Friday, December 25, 2009

A Christmas story

After dinner today, I’ll be heading downtown to relieve the day shift duty commander, Assistant Chief Jim Peschong. I will be covering the swing shift, and hopefully will find time to attend to my elf and bag man duties. I shall report about that on Monday, I suspect. In the meantime, here’s a pretty good story for Christmas morning.

I tell every new recruit class that this will eventually happen to them. They’ll be in line at the check stand, and someone will come up to them: “Remember me? You arrested me." Before you cringe, read this letter that Officer Steve Standley, a veteran of 35 years, received shortly before Christmas from a woman he had arrested for a drug offense.

I just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas. I also wanted to thank you for showing me such compassion when I was at my lowest point in my life. And I wanted you to know I listened to your advice: “Remember, the sun will come up tomorrow and it will be a new day to start.” And indeed it was. I have returned to school. I have been in College since May. I’m now on the dean’s list. I have changed my life in so many ways, I’m working two jobs, and receiving counseling for issues I had kept inside for too long. My husband said it was nice to see me smile again. You have made a difference in my life and my family’s life. I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and may God bless you.

P.S. I know you might not recall who I am, but I am the one you arrested on February 13, the day that changed my life.

I am sure there was no need for the postscript. Steve doesn’t forget such things, and although I am absolutely certain he’s had these experiences on many past occasions, he would remember his encounter with this young woman.

Sometimes what we do as police officers has impacts that we do not see, but rest assured they occur nonetheless, and probably with much greater frequency than we ever realize. Merry Christmas.


Anonymous said...

Chief-Merry Christmas to you, Asst. Chief Peschong, and the rest of the folks working today. Looking forward to hearing about your escapades on Monday.

In the olden days, I remember having members of the Jewish community riding along on Christmas as "backup". I actually enjoyed working the holidays.


Juan said...

Merry Christmas Chief Casady! May God Bless you, you fellow officers, and all your families!

-js- said...

Great post, Chief.

Steve Standley is, perhaps, the nicest guy on the planet.....and one of the most professional officers I've ever worked with. I'm sure he's impacted more people in positive ways than even we suspect.

ARRRRG!!!! said...

Merry Christmas:

On Christmas day we read our Christmas cards and hang ornaments on the tree. We then hang our stockings by the fireplace and go caroling. The children sit around waiting for Santa to bring gifts.

Anonymous said...

The police are first responders of sorts to all the misery of humanity. Crime, social illness, tragedy. Thank you for being there. Merry Christmas to all LPD.