Citizens Give Thanks

Tuesday, December 30, 2014 - 11:33am

Many appreciate the work of MPD officers

This news release will likely not make headlines, but as we embark upon the New Year, officers of the MPD would like to express their gratitude to those in the community who have reached out to the men and women of this department over the past week. Your words mean a great deal to those who have pledged to protect and serve this community.  
Here are a few missives recently received at the Public Information Office:
An email from a Central District officer: “Yesterday I was gassing up … and a … delivery truck pulled up behind me.  The driver got out and approached me.  He said, “I know this sounds weird, but with all the stuff going on in NY and Missouri, I told myself that the first police officer I saw today – I was going to shake their hand.”  He went on to say we have a tough job and he would never want it.  He wiped a tear as he spoke and he wanted me to pass his words along to fellow officers.  I told him we appreciate his words, and appreciate him - and others - stepping out of their comfort zone to tell us.”

An email from another Central District officer: “I also had a stranger walk up to me today and shake my hand and express thanks for the good work we do. “   
An email from a North District resident: “Please communicate to every officer that the vast majority of the citizens appreciate the work and effort they put in each and every day and night. You put your lives on the line for our safety. Do not let that get lost in the rhetoric from some of those out there. Thank-you”

An email from a West District officer: “Hello Joel, Merry Christmas. I just thought you should know about the community of Madison has been doing for police. People have been showing their love to what we do every day. Many of us have been thanked in person and we have received food and drinks (hot cocoa) from citizens and businesses. Today at the
West District we received cookies and pizzas.  I am sure other districts have experienced the same, so I thought we should perhaps put out a release thanking the community we serve for the support as we work together during these difficult and trying times.”

An email from an East District officer: “I was just approached in the lot at East Police District by a citizen who used some colorful language to express his frustration with the current state of events. I think we can all relate. He wants to remind us that even though we probably do not see it in our day to day lives as cops, the majority of this city supports us in our efforts to keep Madison safe. He does not want us to lose sight of that. He also wants to wish us all a safe and happy holiday.”

An email from another East District officer: “I was stopped by a younger citizen near East Towne Mall today who got teary eyed and wanted to pass along her appreciation to MPD officers for all that we do.  She said, "It seems like a really awful time to be a police officer, and it isn't fair."  She told me that she recognizes and appreciates all of our hard work which she knows we do "in good faith."
An email from a West District officer: “Greetings, I received a phone call today from my husband’s friend-he wanted to me to extend his support and gratitude to Police officers for their dedication, bravery and sacrifice. He spoke at length about his frustration with the current climate; he said that when he heard the news about the assassination of officers in NYC he felt he had to call me to get the message out.  Please be safe, and know that there are many who care about us.”
An email from a citizen following a South District crash: I was rear-ended on Park St after a driver in front of me braked for no apparent reason and I stopped quickly. The responding officer, PO Amelia Levett, was an absolute professional. She took care of the requisite paperwork and used what I thought was good judgment in not issuing a citation to the driver who hit me. A few minutes later, after I stopped to do an errand, I passed that same officer who was positioned as back-up for another officer in what appeared to be a high-risk traffic stop. At a time where tensions between some members of the public and police may be high, this was a good reminder of the variety of calls officers respond to and how they differ from minute to minute. PO Levett struck me as a top-notch officer and I am thankful that she and others like her are out on the streets of Madison. Thanks so much.”
And finally, there was a North Side resident who was moved to tears when Officer Emily House and three others from the MPD stopped at his home to deliver over $300 worth of toys, bought and paid for by MPD officers. They were toys similar to the ones the man – who is on a very tight and fixed income - had wrapped and was about to give his grandchildren. He never got the chance. On Christmas Eve he went to a hospital with chest pains, and when he was discharged the next day, he returned to his house to find gifts gone. His home had been burglarized. Officer House responded to the call, and the victim provided her a list of what had been stolen. That is standard procedure following a burglary, but what happened next is not. Officer House told others in the MPD family about the crime, and many chipped in, providing Officer House funds to go out and purchase replacements for all those missing toys. Officer House and the other MPD “elves” showed up at the man’s home with the new gifts. According to a MPD sergeant, who was among the callers, it was scene similar to the end of the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” “I don't think there was a dry eye in the house,” he reported. The sergeant also sent out words of gratitude to his brothers and sisters in blue: “Thank you for all of the heart-warming responses.  This is just another example of your professionalism and compassion for others!  Happy Holidays”