Recognizing good cops improves morale

To the Editor:

If you have ever been to the Guilderland Police Department, you would have probably entered through the main lobby. What you may not have noticed is the small awards display that is attached to the wall to the left of the door near the 911 dispatcher’s window.

The awards that are displayed in the case represent a variety of achievements that officers may accomplish during their careers. These awards vary in the level of accomplishment from saving a person’s life, to a simple commendation for good police work. 

To my knowledge, not a single award has been given to any officer over the last several years since Chief James Murley was replaced.

Has there not been a single action or accomplishment of an officer that deserves recognition?  Or is it that the administration of the police department doesn’t feel its necessary to recognize the officers’ accomplishments?

Police officers face a constant and genuine threat of physical harm on a daily basis.  They must overcome the negative press and public opinions due to the actions of a few bad cops.  It is an absolute necessity to continually and publicly recognize the positive actions and accomplishments of our good law-enforcement officers. This will no doubt have a positive impact not only on morale but also productivity.             

The members of our town board should be concerned, and they should pressure the administration of the police department to once again reinstate the awards program and recognize our police officers, rather than have the awards collect dust in the chief’s closet. 

David J. Romano

Editor’s note: David J. Romano is a retired Guilderland Police officer.

Chief Carol Lawlor said she writes “hundreds” of letters of commendation every year, as well as letter of thanks and recognition for specific achievements, which are handed out to officers, their superiors, and placed in their personnel files.

The physical awards, she said, did not end during her administration, but before that, and she would be willing to reinstate them if the Police Benevolent Association requested it.

“We appreciate what these men and women do on a daily basis,” Lawlor said.

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