When children go missing, most grown-ups everywhere feel alarmed. Many of us will bow our heads and pray for the safety and health of those children until they are once again embraced by those who …
When children go missing, most grown-ups everywhere feel alarmed. Many of us will bow our heads and pray for the safety and health of those children until they are once again embraced by those who love them.
But for some in our community, those alarms bring an additional response. Along with their prayers for the child, they stop whatever they were doing and race to the call for help.
That's what our police and rescue personnel are trained to do. That's what they want to do. After all, many of them are also parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. They interact with our children at school, church and sporting events.
Their caring, plus their professionalism, came to the attention of many people recently.
A Memphis family was visiting Cleveland for a summertime family reunion. A 5-year-old decided it was a fine time to explore some unknown woods. After the child was found, a family member wrote to me.
"I wanted to reach out and tell you that (as I'm sure you already know) your law enforcement agencies are spectacular," she wrote.
In her message she wrote, "We were reassured by each officer’s drive to find our little buddy. With the help of multiple agencies, neighbors, family and a pretty awesome bloodhound, my nephew was found. With all that is bad in this world, these officers are nothing but GOOD and we are forever grateful. Just thought it would be nice to spread the word on what a great job CPD and BCSO are doing. Job well done!"
We passed along those well-deserved words to the searchers. But when I wrote back, I told her the rest of the story (as the late great Paul Harvey would have said.)
"You may know that only one day before, the same folks searched all night for a 10-year-old girl who was lost from her home. Thank God, she was found safe. When a child is lost, I think we all can relate to one of our children, or one we know.
“On the incident you spoke of, I followed it very carefully. I went to Google to look at the lay of the land, and quite frankly, didn't like the forest area I saw. It was a relief when I heard on the police radio that he had been located. My wife and I both gave a prayer of thanks.
"We live in a great community and I will send a copy of your email to those who were on the front line."
I often have the honor and pleasure of administering the oath of office to the city's newest officers. I remind them of their chain of command and that there is one step even above their chief — the public. I tell them they are often the “face” of our city to visitors.
I am honored often to have the opportunity to echo what this writer said: "Job well done."
Keeping our community safe is the No. 1 goal of our emergency services responders, and these two episodes are but two of the incidents they have faced just recently.
They keep us safe and protect our families — and they do so with spirit.
Thanks to each of them for a “job well done.”
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