If you have a police officer as a friend or family member, you know how difficult this job can be at times. So it’s important to show officers how much we understand their difficult work and appreciate their sacrifice and risk. And National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day on January 9 is the perfect opportunity to do this.
Obviously, most people don’t show their appreciation for law enforcement personnel often enough. It’s easy to forget about the work the officers do if you don’t have regular interactions with them. But part of the reason you don’t have to interact with officers is because they’re doing their job of keeping your neighborhood safe from crime.
There are plenty of ways to show your appreciation to law enforcement, whether it’s on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (often shortened to L.E.A.D.) or any other day during the year. You can volunteer to help with organizations that local law enforcement supports, such as youth sports organizations or a Crime Stoppers board. Or you can do something as simple as wearing blue on L.E.A.D.
And if you really want to show your appreciation for police officers? Just obey the law and drive safely at all times. Officers would prefer to meet you as a volunteer, rather than when they’re handing you a ticket … and you’ll appreciate that too.
Serving as an officer can be a tough job, so that’s why National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day is a nice chance for citizens to show thanks.
National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day Activities
1. Show support on social media and by wearing blue
To promote awareness of support for law enforcement on L.E.A.D., consider showing support on your social media outlets. Perhaps change your profile photo to a badge or a thin blue line logo. And you can wear blue on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day to show support. Not everyone knows a police officer personally, so social media is a good place to start making a difference.
2. Organize a Neighborhood Watch program
Although the National Crime Prevention Council oversees the Neighborhood Watch program, local law enforcement will work with you on setting up and running one of these programs in your neighborhood. Contact your local police department to receive some help in organizing a program.
3. Volunteer or donate to your local Crime Stoppers program
Local law enforcement agencies operate their Crime Stoppers programs, and they need donations and volunteers from the community to run them successfully. Some Crime Stoppers organizations even have oversight boards that are made up of community members. These boards often are involved in helping to determine rewards or in publicizing crimes where rewards are available. Contact your local law enforcement agency to see what kind of work is needed in this area or to attend a monthly meeting.
Why We Love National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day
A. It’s a chance to see law enforcement personnel in another light
For most of us, our only interaction with law enforcement occurs when the officer asks us through our driver’s side window for our license and registration. But being an officer is about far more than handing out traffic tickets. National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day is a great time to think about all of unselfish work that officers do to help people too. (And, technically, when the officer is handing you a ticket, he or she is helping others be safe from your poor driving … not that such thoughts are top of mind at the time.)
B. It’s a chance to thank someone for doing an often thankless job
Even though we should thank law enforcement officers more often than we do, we can at least use L.E.A.D. as a good reminder to do so. Verbal thanks are always welcome, as is picking up the tab when you see officers eating lunch at a local restaurant.
C. It’s a good excuse to watch some of our favorite police movies
Sure, most police movies and TV shows have little basis in reality. But a lot of them are really fun to watch. So after you’ve shown your appreciation to your local law enforcement officers, you can sit down and watch your favorite movie or TV show for a look at the working side of law enforcement, even if it’s not particularly realistic.