Gifford goes to EnglandBy PHIL HERMANEKPeninsula Clarion Thursday's fatal bombings in London have not altered travel plans of former Soldotna Police Chief Shirley Gifford, who is slated to speak at a police women's conference north of the capital city.
"It always makes you nervous. It's really scary, but you can't alter your life over it," said Gifford, of the terrorist attack that left at least 49 people dead and more than 700 injured.
Gifford, whose 27-year career in law enforcement included six years as police chief in Soldotna, said she will be flying into London and then traveling to Leeds, England, where she will teach a communications class for the International Association of Women Police.
"I am so honored to be invited," Gifford said.
Most recently, Gifford served as a consultant, teaching communications at the Alaska State Trooper Academy in Sitka in June.
Her selection to teach in England was due, in part, to that activity.
Gifford will travel to London Sept. 5 and teach the 1 1/2-hour class Sept. 13. She will be accompanied by her sister, Cynthia Cote, of Michigan.
Gifford said she has a "good friend" who lives just outside London, and after she heard of last week's bombings, she immediately sent at e-mail inquiry and learned her friend was OK.
"I went to the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Canada right after Sept. 11 (2001), and much of the focus of the conference centered on that event," Gifford said.
"I'm not planning to alter my presentation to reflect this event.
"It's a communications class, and it's something we use every day.
"We can always use a little sharpening of our skills in how we communicate with each other," she said.
Gifford and her sister plan to stay in England for two weeks, including the one week they will spend at the law enforcement conference.
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