O’Fallon police were in for a surprise at the Oct. 8 City Council meeting when resident Jim Frain asked the officers in attendance to join him at the front of the council chambers. Frain had been granted a moment to address the audience. The only hint at what he had planned was an agenda item listed as “presentation to the police department.”
“O’Fallon is a very safe city,” Frain said by way of starting. “Actually, that’s wrong. O’Fallon is a very, very safe city.”
Frain, who was the chairman of the Citizens for the O’Fallon Police Station and Courthouse committee, gave a speech on the O’Fallon police force, commending all the officers for the work they do.
“What I’ve learned in my years is that you don’t go out and buy safety,” Frain said. “You have a police department that keeps you safe.”
Frain said he had recently spoken with an O’Fallon police officer and realized that, while “O’Fallon is a very, very safe city,” the job is no less dangerous for the officers patrolling O’Fallon streets. Frain recalled that the officer said she would never leave for work without hugging her children and husband, because she could never be positive she would make it home that night.
“I’ve never done that and I’ve worked for 50 years,” Frain said. “I never thought by going to my job, I might not come home to my family.”
Frain and several of the city’s councilmembers presented the officers attending the meeting with several large, framed photographs. One of these featured a collage of police photos surrounding a written statement expressing gratitude for police and their service.
Encircling the statement were 200+ signatures of local residents and elected officials that agree with the sentiments inscribed on the photo collage.
“We appreciate what you do. We know it’s not easy. We know it’s hard,” Frain said.
O’Fallon Police Chief Roy Joachimstaler took the microphone after Frain, and said the pictures would be hung in any police station occupied by O’Fallon police.
“On behalf of the police department, although Jim and his friends put this together, we are thanking the whole community,” Joachimstaler said.