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Monday, February 26, 2007

"Thank a Policeman" Week - Feb. 26th to Mar. 4th, 2007

No, it is not a formal or Government-sanctioned week on the local calendar...

Following recent newspaper reports proclaiming the best Carnival ever for the security forces, of festivities in Chaguanas being under control, of rapid responses to persons in trouble on the road even after dark, and even if the officers weren't able to quell incidents immediately, and handling Carnival in Port of Spain despite forces depleted by food poisoning, the Police Service and accompanying military officers do deserve our collective gratitude. Under normal circumstances, the officers receive nothing but salary, the occasional wine to which they are forbidden to respond, and grumbling from the Trinidad and Tobago public that the Police aren't good for anything.

Still, our officers turn up for work everyday and perform the decidedly thankless task of watching over us all.

This week though, let's all do something different.

Rather than moaning and complaining about the collective, let us single out anonymous individual officers for some positive attention.

Instead of grumbling about the traffic situation, let's thank that officer standing in the hot sun directing traffic because those lights aren't working this morning.

Instead of groaning about the crime situation while sitting in the line of traffic, let's thank the officers manning the roadblock for ensuring that the drunk driver that may have killed you is pulled to the side of the road and that the bandit that was about to "put down a wuk" was also caught before he got where he was going.

Instead of muttering under your breath about the few bad eggs in the Service, walk right up to an officer and say with sincerity, "I hope that my gratitude isn't misplaced, but I want to thank you personally for doing this job. I know that it must be really hard being on your feet all day like this in the hot sun. But thanks very much for doing what you do to make sure that the streets are safe for me and my loved ones."

Everyone knows that it's little gestures like these that make it worthwhile getting out of bed in the morning. The officers on the force, particularly those trying to perform effectively, can certainly use some public goodwill. So let's take the week ahead to thank our Police Officers (and soldiers!) for doing what they do everyday.

As a firm believer in the power of positive reinforcement, this is sure to make the difficult task of policing that much easier for the officers that we personally and sincerely thank, and it will help them to tackle their jobs with greater enthusiasm...

It will certainly make much more of a difference than wearing black or red.

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