Members of the community gathered to celebrate the work done by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and several local police departments at the Lewis County Commissioners’ regular Monday business meeting, at which the board voted to observe Jan. 9 as Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
Lewis County Chaplaincy Services Executive Director Brian Carter led off the proceedings by lauding local police officers as “outstanding individuals,” who continually place their lives in danger in the interest of serving and protecting community members.
“Our law enforcement sees all kinds of humanity: the good, the bad and fill in the blank,” began Carter. “They see more absurdities, obscenities and atrocities that any of us could ever imagine … What we see on TV is in no way a reflection of reality.”
To the end, he pointed out how society “seems to have taken a turn” on the men and women in blue, as they’re often portrayed in a “bad light” across many forms of media.
Commissioner Gary Stamper agreed with Carter’s assessment, noting how police carry out a very difficult job of protecting civilians despite facing the constant scrutiny and criticism emanating from various social media platforms and “cameras pointing everywhere.”
Commissioner Edna Fund echoed Stamper’s sentiments by communicating her respect for all levels of law enforcement, while Commissioner Bobby Jackson acknowledged the sheriff’s office’s efforts in not only locking up suspects, but affording them assistance through public programs designed to curb recidivism.
“Our sheriff’s office does a good job of caring about the people that they come across. I really appreciate that because it shows that it does help to try to help people change their behavior to make a turnaround and become more productive and positive citizens,” offered Jackson.
In a show of gratitude, Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza took the podium to announce how proud he is to be part of Lewis County and went on to introduce many of his colleagues in attendance, including Undersheriff Wes Rethwill, Field Operations Chief Bruce Kimsey, Corrections Chief Chris Sweet, Special Services Chief Dusty Breen and Morton Police Department Chief of Police Roger Morningstar, among others.
The celebration concluded with Carter reading a proclamation.
“These officers stand as leaders and teachers, educating the community about the importance of public safety,” he said while delivering the contents of the official document.