Police officers serve and protect the community in many different ways, as evidenced by the Police Officer Service Awards presentation in Kennett Square on Monday night.
Every time a police officer puts his or her uniform on and heads to work, the unexpected awaits. Will there be a high-speed pursuit of three armed robbery suspects like the one that officer Andrew Manko found himself involved with on Jan. 19? Will the report of a seemingly routine incident involving six young men turn more dangerous when a stolen assault weapon is found? Cpl. Richard Bell and Officer Johnathan Ortiz encountered that situation in April. Will a drunk motorist attempt to ram the police car? That was a situation that Cpl. Bill Holdsworth and officer Ryan Singleton had to handle one day last September. Or will it be a day where something that an officer says finally resonates with a local teen and the youngster chooses the right path over a wrong one? Officer Oscar Rosado works to discourage youngsters from getting involved with gangs or drugs every day.
These are, as Mayor Matt Fetick pointed out, just snapshots of what the officers do each day. They serve by policing the business district, keeping the streets safe for residents and visitors to shop or eat. They protect by responding to domestic disturbances, potentially placing themselves in harm's way to make sure that a bad situation doesn't turn worse. When someone drinks to much or abuses drugs and the situation gets out of hand, the police officers are the ones who attempt to set things right again. They work with youth organizations to build a bond with children so that the youngsters understand that in times of trouble, there is always a place to turn. They talk to high school students about the dangers of using drugs. They are quite often the first ones to respond to an emergency call.
Awards ceremonies like the one Monday night are nice but, as anyone who has ever had to rely on a police officer during an emergency will attest, there is no way to adequately thank them for what they do each and every day.