As my family drives to friends or relatives homes for the holidays, we invariably pass a police officer busy working to keep the community safe. It’s easy to forget that crime doesn’t take a holiday, and for many law enforcement officers Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years are a regular work day. While most of us will be enjoying presents, meals and special time with our families, officers will be patrolling the streets responding to emergencies and keeping drunk drivers off the roads.

Some of them find ways to make the holidays better for others by sponsoring toy and gift drives for children, giving “tickets” for safe driving redeemable for movies and other treats (police officers in one Michigan town stopped drivers and learned what gift they really wanted while other officers drove to stores and actually bought the presents and surprised them), and others have performed heartwarming acts like buying hot meals or clothing for homeless people in the cold or providing holiday gifts for families who couldn’t afford them.

So this holiday season, let’s not forget the men and women who swear an oath to protect and serve us, even on holidays. Here are some simple ways we can let them know we appreciate all they do:

  1. Bring some baked goods to a police station
  2. Deliver some thank you cards
  3. Pay for their coffee or meal
  4. Write a letter to your local newspaper thanking them for their dedication to the community
  5. Make a donation to an organization that assists injured officers or a police memorial fund
  6. Volunteer with your local law enforcement community outreach programs
  7. Share a story on the Thank a Police officer Facebook page


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