The tragic deaths in Dallas and Baton Rouge of eight police officers, and another five from across the country, serve to remind police officers that the job we do is dangerous and uncertain. On average, a police officer dies in the line of duty every 61 hours. These recent terrible events also remind us that we cannot become complacent and must remain vigilant when we are serving our community.
However, an unexpected realization came to us during these past few weeks as well. The kindness, compassion and decency of this community is incredible. Intellectually, we always knew that the overwhelming majority of Colerain Township supported law enforcement and knew that we worked diligently to provide them excellent service. Seeing entire neighborhoods preparing baskets of food, churches and families sending cards, restaurants providing dinner and children drawing us posters thanking us for our service (these are our favorite) have touched us all immensely.
We feel honored by these acts of kindness and it is important to us that we say thank you to this community for standing up for their police officers. Right now, police officers across the United States feel alone and under siege. Your friendship and kindness means more to us than we can put into words. Because of you, we will continue to put on the badge, hopefully without the mourning band, and protect the families and businesses who trust us to hold the line.
Almost two years ago, your police and fire department began working to establish relationships within our minority community. This was before Ferguson and the other events that have caused so much damage and loss in our nation. We have conducted public meetings, visited churches, walked neighborhoods and opened dialogue with teenagers in our high schools.
We firmly believe that the time to engage these conversations and introduce ourselves to everyone in our community is not after a tragic event touched our lives. We have done this because it is the right thing to do, not to heal an open wound or repair our reputation after a tragedy.
When the time comes that we make a mistake, and we will, we want every member of our community to know who we are and how we conduct ourselves every day. Being transparent and open with our residents gives us credibility and builds the trust we need to be successful.
The Colerain Police Department proudly maintains national accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies, and was the very first police agency to receive certification through the State of Ohio. We demand excellence from our officers and provide them with the tools and training needed to police Colerain Township.
Colerain Township residents have shown us they respect and appreciate their police department; we owe it to you to continue striving for excellence and to be that line between your family and danger. We pray that we will not see more events like those we have witnessed in Dallas and Baton Rouge, but we will remain ready and willing to serve.