First, I again want to say thank you to all the Chiefs, Sheriffs, Officers, Administrators, fire fighters, medics, and fellow Chaplains who have made it possible for me to distribute this message.
I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. For those of you in stations or cars or behind the mic working during the holidays, we appreciate the sacrifices you and your family are making while ensuring our safety and security. It does not go unappreciated or unnoticed.
It’s been a rough year for some of us. Real tough. In my area we have had the big tornadic outbreak, then the active shooter in the Oregon district and then a line of duty funeral. (And a side note, a big THANKS to those of you who are not in the area and sent your thoughts, concerns and support). And yet, through it all, we have persevered. We’ve taken some tough hits, but look around, we’re still standing. That’s what I want to remember. I want to remember all those people working on their days off, lending a helping hand after working all night (or all day). I want to remember those people who gave of themselves, put their lives on hold and kept our communities going. I want to remember all those people who stood shoulder to shoulder with the Dayton Police Department because they knew it was the right thing to do. I choose to remember the good that I saw, even in the midst of pain and chaos. Because THAT is what makes us a team.
We dress our wounds, remember the fallen, and go back out there. When we hear of tragedies in other places, we do what we can for them. We hold them in our thoughts, send packages, give blood, send money, etc. It’s more than the uniforms we wear of the vehicles we drive. It’s the way we share, feel and give. That feeling, that comradery, that “belonging” is what I want to remember form 2019.
So I hope you’ll join me in evaluating my life and actions. May I never disgrace the name or uniform I wear. What do I need to change? What do I need to remove or implement in my life?
I don’t know what 2020 is going to give us, but we can get through it …together.
During the holidays, I always put in this information, because I know that someone may need it. The holidays are meant to be times of joy, happiness, time with those we love and hope. While it can produce stress for even the best of us, for some of you 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. I also know that it’s hard for us to reach out sometimes (and I’m no exception to this rule). 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, and any other Supervisor available for help. There is also other Clergy and/or even friends for guidance and assistance should you need it. My phone is always on and I’ll make myself available to help you in any way that I can. Call us, grab us after roll call, or send an email. Reach out if you need to.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and best wishes for 2020. 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.