R. Justin Freeman

Writer

Award winning writer drawing from experiences as clergy, cop, and stay at home dad.

I've been writing in long form online since 2011 about law enforcement, spirituality and religion, parenting, politics, and self-improvement. In that time I've been featured in HuffPost, Slate, Forbes, Business Insider, Quartz, and PoliceOne, as well as several publications on Medium. In 2012 I won a Shorty Award for Answer of the Year on Quora, where I'm a two-time Top Writer. If you're interested in my fuller biography, thank you, and please read on.

Growing up on a beef cattle farm in southern Missouri, I always felt a draw to writing. Whether it was a colored pencil illustrated compendium of dinosaur species, a (very thin) newsletter about the goings-on of the household, simple poetry, or short stories that always found a way to feature helicopters or jets, there was typically always something that needed written down.

After graduating high school, I pursued a duty to service via the avenue that made sense to me at the time – studying to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministry. I was working out a calling I felt to make the world a more peaceful and orderly place. I didn’t jump right into a staff position at a church, though, which made way for a new avenue to fulfill my duty: Law enforcement.

After a short stint doing warehouse and data entry work to make ends meet, I read a news article about staffing shortages at the police department where I lived in Springfield, Missouri. I’d never considered law enforcement as a career option, but I felt myself getting more and more dull in the menial work of my job and knew law enforcement would as a matter of course put me right in the midst of where need was great.

I applied for and was accepted to SPD’s 58th Academy, thus beginning three of the most formative years of my life. Putting that uniform on was definitely a watershed moment for me. I worked as a patrol officer for SPD, answering calls for service for everything from parking violations and noise complaints to fatal motor vehicle accidents and stabbings.

A phone call one afternoon put me back on a path to traditional ministry; I accepted a position as pastor of a small church in Mountain Grove, Missouri, bittersweetly parting from my life in law enforcement. For about three years I worked in the church and community, founding a non-profit to address community needs along with a handful of other faith leaders and becoming president of the local Ministerial Alliance. After starting my tenure, I started writing online, principally answering questions about law enforcement people posed on sites like Quora. In 2012, I was honored to win a Shorty Award for Best Answer on Quora for a piece I wrote about the futility of fleeing from police in a vehicle.

Family needs drew me back to Springfield in time, where I worked for a while as a Public Safety Officer for Missouri State University. Love came calling in time though, and I took the biggest chance of my life in 2015 as I sold most everything I owned and moved to Yukon Territory to explore a budding relationship with a friend I’d had since 2000. We got married the next year, moved to a farm in a small village in the territory the next year, and had a daughter the year after that.

Presently, I’m co-manager of Freeman, Inc. (AKA stay at home dad to our toddling daughter). I’m also establishing a permaculture farm on our property and writing on my chosen topics of interest. My long term goal is to keep serving people – locally with the harvest of my farm, and remotely via the writing I do.
Categories
Content Types
Guide, Article, Whitepaper, Blog Post
More Information
Missouri State University, Associate of Arts in General Studies with Honors
Mid-America Christian University, Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministry and Biblical Studies
Springfield, Missouri Police Academy, POST Certificate for Police Officers
Haines Junction, YT Canada|English
Publications
N/A

Self Improvement

7
psiloveyou.xyz
Get a Grittier View of Love
October 31st, 2019
medium.com
Article
Creating Breathing Room in Your Life

How to create and maintain the space you need in life.

September 12th, 2019
psiloveyou.xyz
Article
How to Deal with Grumpy People

Tactics for dealing with the perpetually sour.

September 25th, 2019
medium.com
Article
10 Lessons for the Business Life and the Business of Life

Two stories about times I looked danger in the eye in my life, and ten things I learned in the process.

September 13th, 2019
medium.com
Article
Are Your Opinions Priceless, or Worthless?

An article about what makes for the quality of one's opinion in life.

July 26th, 2019
medium.com
Article
12 Ways I Conquered Public Speaking

In this piece I outlined what I found to be best practices in excelling at public speaking as a naturally introverted person.

August 8th, 2019
qr.ae
Article
What are some of the most important things that we should be informed about in life? Whether it be their government, or types of awareness in any particular subject, anything would be great to hear.

