Officers see outpouring during holidays

Published 2:51 pm Friday, November 16, 2012

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

While most are enjoying a Thanksgiving feast on Nov. 22, Pelham’s first responders will still be on the job working to make sure the city has a safe holiday.

But the officers and firefighters who man their departments on Thanksgiving said they usually receive plenty of love from the community while completing their holiday shifts.

“We work eight-hour shifts, so at some point, the officers get a chance to be with their families that day,” Pelham Police Department Capt. Larry Palmer said. “There are a few churches that have invited the officers to stop by and eat on Thanksgiving Day.

“We don’t have anything special planned department-wise for Thanksgiving. We are doing ours on Christmas this year,” Palmer added.

Shortly before Christmas, the department’s administration department will pitch in to provide a feast for all of the city’s officers. The administration will provide three meals to cover the day’s three shifts, Palmer said.

Pelham’s first responders typically also see an outpouring of support from the community during the holiday season.

“You can’t imagine how much outpouring we get from the community. We’ve got a lot of good people in Pelham,” Palmer said, noting the department receives citizen support and thanks year-round.

In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, local churches brought food to the department and citizens dropped off treats and encouraging messages.

“Last year, we had a lot of folks bring in cakes and cookies with notes of encouragement,” Palmer said. “We see so much negative, so things like that mean a lot to us.”

Palmer said the holiday season also brings some undesirable trends to Pelham, such as higher identity theft and burglary rates.

“Downstairs (in our briefing room), we say ‘Tis the season to be greedy,’” Palmer said. “We want to be proactive. We would rather prevent it than investigate it.”

Palmer encouraged shoppers to always be aware of their surroundings while out and about, and encouraged local residents to never leave anything valuable lying in plain sight in their vehicles.