When private citizens come into contact with law enforcement, that contact is not always made under ideal circumstances. While keeping order, law enforcement personnel must write citations or take action when anyone violates the law. However, enforcing the law involves much more than simply writing tickets or making arrests. Officers and agents are on the side of the public and are often the first people men, women and children look to when they need help.
Law enforcement professionals are often taken for granted. But it’s never too late to thank a police officer for his or her efforts. The following are several ways to express appreciation to local law enforcement in your community.
Wear and display blue. Many law enforcement workers are known for their blue uniforms. Blue usually represents police and other upholders of the law. Proudly display blue ribbons, blue lights or flags on homes and businesses. Wear blue shirts or law enforcement-inspired insignia to public or high-profile events as a token of appreciation for local law enforcement.
Thank an officer. Approach an officer in person and offer some words of thanks. Law enforcement is often a thankless job, and many officers do not get the recognition they deserve. A few kind words of support may be all that is needed to brighten their day.
Schedule a tour. Many police departments are more than willing to offer tours to youth groups, such as schools, scouting organizations and clubs. Giving children an insider look at the daily operations of a police department or other law enforcement office can be a positive moment in their lives. Children can learn at an early age how law enforcement works and what it means to be a good citizen.
Obey the law. One of the best ways to show respect for law enforcement officers is to obey the law. Should you be called out for an infraction, treat the officer or agent politely and comply with his or her requests.
Share a positive story. Use social media or your networking connections to share a story of how law enforcement helped you or did something worth noting.
Help out an officer. Oftentimes local businesses will provide discounted costs to officers or other law enforcement workers as a means of thanking them for their efforts. Such gestures may seem simple, but they are much appreciated.
Anyone can do their part to show appreciation to the men and women who wear the uniform and keep our communities safe.