Originally, "What are the top 10 things that we should be informed about in life?" This article went viral, and currently has a million views.

March 27th, 2013

Law Enforcement

16
quora.com
Blog Post
Have you regretted arresting someone?

A few stories about when I regretted being forced to arrest someone by law or policy.

quora.com
Blog Post
Is it better to be tasered or pepper sprayed?

A detailed explanation of why you should cross your fingers for the former, from someone who has experienced both.

quora.com
Blog Post
What equipment is in an average US police car?

A detailed walkthrough of my patrol car loadout.

quora.com
Blog Post
What are the best techniques to resist police interrogation?

A simpler-than-you-may-think explainer about how to navigate police interrogation.

quora.com
Blog Post
If you are pulled over by a police officer, what is the minimum required level of compliance? Do passengers need to provide ID? Can the officer search your

A breakdown of what's required and what's optional during a traffic stop.

quora.com
Blog Post
From what can fingerprints be lifted and from what can't they be lifted?

A breakdown of my forensic capabilities as a patrol officer.

quora.com
Blog Post
What are some cultural faux pas in police departments?

All the "Don't Be That Guy" stuff in law enforcement.

quora.com
Blog Post
What basic things can citizens do to protect themselves from abuses of police power in the US?

A short primer on ways to deal with an officer acting in bad faith.

quora.com
Blog Post
If a police officer claims to smell marijuana, does that give him probable cause to search your car/house?

I use a specific question about marijuana law enforcement to speak more broadly to the legalities of search and seizure generally.

quora.com
Blog Post
If I get pulled over and a police officer asks me to take a roadside sobriety test, do I have to take the test? What should I do?

A walkthrough of a typical impaired driving investigation.

quora.com
Blog Post
Police Procedures: What are the basic principles of hostage negotiation?

A look behind the scenes in what goes into negotiating for hostage release in law enforcement.

quora.com
Blog Post
What's the best way to escape the police in a high-speed car chase?

An alliterated explanation of why you shouldn't flee from police. 2012 Shorty Award winner for Best Answer on Quora.

quora.com
Blog Post
What are the key characteristics that make the police consider someone to be suspicious?

I answer a question here regarding what triggered my suspicions as a police officer.

quora.com
Blog Post
How do police investigate a suicide attempt? Who do they interview? What questions do they ask?

A description of what was on my mind and my to-do list when I was sent to investigate a possible suicide attempt.

quora.com
Blog Post
Why do police officers often come across as arrogant?

Just why do some police officers come off as being so prickly?

qr.ae
Article
What qualities characterize a great police officer?

Here I field a question about qualities characterizing a good police officer, drawing parallels to Dr. Seuss's "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"

Politics

2
medium.com
Article
Both Parties Would Benefit from Trump’s Removal

An analysis of each party's potential benefit from impeachment and removal.

September 24th, 2019
medium.com
Article
Democrats: Don’t Talk Past Rural America

In this article I outline ways 2020 Democratic presidential candidates can better speak to the concerns of people living in rural areas.

July 25th, 2019

Writing About Writing

1
writingcooperative.com
Article
Want Better Character Descriptions? Describe Real People.

Here I describe the process I use to improve my character descriptions in fiction writing by systematically observing the activities of real people in public.

August 21st, 2019

Parenting

2
medium.com
Article
A Complete Guide to Stepping Up During Your Partner’s Pregnancy and Becoming a New Parent

A chronological guide I wrote as a guide to partners of pregnant women on what to expect through pregnancy, delivery and first days at home.

August 19th, 2019
byrslf.co
Article
You May Not Love Your Baby Right Away. And That’s Okay.

In this article I speak about the process I've gone through in developing a relationship with my infant daughter, and how it's normal to not be instantly head over heels in love with a child.

August 28th, 2019

Published Content

2
psiloveyou.xyz
Blog Post
I Never Saw the Shadow

An ode to my wise late grandfather.

August 2nd, 2019
medium.com
Article
Five Keys to Starting Your Business

Drawing a parallel to an ongoing construction project on my farm, I discuss five ways to help ensure a business or other venture starts off on the right foot.

August 5th, 2019
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