National Police week celebrated throughout county

Police-Week-Social-Graphic2-01In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day. He also designated the calendar week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week honors and pays special recognition to law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty while serving their communities and ensuring the safety and protection of others.

National Police week has also become a way for agencies, businesses and citizens alike to show their appreciation to their local law enforcement agencies and is a collaborative effort of many organizations and businesses dedicated to honoring America’s law enforcement professionals.

Family events, catered banquets, picnics and more are being offered to law enforcement officers throughout Riverside County this entire week in recognition of everything they do to serve our communities. All are intended to give back just a small amount compared to what our dedicated men and women who wear a badge give to their communities on a daily basis.

“Courage is being scared to death…and saddling up anyway.”

Chief Brown small May 2014Hemet Police Chief David Brown discussed what celebrating National Police Week means to him on social media.

This week I want to encourage my fellow citizens to take a moment to consider the enormous sacrifice, courage and risk taken every day by our police officers. Nelson Mandela said that “courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.” John Wayne said, “Courage is being scared to death…and saddling up anyway.”

Our police officers willingly put themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis. They are increasingly being violently assaulted and encountering armed suspects. Last year there were 25 violent assaults on Hemet police officers as compared to 10 the year before. They have encountered and successfully disarmed 52 suspects with loaded firearms in 2016 alone. The danger in increasing and the risk is real.

As your police chief, I worry about two things; the safety of our citizens and the safety of our police officers. Every time my phone rings at 2 o’clock in the morning, I pray it is not that call because I know the danger they face. I also know their families, their parents, wives, husbands and kids. I know they are highly trained and extremely well prepared, but I also know there are more hard-core criminals on the streets of Hemet than ever before in the history of our city. Failed policy at the state level has created enormous danger for our citizens and officers alike.

And yet, our police officers are still willing to stand in the gap between us and those who would harm us. They are willing to run toward danger, not because they are fearless, but because they are courageous. We owe them a wave, a note or a prayer this week, thanking them for what they do. And we owe them our respect all year for what they are willing to do on our behalf in the face of real and increasing danger.

I’m so thankful that the men and women of the Hemet Police Department are willing to ‘saddle up’ every day and every night to watch out for our safety. Every one of them cares deeply for our community. I am proud to be their chief and fortunate that we live in a community that appreciates their service.

Murrieta Police officials not only receive the appreciation,

they spread it around as well

Chief Hadden could not praise his officers enough and said they truly appreciate all the love and support they are constantly shown.

Chief Hadden could not praise his officers enough and said they truly appreciate all the love and support they are constantly shown.

One local agency making sure their officers know how appreciated they are is Murrieta Police Department.

Murrieta Police Cheif Sean Hadden enthusiastically discussed his department’s involvement in celebrating National Police Week. He explained that for the last few years two local residents have hosted a luncheon for the department’s officers.

“This year, our officer’s appreciation banquet is scheduled for Wednesday. Then we turning right around and we are hosting a BBQ for all other city employees on Thursday,” Hadden said. “A few years ago our police officer’s association stepped up and decided to start honoring all our city employees and thanking them for all of their hard work and dedication to the City of Murrieta. So we make sure all city employees know how much they are appreciated, not just our officers”

“With all of the negative light that gets shined on law enforcement agencies across the country, it is still amazing to me how much love and support our community shows us,” Hadden explained. “While we definitely see a lot more appreciation during National Police Week, I rarely see a day or two go by without someone bringing our officers and dispatchers cards, letters, food, handmade signs, drawings and more. It all shows how much our citizens appreciate all that our officers do for the community. It always warms my heart.”

Spouses Support Group ensures every sheriff’s station and facility

in Riverside County knows they are appreciated

The Spouses Support Group serves the sheriff's department and the community through events and functions held throughout the year.

The Spouses Support Group serves the sheriff’s department and the community through events and functions held throughout the year.

Kyleen Coogan, one of the Western County Leadership Council members for the Spouses Support Group and the Administrator for the group’s Facebook page, managed to squeeze in a conversation on her Bluetooth from what she jokingly called her “rolling office” as she was driving from one station to another. She had just enough time for a quick conversation while making deliveries of food and other gifts for deputies who work at patrol stations, jails and other facilities throughout the county.

Coogan overflowed with her excitement about all the community support the sheriff’s department has received for this year’s National Police Week. “We have just been flooded with support from so many different people and local businesses,” Coogan said. “This just gets bigger and bigger each year.”

“Last year, when National Police Week came around, the Spouses Support Group had around 300 members. In just the last year, our group has grown to over 800 members,” Coogan explained. “When you have that many people active in a group, they can really just throw it out there and find people and businesses that are more than willing to support the hard work and dedicated efforts of our deputies.”

One of countless cards, posters and banners children made to show their support of our local law enforcmemnt officers

One of countless cards, posters and banners children made to show their support of our local law enforcement officers

“With the Spouses Support Group involved, it isn’t just one or two people trying to make something happen. With over 800 members working together we were able to make sure every single station in the county gets love shown them,” Coogan explained. “Seeing all the support and how it has grown so much just since last year, it makes my heart well up with amazement.”

“We have received such amazing support and so much love this year” Coogan said. “All of our stations spread across the entire county, from the west end to the east end have people who are making sure to treat our deputies with some incredible, over-the-top things.”

