Well, the results of last month's poll are in, and to no one's surprise, I'm sure, the man voted Most Attractive was the delectable Constable Benton Fraser, our liaison from the Canadian Consulate, who got 53 votes. Next on the list were Eric Orner, our Shipping and Receiving clerk, with 5 votes, and Officer Tim Barela from Traffic, with 3 votes.
The Most Attractive Woman was a tougher race, but Francesca Vecchio, our Civilian Aide, shone through with 27 votes, while Officers Alison Bechdel and Diane DiMassa, both from Patrol, tied for second with 19 votes each.
I sat down to chat with Miss Vecchio, and the talk naturally turned to Constable Fraser. Are to two most attractive people at the station seeing each other? Alas, says Miss Vecchio, they aren't. Cupid apparently needs to put in more hours down on the firing range, because his aim was just a little off in this case. Although Miss Vecchio admits to harboring a crush on the dashing Canadian, Constable Fraser has eyes only for Miss Vecchio's brother, Detective Raymond Vecchio.
As we're talking Detective Vecchio himself wanders over to his sister's desk, Constable Fraser in tow. The detective appears to have just escaped from an undercover stint at a punk rock concert and is several days overdue for a shave, although Miss Vecchio assures me that this is one of his better days. Constable Fraser, of course, is impeccably groomed, and his smart red uniform brings out the blue of his eyes. When asked to comment, the constable blushes adorably and points out that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. He refuses to admit to being flattered by the attention, despite jibes from both Detective and Miss Vecchio.
Miss Vecchio's dark, sultry beauty contrasts startlingly with her brother's blond crewcut and pale skin. After Detective Vecchio retrieves a case file from her desk and saunters off, Constable Fraser trailing besottedly behind him, I take the opportunity to ask Miss Vecchio about her family life. Has the Mountie come between her and her brother? Oh no, she hastens to assure me, looking somewhat embarrassed. She and her brother get along fine, better than they have in years, in fact -- something that she attributes at least partially to her work as a Civilian Aide for the department.
"It's great work," she says. "I've been flailing around since college, but you really see all sorts of people here. It's so good to be out of the house." She laughs.
The best part of the job is working with the detectives to help people, Miss Vecchio says. "You have to love what you're doing and really take pride in it," she tells me. "People respond to that. Look good and talk like you mean it, be serious." Has she had trouble, as such an attractive woman, being taken seriously by the men at the station? "Not really," she says, and adds with a smile, "except for my brother, of course." I just nod, since on his earlier jaunt by Detective Vecchio had leaned in and warned me quietly that I had better not make his sister "sound like some kind of ditz, okay? She's smart, she's good people."
As I talk with her, it becomes apparent that Miss Vecchio is no kind of "ditz" at all, despite her carefully applied eye shadow and crop-top tee shirt. At one point, we have to interrupt a discussion of hair care products for an emergency in the field. For twenty minutes Miss Vecchio calmly and professionally provides Detective Jack Huey with critical information on the known associates and hangouts of a man apparently holding her brother and Constable Fraser hostage. Coral-painted nails fly across the keyboard and trace the connections through piles of paper case histories. The crisis over, she picks up just where we left off, with the trouble she's had finding a good salon now that Curls and Clips has closed (she tentatively recommends Lookin' Good, on the corner of Fifth and Dime St).
Half an hour later, I see Detective Vecchio, now covered in a fine layer of soot, and Constable Fraser, with a small streak of ash across one cheek, stop by again to thank Miss Vecchio for her assistance. It appears that it was her information which had led Detective Huey to the toy shop for a timely rescue. (I start to ask what sort of hostage situation occurs in a toy shop, but Detective Vecchio growls at me.) Miss Vecchio changes the subject by reaching toward Constable Fraser, who clutches his hat and looks nervous, in a rakishly handsome way. "You've got dirt on your face," she tells him. He raises his eyebrows and Miss Vecchio leans forward with a handkerchief to brush the ash away. "There," she says, and the two Beautiful People share a smile.