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Thursday, 20 December 2007

What Christmas is All About

Six members of the Targeted Response Unit just delivered 100 toys each to LaRabida Hospital, Shriners Hospital and the Rainbow House.  They did not want any fanfare, they just wanted to give some Christmas cheer to those who need it the most.  In today's climate we are always looking for good news to try and show the public that the overwhelming majority of Chicago Police Officers are really "Serving and Protecting" on a daily basis.  I am not referring to the job that police officers are paid to do, I am referring to the actions that the men and women in blue do every day because it is the right thing to do.  When I contacted the TRU unit to let them know I wanted to make this a "positive" media story, they were adament about not wanting publicity.  That was not the reason for collecting and delivering gifts to needy children.  They did not want to have the story be about them.  It is about doing something for others that are in need.

We always hear about police officers when they do something that is negative and therefore immediately newsworthy.  Negative news has a life all of its own and does not need any life support to keep it going.  Good news stories, if they get any attention at all, will last one news cycle.

A number of officers assigned to TRU are also aware of the fact that usually the only contact they have with kids is when they are being arrested.  On Christmas Eve the officers will be trying to "Catch a kid doing something good" and then reward his actions with a gift.  His good deed can be any number of decent things that kids do every day, helping an elderly person, helping his little brother or sister as they cross the street or any activity that is being done to help someone else. 

Will the actions of the officers in the Targeted Response Unit have a dramatic effect on crime in Chicago?  I doubt it, but one thing is for sure, over 300 kids will have a gift on Christmas, thanks to the generosity and concern of these officers.  Who knows, maybe some of these kids may see a police officer as a friend and someone they can turn to in a time of need, or maybe, just maybe, will want to become a police officer when he or she grows up.

Merry Christmas.  Great work ladies and gentlemen.  Stay Safe!

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