Thank you GPD

By Karen Johnson

When I first arrived in Greenwich, thirty years ago now, I got pulled over on the Post Road near Christ Church coming into town going fifty miles an hour.

The officer could not have been more polite. I received a well deserved lecture about the fact that in Greenwich, speeding on the Post Road was not okay.

In the past thirty years, I’ve discovered that in Greenwich a great many things are not okay.

Teenagers driving drunk, not okay, which is why the Greenwich Police Department has been a strong supporter of Safe Rides.

Cruelty to animals, not tolerated. We love dogs… and all pets. Our own residents have stepped up with support from the GPD to create excellent animal shelters.

An education is considered a vital part of one’s life. Reading and supporting local bookstores and our local libraries is an essential and valued part of our community. You will find plain clothes police officers keeping watch on these kids centric places to protect our children in what are natural predator magnets.

In Greenwich, one of the few places in the country where organized religion is growing, our houses of worship are important for both their spiritual work and as gathering places for thousands of other community wide events, often including a police presence to help guide traffic and keep people safe crossing busy streets, in parking lots, and dealing with aggressive party crashers as I have witnessed on more than one occassion.

In Greenwich, volunteering to help others is a part of almost everyone’s life and is a required element of most school curriculums. You will find the GPD volunteering, in particular at the Boys and Girls Club,  during their free time and on holidays and vacations and helping raise money at swimathons and other similar events.

In Greenwich, hiking and birdwatching and caring for our natural world is on most people’s to do lists and scouting is a big part of the community. GPD Chief of Police Jim Heavey happens to be a troop leader and lifelong scouting volunteer.

He and his son also happen to be volunteer firefighters. If you have a serious problem in Greenwich, chances are, they will be a part of saving your life  and I guarantee you that they will not care about your religion, skin color, language, or ethnic background. They will risk their lives to save yours.

The GPD is an incredibly professional, kind, connected group of men and women and I’ve been getting whiplash going from signs that read “thank you to our first responders” to signs that read “abolish the police.”

This kind of reactionary behavior is not okay in Greenwich and it is incredibly disappointing.

My sign will continue to say thank you GPD and I mean it. Not just when convenient, but over the long term.

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