“Normally, stuff comes from the police or military and costs $75-$100 per 20-round drum,” he said.
One weekend, an ex-military police officer — a 48-year-old ex-military — dropped off a 30-foot truck load of 20-round ammo drums at one police station.
Wilson, born and raised in the area, has a tough mission, a lot of gear, and a job he loves.
Having military experience on the force is a valued piece of a larger puzzle.
“Police are coming under attack because police are the problem,” Wilson said.
Training officers and leaving their crime scenes for three hours out in the woods is just too stressful for them. He still has reservations about police being alone in the woods with people who shoot at them — but being on the other side of the fence helps him understand.
Paranormal Ventures is one of many organizations in the movement to bring community peace and safety, pulling from the knowledge and experience of the Paranormal Community Experts Network, which was founded in 2007.