I stumbled across this post today. As this is the end of National Police Week, I will post Wednesday anyway. I think this is a great idea: individual officers on camera telling America why they chose this job. It’s sentimental, humorous and inspirational, depending who you click on. It will take some time, but I think it’s well worth it.
By: Tim Burrows
Article posted in the International Association of Chiefs of Police online magazine. Links are posted at end of article.
Tim Burrows is a recently retired sergeant with 25 years of law enforcement experience.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Why I Wear The Badge
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation that designated May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week May 15th falls in as Police Week.
20 years later, the Memorial Service in Washington D.C. began. The memorial provides a place for the families, co-workers and grateful citizens to gather and pay tribute to those that paid the ultimate sacrifice for their communities.
Police Week is celebrated in many different ways by both law enforcement agencies and their communities. Those communities are no longer just bound by geographical points on a map or neighborhoods. Virtual communities also celebrate in the online world and Police Week celebrations can happen there just as easily.
Showcasing your agency, it’s members and the great work that is done is easy and gives more people greater access to your people and your commitment through pictures, videos, words and gestures.
This year the [International Association of Chiefs of Police] IACP is spearheading an initiative that will bring out the best in policing;
I believe this idea is excellent and it’s a campaign where the benefits far outweigh the perceived risks.
Some agencies may be shy in taking part given how some hashtags have been hi-jacked over the years and used for a purpose to show brands or agencies in a negative light. Could this happen with “Why I wear the badge?” Absolutely. Should that stop agencies from taking part? Absolutely NOT!
This is way more than just a hashtag. This is about the core essence of why your men and women put their uniforms on each and every day. Why they decided to become police officers and what it means to them to have the privilege to serve their communities and protect all members of society.
This is a give back opportunity to show the relatable side of your officers and their agencies. We say regularly that social and digital media provides an opportunity to show the ‘human side’ of policing, so show it and tell your community, “Why I wear the badge.”
‘We are people in a uniform’.
Policing is truly at a crossroads with the public. The ‘haters’ are becoming more vocal and they are drawing on the events that put the industry in a bad light. Many people who are on that bandwagon are being swayed in their opinions by a lack of argument and counter information to the national narrative.
#WhyIWearTheBadge provides the opportunity to add to the conversation and sway the moderates and more importantly show everyone the commitment to policing by highlighting where that commitment comes from…a duty of service to others.
This is not an initiative to ask for community love. It’s an initiative to give the community love.
It’s an opportunity to tell the community the story behind the dedication to service. Why I wear the badge is all about giving to the public that you all serve.
Joining in this initiative and encouraging your officers and your agency to take part is the kind of leadership that can go far in your community in these tough times. Indifference and a lack of commitment to things that really matter is killing this country…what an awesome opportunity to take a stand and tell your community that you are celebrating Police Week 2015 by telling them, “Why I wear the badge!”
“The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” ~ Plato
I can’t wait to see and share the different views and reasons all of you come up with on #WhyIWearTheBadge.