Today is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (LEAD) – a day designated to honor the more than 800,000 men and women across the country who have taken the pledge to protect and serve.
From fighting crime and saving lives to ensuring public safety, responding to accidents, and building community relations, law enforcement officers improve our communities in a million different ways every single day.
In fact, their work is so foundational to our everyday sense of safety and security that it can be easy to forget all that they do. So today, join us and millions of other Americans in showing appreciation for our officers in blue.
Here are some things you can do today and every day to show your support:
- Send a thank you card to your local police department.
- Wear blue in support of law enforcement today – you could also make your social media picture blue for the day, or even change it to your local police department’s logo or insignia.
- Ask your kids – and/or those in the neighborhood – to write letters to peace officers. If your kids seem interested in officers’ careers, sign them up for a mentorship or other program offered by police departments.
- Follow your local police department on social media – you’ll not only be more aware of local news and alerts, but also gain a greater understanding of all that your department deals with. And when you have a good experience with law enforcement, give them a shout-out on your page! Boosting the positive highlights the good that officers do day in and day out.
- Support officer causes and fundraising drives. Better yet, volunteer! As a civilian, you can help supplement and support officers by doing things like clerical tasks, assisting with search and rescue, reporting graffiti in neighborhoods and helping with equipment and property inventory.
- Participate in initiatives, projects and programs launched by your local police department to build relationships in their communities. These might include events like National Night Out, Coffee with a Cop or even neighborhood barbeques.
- Take part in Project Blue Light, which honors and remembers officers who have been killed in the line of duty. Your local community most likely has a Facebook page.
- Help prevent police suicides. Check out Blue H.E.L.P. and click on “Get Involved” to see how you can help.
- Give blood in honor of fallen heroes – C.O.P.S and the American Red Cross co-host a national Blue Blood Drive every year.
- Donate – Direct financial support can help organizations that serve officers achieve greater impact. Here are some law enforcement and first responder charities to consider (and some general tips on doing your due diligence with any charity organization).
- Participate in law enforcement surveys – These help by providing honest feedback from community members around policing efforts or areas of concern.
- Sign up for your Neighborhood Watch program – start here.
- Check out these additional tips – especially relevant during the pandemic.
Most importantly, say “Thank you” whenever you get the chance. In-person, on social media, wherever – use your voice to support officers. Their job asks them to put their lives on the line every day; by sharing thanks and gratitude you can help boost their morale and make those tough days a little brighter!
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