First, I want to say thank you to all the Chiefs, Sheriffs and administrators who have made it possible for me to distribute this message.
This marks the second Christmas season that I have sent out emails. In 2008, I decided that no Police Officer, Paramedic, or Fire Fighter will ever serve, protect and defend through a holiday and not know that they are appreciated by someone. As I reflect on the experiences that have come from doing this, I must say that my life is fuller because of it. For those of you who I have met personally, rode in a car with, and celebrated birthdays with, it’s been some really good times. And as I continue my mission to make sure you feel appreciated, I look forward to meeting and spending time with more of you.
I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season. I know most of you will be working during the holidays. Whether you are dispatching, in a patrol car, or a fire truck, you will spend part of the holidays away from your family. A lot of people do not understand that kind of sacrifice and dedication. You are out there keeping us safe so we can have a happy holiday season with our families. You are out in the cold, the rain, snow, driving to work while most people are sleeping in, or celebrating with family and friends.
I want to say, THANK YOU. Words can not express the gratitude that I have. But not just myself. Don’t forget that there are lots of other people who feel that way. You just may not hear it. I think that is unfortunate that you do not hear it more often than you do, but thank you. Thank you for putting on a uniform everyday. Thank you for being ready to answer a call, even on Christmas. Thank you for checking those hoses, shining those trucks or checking that light bar, and strapping on your duty belt. Those mundane tasks that you do everyday, now on one of the most important holidays of the year. Thank you. As my family sits down to our dinner, or open our gifts, know that you will be thought of at that time, and your sacrifices honored. Please express my appreciation for you to your families.
And, as I’ve noted before, the holidays can be a time of sadness, frustration or depression. It can be hard to balance out what you have to deal with and still know that there are great people in society as well. If you find yourself struggling in this holiday season, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance. Your departments may have Employee Assistance Care, Chaplains, Chiefs, any other Supervisor, clergy and/or even friends for guidance and assistance should you need it. I’ll make myself available to help you in any way that I can. Call us, grab us after roll call, send an email. Reach out if you need to.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I’ve said it before and will say it again, you all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough.