Across the nation, law enforcement have been put under the spotlight over the past year. However, Jan. 9 is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day and Dickinson is already showing its appreciation for local law enforcement agencies.
A combination of students and faculty from Lincoln Elementary School showed their appreciation to the Dickinson Police Department by composing a video of heartfelt thank you's. The YouTube video was posted Friday and has already received much praise and acknowledgement from the DPD.
Each officer received a bag of candy and signs made by Lincoln Elementary students. For DPD Sgt. Brandon Stockie, the video was so humbling to receive in light of everything swirling around law enforcement in today’s world.
“I think for all of us we just always feel blessed that the community still supports us. It’s awesome to live in southwestern North Dakota where we get that support and in the city of Dickinson, which is really wonderful for us,” Stockie said.
The department has always maintained a well working relationship with the Dickinson community and it shows all across the board from elected officials all the way down to its regular patrol officers, Stockie added.
“It’s just a way for our community to show their appreciation to their local officers,” he remarked. “I think it means that we’re doing our job by serving them. It shows that they’re appreciated in the job that our men and women do in uniform and shows us that we’re doing our best ability for our community.”
Lincoln Elementary School has a Social Committee in which several staff members participate regularly to provide celebrations and events for students. Para Professional Alyssa Kessel brainstormed this idea of creating a video after she witnessed firsthand the service law enforcement does for the Dickinson community over last summer, in which she was the first spectators to arrive at the scene of a car accident. Kessel noted that the officers were calm and collective, and she never saw that side to an officer’s job before.
“You always just think they’re going to pull you over and that’s all they’re there for is to do that. (But) I saw a whole different look…” Kessel said. “I know how excited the kids get when police officers stop by to walk around, to play basketball with the kids at recess. So I know that our students love to interact with them also and I know that they appreciate the things they do too.”
Principal Tammy Peterson of Lincoln Elementary noted that since the National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day was approaching right around the corner, it was vital to get the word out there for all of their efforts the Dickinson Police Department does to keep students safe.
“Our number one importance is recognizing our school’s community supporters and law enforcement is definitely one of stakeholders in our school as well as our school community. So recognizing all they do is key and important,” Peterson said. “I feel like the culture of Lincoln Elementary really focuses on the school community, and that definitely involves our heroes within our community whether it be our parents, our law enforcement and other individuals across the community.”
It’s important to teach children the duty of serving a community and understanding the sacrifices first responders make on a daily basis, Peterson noted.
“Our Dickinson Police Department has always been a great resource for us whether it be for an educational resource or for emergency support, and we just appreciate all they do. We still have a wall on Lincoln that we have pictures of each one of our resource officers as well as our Dickinson Police Department officers who serve as an officer-friendly for our building, and that’s a really important piece for us to recognize them,” Peterson said, adding, “It also goes back to making sure that we’re educating our students on the importance of serving others and appreciating others that do great things within our community. So it’s teaching our students something hopefully that they will continue to do, which is to celebrate others.”
Knowing that the kids were all on board to volunteer for this little heart-warming gift was also very special to see, Kessel added.
“The kids were very excited. They felt like they were a part of doing something big and showing their appreciation for the cops. And I know a lot of times when they see the cops, it’s usually (when) mom’s getting pulled over, dad’s getting pulled over. But usually if it’s not that, it’s usually at school,” Kessel said. “... The kids really liked being a part of it and making sure those police officers know that they are very appreciative and definitely loved in our community.”
Kessel hopes to inspire other community members to express their gratitude and appreciation for local law enforcement. Police officers work around the clock from weekends to holidays, and not all the time do people realize all of which they do to keep Dickinson a safe place to live, she added.
To watch the full video of Lincoln Elementary, follow this link at youtu.be/tSOxS0VDw3M. To show your appreciation, send a message through the DPD’s social media pages via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter; call the department through the non-emergency line at 701-456-7759; or approach any local law enforcement officer in the community and express your thank you.