In the last two years, America has seen more killings of law enforcement officers than ever before. Police officers, Sheriff’s deputies and state patrol officers were already putting their lives at risk on a daily basis by donning the Kevlar vests and badges as part of their work uniform – now, the risk they take has heightened – for they never know when someone might take that kill shot.
Marshall has approximately 55 plus police officers who are either on active or reserve duty. These officers include detectives, Crime Scene Specialists, patrol officers, traffic officers and administrative officers. Of these officers, Marshall proudly has four women officers – two of whom are in supervisory roles – one of whom is a sargent.
For the last year, I was employed as a civilian with the Marshall Police Department – initially as the public information officer, but later my job was more focused as accrediation coordinator/event/social media specialist and volunteer coordinator for the City of Marshall Police Department’s Animal Control & Shelter.
During this time, I discovered, and I thought based on my 20 plus years as a journalist that I had a good insight into what law enforcement have to deal with, that the men and women with the Marshall Police Department – in particular those that are sworn peace officers – are just like me and you. They have families. They have friends. They have dreams. They have goals. They have hobbies. They put their pants on one leg at a time- they just have to add a few more layers and a gun to their everyday wear.
Sure, they have their flaws. Sure, they have their “Mondays” like the rest of us. Overall, I can say from firsthand experience that the men and women who are on the streets of Marshall driving the black and whites and the detectives who are out investigating crimes and bringing criminals to justice are pretty good folks – if you will forgive my plain-spoken Georgia English.
I could call names and cite incidents of when I have seen extraordinary skills and abilities exhibited by these men and women. I could tell you moments when I saw tenderness and empathy. I could let you know about the letters and emails and calls we would get about how this officer or this detective did this or that for someone and they didn’t have too.
But those stories are not mine to tell.
The Marshall Police Department isn’t just staffed by the sworn peace officers – it is also made up of some of the best civilian personnel ever – from the dispatchers to the records’ clerks to the animal control officers to the administrative assistants to the people who keep the station clean. What makes the Marshall PD work as well as it does, is not due to the efforts of one person or four people – it is several people.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our team of extraordinary K9s – Amor, Zorro and Pollux. The dogs are just as important as everyone else.
Regardless of how they might feel about each other or whatever the case may be, I have seen these officers, detectives and civilians stand up for one another and help each other out – especially during those moments of crisis.
Which brings me to this note of editorializing – based on opinion, observation and past research – I believe that the City of Marshall’s emergency personnel– and this includes all of the personnel at the Marshall Police Department and the Marshall Fire Department – deserve more recognition – be it in positive remarks or feedback or maybe, just maybe in pay increases and incentives.
Would you do what they do?
Thank you to all police officers, detectives, civilian personnel, and firefighters in the city of Marshall for all that you do.