Thursday, July 28, 2016

It's that time of year again! Thank A Police Officer Day is September 17th, 2016

Last summer a group of residents set heard about a holiday honoring law enforcement professionals and wanted to get involved locally. "Thank A Police Officer Day" is traditionally observed on the third Saturday in September. Created by the Whole Truth Project, it is a national event and here on Delmarva we wanted to visit and recognize our local agencies on that day.

The initial goal was to cover ten to twenty locations around southern Delaware and Worcester County but as the word got out the community jumped in. Schools, groups and kids made and wrote notes to officers, people set up locations for cards to be dropped off cards and where you could add your comments to jumbo-sized messages of support. It grew as more people asked how they could get involved and by September 19th more than forty separate agencies had been visited by local residents. In addition, wanting to send some love to Baltimore, we had a number of giant cards which were signed all over Delmarva and then delivered to each precinct in Baltimore City.

The love and support for our men and women was amazing and we can't wait to do it again! Take a look at the slideshow from last year ~

What: Community acknowledging and honoring local law enforcement officers.

When: The official date is Saturday, September 17th. We work on contacting all agencies ahead of time to coordinate deliveries and times. Many of the visits actually take place on the day before (Friday the 16th), due to some facilities being less staffed on weekends.

Where: Last year we began in southern Delaware and with all the amazing volunteers who helped out we visited almost every department in the following counties: Worcester, Wicomico and Somerset in Maryland and Sussex County in Delaware. This year....who knows? We didn't even get a chance to cover the other six MD counties or northern two in DE or on the eastern shore of VA. But this long as there are a few excited individuals willing to sign up for a particular location we can add them to our list!

What is a Team Captain? A very important person who is in charge of a specific department and who coordinates the delivery of cards/goodies/visit. They are usually a person or several people, who take on the task of making a giant card and displaying it around the neighborhood so that residents can sign and add their messages. Last year we had such great Team Captains who worked together to make sure how each location was visited, that every officer had a card to open, and enjoyed homemade goodies or treats delivered from local businesses. We could never have imagined that so many departments would be reached out to had it not been for the awesome TC's! Want to sign up and be a Team Captain for your area? Message me to find out how.

How does the planning work? Well, it's a lot of fun. You can follow along right on this page and in the event "Thank A Police Officer Day on Delmarva". If you would like to be a Team Captain we have a group that where we plan the details, go over locations and share ideas and suggestions.

Can I be involved even if I don't want to be a Team Captain? Absolutely! You can join in thanking the officers you run into, take a photo with someone and post it here, give a shout out to your local PD, write a few cards and drop them off to any department.

Where do the cards come from? Glad you asked. Many places, including school classrooms, neighborhood groups, local organizations and friends/neighbors who joined up to create cards of every kind possible. We had the coolest ones made by a group of kids which were shaped like donuts and then decorated.....we had beautiful cards with American flags on them.....Boy Scout Troops....thank you cards.....Girl Scouts.....letters written from a Sunday School name it. And while we had hundreds of them last year, THIS YEAR we want to have a card for every single officer in each department that we include. You can get started anytime and the drop off locations for the cards will be announced shortly which gathers a pool of cards to be distributed across the area. Since have so many people over towards the beach towns and not as much spreading across the eastern shore this circulates the cards and works to cover the whole area.

What else is involved? Show your support. That's it. You can pay it forward by buying a cup of coffee or bottle of water for an officer, tie a blue ribbon around the tree in your front yard, change your porch light to blue. Many folks last year added the thin blue line across the back of their vehicles and you can still see some around here that display it. Some of you took the time to post in the event special tributes to officers who had made a difference in the community or to mention a certain department. It's all good as long as it all stays positive!

Can you do your own thing? Of course. If you prefer to organize a group visit to a department on your own and don't want to be involved with the cards and all, be our guest at planning your own event. We do however suggest that you always contact an agency ahead of time to ask for their guidelines on time to visit, type of food items accepted, etc. NOTE: we ran into an issue a number of times last year regarding food items. Not all departments will accept homemade items for safety reasons. It's sad but understandable so please, call or go by and find out that info in advance.