Police work is people work
The E-J is partnering with the Police Department for a series of columns giving the public an inside view of police department operations and to highlight officers’ accomplishments as well as explaining how the department functions on a daily basis. We hope that these columns will give you a better idea of how we operate. Please email me at email@example.com or call me at 704-282-4707 with any comments or questions.
Many people have different ideas about police officers and what we do largely from television, movies and books. These venues would have you to believe that police work is all car chases and shootouts however, that is far from the truth.
Police work is people work. There are varying opinions on why we put on a badge and a uniform and go out and put our lives at risk for our community. Some say it is for the excitement and the opportunity to write tickets or put criminals in jail. While it’s true that arresting criminals is a part of our job, the truth is that dedicated men and women become police officers to help others and make a difference in their lives.
This is evident by what our police officers do on a daily basis. Not only do our officers volunteer to coach at risk children in our local Police Athletic League, but officers spend time in civic and community organizations assisting our residents. For example, Detectives Paul Perette and Cris Carrion volunteer at Turning Point to speak with victims of domestic violence and their children. They address questions and concerns regarding police actions
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before, during and after responding to a domestic call. Lt. T J Goforth serves on the Turning Point Board of Directors.
Officer Linda Alvarado is active in the Hispanic community by helping to collect nonperishable items for the food pantry for Tu Agencia Latina, and she speaks with ESL (English as a Second Language) students regarding safety issues and domestic violence.
Detective Morgan Malone organized a team from MPD and the Union County Sheriff’s Office to participate in the first annual softball tournament benefit for Hometown Heroes raising over $3,000 for the charity started by retired police officer Donnie Dixon.
The department’s career advancement policy outlines the requirements for promotions which are based on education, training and experience. It also requires that officers participate in partnerships with the community to address problems and concerns. Officers have the latitude to find unique opportunities in meeting the partnership requirement.
For example, Sgt Robert Bartlett with the aid of other officers took a group of elementary school students fishing at Lake Twitty. After fishing, they had a hot dog lunch. This was the first time these students had ever been fishing and was a positive experience for both the officers and the children.
However, officers are doing things on their own that are not part of the promotion requirement, for example in two separate instances in December 2011 Officers bought Christmas gifts for two families. When Officer Ryan London learned that a family was supposed to receive gifts for their children but those arrangements fell through, Officers London, Morgan Tyson, Mark Greene and Gail Hicks went to Walmart and purchased gifts.
When a family had their Christmas gifts stolen, several officers donated money to replace the gifts. These are just a few instances where officers spent their time and money to help those in need. Being a police officer gives us the opportunity to help others and make a difference and that in turn helps to make us better people.
Police work is people work and that’s what it’s all about.