National Police Week

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Before he became President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt served as police commissioner on the New York Police Department. During his two-year tenure as a police commissioner he made aggressive efforts to modernize the department and remove all tentacles of corrupting political influences.

It was 1895 and Roosevelt was determined to change a United States that had turned corrupt. It was no longer a land for hard working families seeking the American dream. It was a wasteland for petty master minds seeking power and a quick fortune.

Roosevelt told the New York Police Force, “No man is worth his salt, who is not ready at all times to risk his body, to risk his well-being, to risk his life in a great cause.”

Then he drove his message home: “Obedience of the law is demanded not asked as a favor.”

The very best of the city’s men arose to the challenge and their legacy has been carried on across this great country for the past 100 years. Men and women sign up for the challenge. They put their lives on the line everyday...

Why? Because they are cut from a different cloth. They are strong, independent, caring and courageous. They sacrifice their time and their family’s peace of mind to ensure the safety of strangers. And, for that we owe them our respect.

This week the nation celebrates “National Police Week” and I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of the area men and women in blue. On Sunday afternoon, the city said goodbye to one of the finest men I have ever known. Police Chief Ray Rigsby devoted his life to law enforcement and he was the greatest chief this newspaper woman has ever had the privilege of working beside. Instead of hiding things from the media, he would call me and say “we’ve got a shooting” or ask “what do you know about it?” I helped him solve a few crimes and he helped me write a few articles. But there was one very important article he continually refused to let me write... an interview on his life. I asked him many, many times, especially after his retirement, but he would always give me that grin of his and say I couldn’t write what he would have to say. You are already missed Chief!

This week I salute all of you guys in blue and give you my sincere thanks and gratitude for all you do to keep our streets, our businesses, our homes and our families safe. I know you have a hard job and things have certainly been difficult during this pandemic. I’ve been on the streets with you the past few weeks. I have seen it all first hand and I am concerned. Our top priority must be to keep our citizens, especially the children and elderly safe. You have my support and promise that I will keep fighting for you.

You are true modern-day heroes and Theodore Roosevelt would be very proud and honored to shake your hand.