This week marks the 39th Annual National Police Week. Wednesday, May 13, join the candlelight vigil online.
By Denise Badger-Connell, Publisher
We are blessed to be protected by the dedicated and compassionate officer’s and public safety professionals of Apopka, incredibly brave men and women that selflessly serve our community. These officers serve without a lot of recognition and in the face of danger.
According to the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund website, 1,627 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty during the past 10 years. That’s an average of one officer’s death every 54 hours, or 163 deaths per year.
This is an astounding statistic. One officer killed every 54 hours.
And yet, these men and women in Apopka – our neighbors, friends and family – continue to sign up and show up everyday on the front lines, no matter the long hours, the low pay, the health risks, emotional stress, and ongoing challenges that every community faces.
If ever there was a public servant that deserves to know they are deeply appreciated and valued, it is our Apopka Police Department. From Administrative Support to Patrol, Communications to Operations, Community Affairs to Investigations — they deserve our thanks. From Chief McKinley on down and up the line – every Police Officer, Detective, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Commander, and Deputy Chief that spend their days and risk their lives so that we can live and breathe freer and safer – deserve our thanks.
An intentional moment to say thank you, going out of our regular routines to applaud them, stopping our ordinary daily schedules to honor our extraordinary daily heroes is a small gift for the ongoing gift they give to us – the gift of a safer, better community because of their service.
So this week — National Police Week — let’s make it happen.
If you’re looking for some ideas, there are a few below for how you can show your appreciation.
- Drop off a treat or beverage. Stop by the police station (112 E. 6th St., Apopka, (407) 703-1771) with a box of goodies, bottles of water, soda, or any refreshment — call first to see if you can give it to them in person (wearing a mask and keeping 6 feet apart, of course). Or see if it might be better for you to leave the goodies outside the front lobby. Someone will be happy to bring it in either way.
- Mail a Thank You card, a letter of appreciation, or if possible, bring it by to the police station yourself to say thank you in person. Involve your kids to make a card or drawing and then deliver it with them so your children can thank officers in person (with mask and social distancing).
- Create a few small care packages. Ideas could include: jerkey, protein bars, kleenex packs, hand sanitizer, COVID-19 masks, chapstick, water, candy, etc.
- Drop off a Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts gift card. Who doesn’t need “re-fueling” once in awhile?
- Plant spring flowers in a pot for their lobby or entrance – they’ll see your appreciation with every entry and exit, brightening up their day.
This week, especially in the midst of COVID-19, is a great reminder of the importance of our first responders and officers, and to take the time to recognize and let them know how much we appreciate all that they do for us.
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Virtual Vigil
One more way you can honor our Apopka Police Department, and law enforcement nationwide, is to join the virtual Candlelight Vigil on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, at 8pm EST.
There will be 307 fallen police heroes memorialized on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial on this date.
Log onto https://nleomf.org/virtual-candle
to help thank the men and women in blue for risking everything to keep our families safe!
Let this week be a start for active appreciation, not just today, but as often as we can!