Law enforcement is never easy but in recent years, police officers have been dealt a dual challenge – protecting the communities in which they serve and defending their individual reputations.
That duality started a group of Lake Saint Louis residents thinking about what they could do to let their local officers know that they appreciated them. And so, a letter-writing campaign was born. It began simply when one resident enlisted the help of his neighbors, who enlisted the help of their neighbors and friends, and so on until nearly 30 hand-written thank you cards were ready to be delivered to the Lake Saint Louis Police Department.
The cards expressed the residents’ sincere gratitude for the community’s police officers and department staff in keeping their community safe.
One resident wrote, “Know we support you. You are called on to resolve situations not knowing what to expect. We know you are human with emotions which are kept in check. You hold a job I could never undertake, but is necessary.”
Another said, “I want to thank you and your family for being willing to serve the people of Lake Saint Louis in these trying times. Regardless of what you see and hear, there are a lot more who support and appreciate you.”
Police Chief Chris DiGiuseppi said the cards mean more than even their authors might know. And Lake Saint Louis is not the only community receiving words of appreciation.
“Police officers in many departments within our area see an outpouring of support from many residents who go out of their way to thank them for their service,” said St. Charles County Police Chief Kurt Frisz.
Many local businesses also show their support and appreciation to law enforcement as they work hand in hand with police to keep their customers and patrons safe. In fact, the cards from the Lake Saint Louis residents were sent in tandem with gift certificates to BC’s Kitchen. The gift cards were purchased with donations from the residents and partially matched by the restaurant.
“Community Policing begins with the foundation of a bond between residents and the police department as they work together to maintain public safety,” DiGiuseppi said. “One of our primary missions is to help and support our community members, and our residents do the same for us. That’s how we’ve been able to maintain safe neighborhoods, schools and business districts.”
Currently, police recruiting across the St. Louis Metropolitan area and nation has been a challenge as more people leave the profession and less enter the field. But Frisz noted, “Fostering an environment that supports law enforcement helps with hiring and maintaining staff.”