GREENE COUNTY — Law Enforcement Appreciation Day is being highlighted nationwide Thursday, Jan. 9 in support of law enforcement officers across the United States.
Closer to home, Greene County citizens are encouraged to show their support in a number of ways. According to concernsofpolicesurvivors.org/lead, locals can demonstrate appreciation by:
– Wearing blue clothing Jan. 9;
– Sending a “thank you” card to their local police or sheriff department;
– Sharing a story about a positive encounter with a law enforcement officer via social media;
– Asking children to write letter to local officers and sheriffs;
– Displaying a blue light on a home, known as Project Blue Light;
– Organizing an event to support officers;
– Posting a public service announcement via C.O.P.S. to local departments social media pages;
– Coordinating or giving during a Blue Blood Drive
– Thanking a police officer if one is observed in the community.
Officials from local departments, however, have highlighted that they “feel the love” nearly every day.
“While Jan. 9 is recognized as National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day and is a fitting tribute to the day in, day out work and sacrifices our officers do to make this community as safe as possible, we at the Xenia Police Division are blessed by a community that truly supports our efforts daily and expresses that support regularly through deed and word,” Xenia Police Chief Randy Person said.
Bellbrook Police Lieutenant Stephen Carmin emphasized that he is “blessed” to work in a supportive community, highlighting that the entire department was “well-fed” over the holiday season. Carmin shared that Bellbrook citizens brought cookies, pans of lasagna, cakes, breads, salad, pies, coffee and more to their local police department.
“It was more than we could consume,” said Carmin, who has served the community for 28 years.
“[It’s] extremely appreciated and I look forward to everything I can do for the community,” Carmin added. “It’s a two-way street — it can be a demanding job that takes a lot out of you, but luckily [Bellbrook] is a great community to work for.”
Beavercreek Police Chief Dennis Evers echoed Carmin’s statements, sharing that food items are regularly delivered as a sign of appreciation from local citizens.
“We are humbled by every act of kindness extended to us,” Evers said. “We have been the recipients of the community’s appreciation and show of support throughout the entire year. The men and women of the Beavercreek Police Department take this opportunity to thank the community for these many expressions of appreciation and support. It is truly our honor to protect and serve the Beavercreek community and we pledge to never take the appreciation and support extended to us for granted.”
Fairborn Police Sergeant Ben Roman said the Fairborn community demonstrates its appreciation by dropping off various treats throughout the year as well.
“We are always grateful for anything that citizens do to show their support of the police department,” Roman said. “We are fortunate to have so much support shown to us in so many different ways throughout the year.”
Several police departments within Greene County host events in an effort to connect with community members. The Cities of Bellbrook and Fairborn have hosted Coffee with a Cop events, in which officers will occupy a space at a local coffee shop to share informal conversation to get to know community members.
“It’s a blessing to work in a community like this,” Carmin added. “A wave, a thank you — it goes a long way.”
The City of Fairborn Police Department also hosts an annual Citizens Police Academy, in which residents are taught a number of aspects of police work, as well as a Safety City event each summer that is geared toward teaching incoming first grade students safety protocols, such as wearing a seat belt and bus safety. The Bellbrook Police Department connects with its youngest community members by hosting a Kids, Cops and Cones program in which officers will issue a “ticket” to children they observe on their best behavior, which is actually a discount coupon to Dairy Shed.
“As always, residents can burn a blue light on their porch as a show of support or just a simple thank you anytime they see a deputy or officer,” Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer said.