Tis The Season To Show Support For Your Local Police Department: 11 Ways You Can Say Thank You

Tis The Season To Show Support For Your Local Police Department: 11 Ways You Can Say Thank You

by Esme Addison

Growing up with a father and several uncles and other family members who are military veterans and work in law enforcement, my siblings and I have always thought supporting our local law enforcement officers was important. And when you know men and women who work in law enforcement, you see first hand how hard they work, and some of the challenges they face. Community support of the local police department is essential

My brother has worked in law enforcement for over ten years, and I’ve had the opportunity to meet his co-workers in informal settings and while they’re on duty at parades and around town. I know that treating people the way you want to be treated, and acknowledging good behavior and actions beyond the call of duty is important.

Doing something as simple as saying hello or smiling can lift the spirits of our men and women in blue as they do their duty.

Thanksgiving and Christmas is a good time to remember our local police department and show them a little love for all they do.

It’s second nature for me to smile when I drive by a police offer, or offer a wave when I’m walking my dog and a patrol car drives by. Everyone appreciates a polite greeting, even when it’s not expected.

In the past, I’ve done little things like purchasing pizzas or coffee and donuts from the local pizzeria and bakery and brought my sons with me to drop it off at the police station with thank you notes. Free food in the kitchen with a kind note of appreciation is always a winner. And when you involve your children in this type of giving it teaches them important lessons on gratitude and supporting their local community.

The last thing I always do is speak to officers when I see one in casual settings. Whether I’m in line at the coffee shop, or at a local festivals if it’s appropriate, I introduce myself and my sons. Always nice to put a name to the face – for the police and for them to know the citizens in their community.

Easy Peasy

Looking for an easy way to support your local police that doesn’t cost a thing? Doesn’t require much from you? How about simple politeness and gratitude? In a line of work, where not everyone you meet is nice or happy to see you, an unexpected pleasantry can brighten an oficer’s day.

  1. Smile – When you pass an officer on the street or in a building, just smile. They may smile back!
  2. Wave – In your car? Walking down the street. Try a friendly wave. Not a help-me-please-stop-wave. But just a “good morning, office.” wave. Pair with a smile for bonus support.
  3. Say thank you – In an informal situation where you can speak to an officer without distracting or interrupting their work? Take a moment to tell them you appreciate their service. Just like the military, the simple words “Thank you for your service.” is appreciated.

It’s The Little Things

  1. Send a card – Write a note of thanks in general and mail it to your police department. Better yet, if you received great treatment or saw a nice exchange with a police office and want to send a card of thanks, do it! Have your kids create cards – make it an arts and craft project or an act of gratitude during the holiday season and send them off. You could also create a card drive with your local club, church or civic organization and send them to your local department. It will be appreciated.
  2. Write a letter to the police chief – Have an extraordinary moment with a police officer? Did they save your life? Did they help you through a trying time with grace and compassion? Write the police chief a letter of commendation and let him or her know!
  3. Bring in a treat – Nowadays, some organizations have rules about accepting home baked goods. So you might be better off purchasing food prepared from a local store, food truck, restaurant or caterer. You don’t have to break the bank. Anything will be appreciate. Drop it off at your local police department with a card of thanks and support. You could bring in others to donate food pot luck style to provide a themed dinner or array of treats.
  4. Pay it forward – If you’re in a coffee shop, and a police officer is behind you in line, quietly tell the cashier you want to pay for their drink. If you’re in a restaurant and see officers grabbing lunch, let your waiter know you want to pay for their meal. These types of acts are always appreciated, even when they don’t know who did it.

I remember going out to dinner with my hubs one day. He was an active duty Marine at the time. And when we were ready to pay the bill, the waitress told us someone had anonymously paid for our dinner with the message, “Thank him for his service.” I know first hand gestures like that touch those who put their lives on the line everyday. Not that you have to provide financial support – a smile and a kind work can be just as powerful.

It Begins At Home

  1. Social media – From the comfort of your home (or phone) you can show your support by following your local police department on social media, so you can stay up to date with what’s going on with them, and events they’re sponsoring. It’s also a nice way to familiarize yourself with names and faces.
  2. Educate your children – Purchase age appropriate books about the police for your children. Explain why the police work in our communities and how they help keep neighborhoods safe. This is als a great time to go over how to use 911 and the appropriate times to call. If you have family members who have served in the police force, share this history with your children.

In The Community

  1. Attend local events – Participating in events like Coffee With A Cop, or stopping by police department booths at local festivals (bring your kids!) is another way to show your support by simply giving of your time. This is also a nice time to practice that smile-wave combo I mentioned earlier. These events are designed for members of the town or city to meet and greet with local officers, ask questions about your community in a pleasant informal environment
  2. Sponsor Appreciation Events – Working with your local club, civic organization or church, create a fun even honoring your local event with speeches, food, entertainment and more. Create the event you want to attend!

Want to do more? Contact your local police department and ask if any items need to be donated to officers going through challenging times. You never know unless you ask.

I’m not suggesting that we should only support our local police department around the holidays, rather, we should do this year round. But for some people having a given spirit is synonymous with Thanksgiving and Christmas. Let’s hope my words prompt someone to give around Thanksgiving and Christmas… and keep the support flowing all year round.

%d bloggers like this: