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Police and Law Enforcement Home  >  The Column  >  Knights and Civil Servants

The Column

Knights and
Civil Servants
Police and Law Enforcement News
Tuesday,, August 24, 2010
11: 03 a.m.

The Lakewood PBA gets it. They really do.  And more of us need to follow their lead.

On Friday, August 20th, members of the Lakewood Police Department PBA (Local 71) traded in their duty belts for paint brushes.

The Asbury Park Press aptly described their deed:

Off-duty police officers [] fanned out across the township Friday to scrape off and paint over gang graffiti, which has defaced the sides of fences, walls and abandoned homes, street signs and telephone poles throughout its diverse neighborhoods.

The officers even brought their families for a few extra hands.

Yes, some maniac in the Lakewood PBA stood up in a meeting and actually suggested that everyone get together to work for free. Yes, off duty, no pay, not on the clock, nada.

How spectacular on so many levels.

These officers cast aside the civil servant mentality that too often dictates what we should and should not do. In several of our writings we've referred to this mentality and how it holds us back from reaching a higher level. It does, it really does. It makes us look little, and petty and selfish.

But when officers come in on their day off and go into distressed neighborhoods to make life a little bit better for the residents, there are no civil servants, only knights.

Being a knight has nothing to do with the uniform or the car or the tools or the weapons. It's about belonging to a special group who do the noblest job on the planet.  Its about striking a balance between bravery and benevolence, soldiering and comforting, storming and shielding.

Being a knight is the higher level.

That one day, that one act, dispatched starkly different messages to starkly difference audiences.

To the residents, the message was: "we have a stake in this community, and we care about it as much as you. We're here with you."

To the town fathers, the message was: "despite what you may think, we're not just about the next paycheck or the next contract."

To the gangs that have infiltrated Lakewood, the message was: "we're the cops and we can paint over your graffiti. We can do it in broad daylight in full view of you and your fellow miscreants, and there is not a thing you can do about it."

We need more of this.

In a time where we've - like other public employees - fallen from favor, we need to remind our communities of what we're about. We need to remind them that we are the good guys but for so much more than the nature of our jobs. We are good guys.

Sometimes, we even need to remind each other.

And, that's exactly what Lakewood has done.

For those who doubt that a single act can inspire, you're wrong.  It took all of one second after reading the story to inspire this column. 

Today, Lakewood gets the star. Today, they are knights.



Share your Thoughts on This Column

While all opinions will be considered, we will not post any messages that are inflammatory, that bash any ethnic group, or that are just beyond reason.  Letters will be reviewed and posted each day. reserves the right to alter, shorten, or decline any submission. 



Your Comments

Thank you "NJLawman" for submitting this article and the great comments.

This is the start of more to come within our community. We kind of put this event together last minute and we are getting great feed back from it.

Lakewood like many other towns, has some gang problems. We felt that this was a great way to send them a message and so far it is working, plus the citizens are very pleased with what we did for them as well. Thanks for the support, Stay strong, stay united and stay safe.

P.B.A. Local No.71
President Gary Przewoznik

This is good stuff. Lakewood has some real problems, I know because I work only a few miles from their borders. We get some of their rif-raf making trouble in our town, which we deal with quickly and unmercifully. They are simple overrun there. We would help you more if we could brothers, but they spend the extra time to driver around our town. Stay safe.

Great job Lakewood.  I love stories like these.  We need to get them out more.

That is inspiring!!!! 

I am in the sunset of my career and will retire at the end of the year. For over 30 years, I have served and been served by a noble profession called Law Enforcement. This article highlights well what Law Enforcement members do and/or should be doing both on and off job.  We are part of the community. We need to be positive examples to ourselves and to the communities we serve.  Stellar work Lakewood PD

A Lt. in another agency whom I have a lot of respect for said it well, "Sometimes you have to give a lot to get a little."  His quote holds true in so many different levels, even in this case.  Good work Lakewood PBA!










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