Event during National Law Enforcement Recognition Week
Rockford North Rockford Middle School shop students have spent a good part of the year 2015 thinking ahead to National Law Enforcement Recognition Week and how to tell our local first responders, detectives and local law enforcement leaders how proud we are of them.
At a ceremony held at the school Wednesday, May 13, members of the Rockford Department of Public Safety and troopers from the Rockford Michigan State Police Post gathered together as they were honored with a gift of a hand made wooden plaque with their law enforcement logo and their names highlighted on each.
Shop students read the names of each officer and trooper as they approached a stage one at a time to receive the gift and for a photo. From Rockford Lt. Jamie Davis, officers Branden Boelema, David Jehnzen, Derek Haan, Lt. Dave Robinson, officers Jason Bradley Ian Graham, William Burnett, Tyler Glass, Michael Thomas and Chief Dave Jones. Not able to attend the ceremony was officers Aaron Sawyer.
After receiving their own plaques, our two law enforcement leaders spoke, Dave Jones for the Rockford Police and First Lt. Chris McIntire from the Michigan State Police.
McIntire said his heart melted when he and his troopers were asked by the school to be included in this recognition. “You don’t go into this job to make friends. You don’t go into this job to be thanked.” He said law enforcement is a thankless job and thousands of men and women have lost their lives in the profession. This year 44 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty. “I am proud to be part of the law enforcement brethren,” McIntire stated.
Chief Dave Jones spoke next with similar sentiments. He thanked the students for inviting our local law enforcement to this recognition and asked all to pause for a moment of silence in honor of those who have been killed protecting the public. He thanked Mr. Reichart and Mr. Alberts, and most importantly, the NRMS students who were such a big part of this ceremony.
“As most of you know the law enforcement profession has been under a lot of scrutiny lately. Some of the events that we have seen on the news recently have created a division between the police and the communities they serve.”
“Experts from around the country have called for more Community Policing and a greater effort placed on building relationships between the police and community members.
“Those experts could see community policing in action every day just by watching the daily activities in Rockford. We have a saying around here about doing things the “Rockford Way.” The Rockford Way has always meant that our community will work together in every way possible to make the Rockford community successful.”
“As I look around this room I see the product of the Rockford Way. I see police officers who not only protect the community, but also live in the community. They send their kids to Rockford Schools, and they coach kids in sports and are active in many community activities. I also see a class of bright and exciting students who appreciate the dedication and commitment that these officers have in making the Rockford community the best it can be, doing it the “Rockford Way.”
“In a society so quick to criticize and slow to praise our police officers, I would like to thank you on behalf of all the Rockford Police officers for your kind and generous show of support for us. Officers, pleased join me in a round of applause for a very special group of very special kids.”