To protect and servePublished 6:10pm Wednesday, April 25, 2012
These words have been seen or heard by most people and perhaps they weren’t given much thought. During the months of February and March of this year I had the privilege of getting a better understanding of what the phrase really means. Each year the Hartselle Police Department offers the “Citizens Police Academy.” During the six weeks course the class was introduced to all facets of the Hartselle Police Department. From patrol officers to investigators, the roles of each were explained and taught.
One of the first things easily identified was the dedication each officer has for his or her job. They are proud of their department and eager to serve the citizens of Hartselle. It was very evident that they want to be the best they can be. Many of the officers hold advanced degrees and continue to train and educate themselves in order to increase their individual skills and abilities. In fact the officers spend much of their own time, after work hours, training and furthering their education. Many of the officers have also risen in rank after beginning their careers as patrol officers. This speaks well of the department leaders who set high standards, offer great training, and encourage upward movement in the department.
One of the best opportunities was getting to know many of the officers who taught the various classes. We take for granted these fine folks. They have families and live busy lives outside of their police work. Many of the officers also are very involved in the community through civic clubs and other organizations that work to improve our city. The officers also were very willing to share their time and talents to the classes so that each member could benefit not only by knowledge of the workings of the department, but also how to protect themselves and their families.
The classes also gave each participant a new level of respect for the job the officers have to do. Each time an officer has to make a traffic stop; respond to a call for help, deal with someone who is breaking the law, or simply wearing the uniform, his or her life can be in danger. It is easy to take for granted that since we live in a small town that “Mayberry” like times are always to be had. However, times have changed and we are blessed as a town to have the men and women of the Hartselle Police Department working to make sure that all of us can feel safe and secure, as we carry on with our daily lives. May God keep you all safe as you perform your duties.
Randy Garrison is the president and publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer.