THE CAPTAIN'S CORNER

NATIONAL POLICE WEEK
ArticleID: 76
Date: 5/14/2001
Written By: Captain Jackson

NATIONAL POLICE WEEK
by Captain Jackson

It`s unfortunate, but too many of us take our local police for granted. We expect them there whenever we, or our property, are violated. We expect them to jump and be at our beckoned call when we need them, but when we receive a citation for a traffic infraction, we call them names and insult them and wonder why we even need them around. They`re the blunt of our jokes, and no matter how hard they work, it`s still never enough.

Have you ever gone to a get together and found out one of the guests is an off duty police officer? Funny how from that point on everybody has their questions, or favorite "Cop" stories. Jack Webb, probably one of the foremost Police promoters of all times put it very well in his flyer "What it means to be a Policeman". I was eight when I first heard him recite the speech on his program DRAGNET and sent for a copy. Since then I have always had a very respectful opinion of the police and the job they do. I have keep the flyer ever since. Here is a short excerpt from that flyer:

"It`s awkward having a policeman around the house. Friends drop in, a man with a badge answers the door. The temperature drops twenty degrees.
"You throw a party and that badge gets in the way. All of a sudden there isn`t a straight man in the crowd. Everybody`s a comedian. "Don`t drink too much," somebody says, "or the man with the badge will run you in." Or, "How`s it going Dick Tracy? How many J-walkers did you pinch today?" And there`s always the one who wants to know how many apples you stole.
"All at once you lost your first name. You`re a cop, a flatfoot, a bull, a dick, John Law. You`re the fuzz, the heat. You`re poison, you`re trouble, you`re bad news. They call you everything, but never a Policeman.
"And you`re going to rub elbows with the elite. Pimps, addicts, thieves, bums, winos. Girls who can`t keep an address, and men who don`t care. Liars, cheats, con men, the class of skid row.
"You`ll learn to live with doubt, anxiety, frustration. Court decisions that tend to hinder rather than help you. You`ll learn to live with the district attorney. Testifying in court. Defense attorneys, Prosecuting attorneys, Judges, Juries, Witnesses. And sometimes you`re not going to be happy with the outcome.
"There are scores of men in this city who know that being a Policeman is an endless, glamourless, thankless job that`s got to be done. I know it too. And I`m just damn glad to be one of them."


This is National Police Week. I have yet to see a calendar which mentions this fact. Nor has it been brought to the attention of my eleven year old daughter in school.

Last Wednesday, May 9, a ceremony was held in downtown Jackson at Bucky Harris Park to remember Jackson Police Officers killed in action. It was a very touching event.

Since 1906 there were only four who have fallen in the line of duty, but that is four too many. They were Frederick Booth (1906), John Holzapfel (1907), Leonard Carey (1930) and William James Nixon (1978).

The ceremony began with a speech and roll call of the fallen by retired Detective Thomas Hutton. Current Jackson Police Chief Ervin Portis then spoke about the dangerous life a Policeman faces in his day to day activities.

Probably the most touching was the speech by keynote speaker retired Deputy Chief Kent Maurer. He defined valor as: Value And Love Others Remember.

The service was attended by local, county and state police, along with around a hundred onlookers. The Jackson High School Black Tour Group provided song and the Jackson Police Honor Guard was on hand for a Twenty One Gun Salute.

The question was also asked, "Who would want a job like this"? Indeed. Certainly no job is worth the risk of life, or the scale of pay. But we do have individuals in our community who wish to make such a difference. To those, I salute, and so should you.

During this week, let your local Police know that you are behind them. Go out of your way to salute them for the great job they do for us all.

Copyright 2001, CFC


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