In honor of LEO Appreciation Week, we thank you

Friday, May 18, 2018

In honor of Law Enforcement Appreciation Week, the staff at the Greene County Daily World would like to say thank you.

Emotions have run high in recent weeks with the death of a law enforcement officer from a neighboring county, and the strong bond shown among those who wear the badge reminded us just how important these men and women are to our everyday lives.

We witness the hard work put in and hard times law enforcement faces on a daily basis. But, we also get to see the more compassionate side of the line of work, far beyond their call of duty.

Our local law enforcement officers work hard to keep us safe. They get criminals off the streets. When our personal possessions are compromised, they put in the hours to investigate and hopefully bring back our belongings. When we call, scared, they respond without giving it a second thought.

They enforce the law and order that governs our communities to keep us safe.

But, our local law enforcement also takes their jobs a step further. They engage with their communities, working hard to break the cycle of fear that comes along with their titles. It’s not something they have to do, but something they’ve told us over and over that they want to do.

For example, the Greene County Sheriff’s Department coordinates the Project Lifesaver Program, which is geared toward keeping our residents safe who are in danger of wandering. It provides a tracking bracelet to individuals with Alzheimer’s, dementia, autism, Down syndrome and other developmental disorders, free of charge. If the client were to walk away from their caregivers, the department could quickly track them down, hopefully before something bad happens.

It’s not something they have to do. It’s extra work. They have to work hard to keep the donation-based program going, but they want to help families who fear for the lives of their loved ones.

The Bloomfield Police Department annually provides food baskets to local families at Christmas-time, providing a full meal for those who may not otherwise get that holiday spread. They also help out local families with the purchase of clothing items, going shopping with the children to pick out the winter clothing.

One of the largest showcases of local law enforcement’s dedication to community is the annual National Night Out event. It is coordinated by Linton Police Chief Troy Jerrell, but representatives of every department in the county show up for a night of fun with the people they are charged with keeping safe.

This year’s event is scheduled for Aug. 7, and it is an excellent display of commitment. They welcome residents of all ages, and even allow local businesses and organizations a chance to show off their goods with free vendor spaces (which they are now working on registering for the 2018 event).

Chief Jerrell said it perfectly recently when he told us, “We are all different spokes of the same wheel.”

There are times when our officers have to stand tall and stern in order to do their jobs effectively. There are times when our officers have to stifle their fear in order to keep us safe. But, most importantly, they are always our neighbors, and hopefully our friends.

Thank you for all you do to keep our communities safe.