Every month, I read NJ Cops Magazine, and I see what our PBA Locals are doing to support and give back to their respective communities. Whether it’s some type of fundraiser, benefit or donation to a family in need or a community group, the excellent work our members and their Locals do unconditionally never ceases to amaze me.
Many of our members participate in Special Olympics NJ events, like the Torch Run that took place on June 9. Thousands of our members ride the Police Unity Tour during National Police Week every May. The Locals host golf outings, cigar nights, food drives, clothing drives and other benevolent activities. Hundreds of other members coach Little League and PAL teams. Some members even find the time to volunteer at their local fire departments and EMS squads.
The list of organizations we support goes on and on. I know that during these last few challenging years within the law enforcement community, we all have had some cheap shots taken at us, and we are under intense scrutiny by everyone who has an opinion on how to operate a police department or knows how to be a cop because they watched an episode of “Law & Order SVU.”
We in the law enforcement community experience some type of negativity on a daily basis, and the news outlets report on it almost constantly. But what they do not see is what I see or read about also on a daily basis. Those people don’t see the generosity of our members and their Locals donating money and time to a worthy cause that positively affects and supports the towns where they work and live. These news outlets only want to report the sensationalized stories but never the important acts like our members volunteering in their towns, reading to children in the schools or running events to make their communities safer. This is what puts the B in PBA, the true “benevolence” in Policemen’s Benevolent Association.
I have the tremendous privilege of being the executive vice president of this amazing association, and from what I can see and hear, a lot of people have noticed what you all have been doing. We all can see the time that our members and Locals take to fundraise when new equipment is needed at the Boys & Girls Club or host a party for seniors. I can honestly say that what our Locals do for their communities has not gone unnoticed. And I’m writing this to let you know that it does not go unappreciated.
During this time of intense public scrutiny of our profession, our members and Locals have shown that getting involved in the community is always the best avenue to build the communication and trust that make for great policing. This almost always has a positive effect on the residents, and those are the people who will always tell their fellow residents of the positive contacts that they have had simply because they met us in a nonpolice environment.
I strongly believe that all the little things that our members and Locals do have a positive impact on the towns where they work and live. And a lasting impact on so many residents of their towns who know they can count on us.
To those members and Locals who are doing the hard work, keep on keeping on. Don’t ever forget that it will pay off in the end. So keep up the good work, because a lot of people can see what you are all doing. You are the ones who put the B in PBA