A ‘Period Dignity Officer’ Seemed Like a Good Idea. Until a Man Was Named. Then a Nightmare.
by Mark Hosenball
It started like any other school day, with my son at the bus stop waiting for a ride home. He had just gotten back from a week away in the mountains and was hoping for a ride back. He had taken a few photos to enjoy on the way home, but as his bus inched down the narrow streets of East Chicago at the edge of the city’s historic district, he didn’t notice any of the hundreds of onlookers gathered along the route. When he turned to look, a man approached him.
“Where are you going?” he asked my son, before quickly walking past him.
My son’s first thought was, “This is just a really weird day. School is going to be fun.” But then he realized that the man wasn’t just strange. He was actually a security guard, and he was probably also a detective. “So,” my son thought, glancing back at his bus. “This is just like the movies.”
That’s because, like most people, I never even noticed that our city was being overrun by private security guards protecting the wealthy, and by police protecting the police. Until now, when I realized with horror that this guy was probably the last person in the world I would want to spend one-on-one time with.
Because he wasn’t a cop, he didn’t have the training nor the authority to stop my son from taking photos and videos at just about any place he wanted to go. He wasn’t even a private security guard, which is what he was actually hired to do. He was a “Period Dignity Officer,” which refers to a position created in the state to provide security for the “privatized” health care system, where doctors and hospitals can charge people for services, and people are required to give free urine samples to prove their “wellness,” which includes, of course, medical exams and vaccinations. I was not aware of this practice, and I had only vaguely heard of this particular position.
But the PDO had already called me