Panera Bread is just one of several businesses and restaurants throughout the county donating food to sheriff’s deputies. “Panera is taking bagels, cream cheeses and pastries they have graciously donated to most of our stations,” Coogan said. “Plus, Goody’s Cafe in Palm Desert is providing sandwiches and other food to some of our desert stations. Other local businesses and citizens have been bringing in everything from breakfast burritos, entire meals, cookies, cakes, pizzas and more.”

“There are even people who made gifts for the deputies at the various stations,” Coogan said. “Everything from posters to cards to goodie bags to anything you could possibly think of has flooded into the different stations to honor officers this week. Even children have been getting involved and have been sending cards of appreciation to our deputies and even making large posters and banners for the different stations.”

Backyard BBQ & Catering Company and Kona Ice

served at multiple different sheriff’s facilities.

The Kona Ice Truck served free Hawaiian Shaved Ice to deputies today and will be doing the same again tomorrow.

The Kona Ice Truck served free Hawaiian Shaved Ice to deputies today and will be doing the same again tomorrow.

One of the fun ways deputies are being treated this week is coming by way of a Kona Shaved Ice Truck.

Today, a Kona Ice Truck was sent to the downtown Riverside area and parked near the Riverside Hall of Justice; so deputies from the courthouse, correctional deputies from nearby Robert Presley Detention Center and patrol deputies from surrounding stations could stop by for a free shaved ice.

Tomorrow the Kona Ice Truck will be moving to another centrally located area for deputies to stop by for a cold, sweet treat. The special deliveries made by the Kona Ice Truck to deputies and other officers were made possible by Lacy Williams and Robbi Posson, local real estate agents.

Posson described why she and Williams wanted to help celebrate and honor law enforcement officers this week, saying “We really wanted to support National Police Week mostly because we wanted to give back to those who give so much to keep our community safe and protected.”

Two deputies stop by the Riverside Hall of Justice Monday for some free Kona Hawaiian Shaved Ice.

Two deputies stop by the Riverside Hall of Justice Monday for some free Kona Hawaiian Shaved Ice.

“We couldn’t imagine doing a job where some people didn’t like you just because you were an officer. Or automatically had their minds made up about you based on your career.”

Posson continued, “We wanted the officers to feel loved and appreciated while having fun. They need a stress reliever after all the horrible things they see and deal with. We thought the Kona Ice Truck would be a perfect way to show we care and maybe let them de-stress a bit. After all, it’s hard to be anything but happy while eating a brightly colored snowcone.”

Another event honoring our local law enforcement officers will be occurring throughout this week at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta.

Slow cooked, “Southern Style” tri-tip, ribs and brisket were all the rage and kept the deputies coming back for more.

Slow cooked, “Southern Style” tri-tip, ribs and brisket were all the rage and kept the deputies coming back for more.

Throughout this entire week, correctional and sworn deputies who work at the jail will be treated to meals catered by Chef Matthew of the Backyard BBQ & Catering Company.

Meals from Backyard BBQ & Catering Company were also sent to the deputies at San Jacinto Police Station and deputies and correctional deputies who work in the jail ward at the Riverside County Regional Medical Center.

Backyard BBQ & Catering Company is a local catering company owned by Chef Matthew; who has volunteered his time, energy and equipment to prepare all the meals deputies will be enjoying throughout the entire week. He has also catered at a number of previous sheriff’s department events. Known for his “Southern Style” slow cooked tri-tip, ribs and brisket, deputies who have previously enjoyed Chef Matthews’ catering services are rarely able to resist coming back for seconds.

Vicki Nardone, hand-delivering Backyard BBQ Catering Company meals to deputies working at the jail ward of RCRMC.

Vicki Nardone, hand-delivering Backyard BBQ Catering Company meals to deputies working at the jail ward of RCRMC.

Vicki Nardone, one of those who helped set up the week’s worth of catering for the detention center as well as the meals for San Jacinto PD and RCRMC, explained why she wanted to honor those who serve our communities. “I have been a passionate supporter and volunteer at numerous different law enforcement related events for more than 25 years,” Nardone said. “I have a deep appreciation for the men and women in our country that are first responders.”

“My husband was a law enforcement officer for 31 years. He worked for both Los Angeles and Riverside Counties. Also, my son was a lieutenant for the San Jacinto Police Explorer program,” Nardone explained. “Even though he died serving his country in the U.S. Army, had it not been for the Explorer program my son would never have grown into the man he became.”

“To see their hard work appreciated…it just makes my heart melt”

Law enforcement officers from around the entire county have been enjoying receiving so many tangible signs of appreciation from businesses and citizens.

Law enforcement officers from around the entire county have been enjoying receiving so many tangible signs of appreciation from businesses and citizens.

Coogan could not have been happier while explaining the overwhelming support from both citizens and businesses for this year’s National Police Week. “Businesses and individuals have been so gracious this year in donating their time, effort, food and so much more. It has been so overwhelming to see it all. I can’t even express how generous everybody has been.”

“The support our law enforcement officers receive just seems to get stronger every year. I am always amazed at how supportive and giving the community is,” Coogan said. “Our officers work so hard for their communities and for them to get to see their hard work appreciated and to see such an outpouring of love and support from so many different people in so many different ways, it just makes my heart melt.”

With that, Coogan was off, already at her next destination and walking into the Jurupa Valley Sheriff’s Station to drop off yet another delivery to appreciative deputies.

So, if you happen to see an officer waiting in line to buy a meal or pick up some hot coffee, remember to think about all these men and women do for our communities and consider doing something special to show them how much you appreciate everything they do.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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