With National Police Week coming to an end, I realized that most people didn’t know about this week set aside to pay honor to all law enforcement who have fallen in the line of duty, and all who remain ever vigil, protecting and serving their communities. Our Arnaudville Police Department is part of this group of individuals who chose to serve – not for the money -- but for the opportunity. I respect anyone who puts on the uniform and goes out to literally put their life on the line for strangers. It is often a thank-less job.
I recently came across an article that provided “tips” on how one can demonstrate their appreciation for their police, and would like to share it with you.
1. Write a letter of commendation. Send it to the chief of police. Write about your general appreciation of policemen and their commitment to the community. Write about a specific incident where you observed service “above and beyond” the call of duty.
2. Write a letter to the editor.
3. Wave when you see an officer, giving him or her a friendly greeting.
4. Speak uplifting words of appreciation. Watch for occasions to say thanks when it will not distract the officer from his performance of duty.
5. Do not permit unjust criticism in your presence. When someone starts to put down a police officer, speak up and turn the conversation into a positive appreciation for all the good police men and women.
6. Sponsor appreciation days at your church, club or service organization. Some churches conduct special prayer services for police officers and firemen.
7. If you see police or firemen eating in the same restaurant as you, pay their bill anonymously!
While citizens can play a role in recognizing and acknowledging our police, there is much that I can do as Chief to honor my officers and employees. Beginning this month, I will name an Employee of the Month to be announced at the Town Council meeting each month. This public recognition will serve to place in the minutes a permanent record of each’s honor, and send a message to all in attendance that the APD has committed and dedicated employees serving our community.
Another way I can honor my officers is to be the kind of leader they can rely on, the kind of man they can look up to, and the kind of mentor who will make sure they are well trained and prepared for anything. I honor them, too when I treat them like part of a team, and utilize their strengths, listen to their input, and respect them as individuals.