It’s time to say “Thank You” to our police officers


(Video of the moving eulogy by Lt. Eric Paul at the funeral of Officer Daryl Pierson)

It’s been more than a week since Rochester Police Department’s Officer Daryl Pierson was gunned down by a repeated parole violator he was trying to apprehend, and just a few days since Pierson’s funeral and the community-wide gathering in his honor. While there was a memorial last night at the East Rochester High School football game (Pierson grew up here, attended school here, and lived here with his wife and two young children) the press has moved on to other, more pressing subjects.

But this morning, a young wife and her children awoke, just one of thousands of days ahead of them as they learn to live without their husband and father.

And this morning, hundreds of police officers across our community pinned on their badges, strapped on their guns, and went out to do the same job that killed Officer Pierson.

For you.

It’s been on my mind this week that while our community has rallied around the Pierson family, the Rochester Police Department and other area law enforcement, it’s only natural that our devotion will wane as we move farther and farther from the event that shook our city just 10 days ago.

That bothers me. I’m the daughter of a police officer; my dad is a retired Gates cop. I know firsthand the toll the job can take on a family, a marriage, a life.

I think the vast majority of people in Rochester understand that the police are the good guys. Are there bad apples here and there? Sure, but they’re a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the family of men and women who wear a badge.

That’s why you hear about the bad ones; it’s not a big news story when a cop goes to work and no one complains, when he serves a warrant and takes the criminal into custody without incident, when he stops a car and apprehends the suspect and no one is killed.

I know that you believe they’re the good guys, too. But even so, I think most people take for granted that when they dial 911, there’s an officer on duty – and what that means for him and his family.

If you’re in an accident on your way to work, for example, an officer is on duty and ready to respond – which means he’s not kissing his wife goodbye as she goes to work, or seeing his children off to school.

If you come home from work at 5 PM and find your house has been burglarized, an officer is on duty and ready to respond – which means he’s not getting home from work to eat dinner with his own family.

If your neighbors are having a loud party and by 2 AM you’ve had enough, an officer is on duty and ready to respond to your noise complaint – which means he isn’t home in bed with his wife.

When you’re at your kid’s soccer game or school play, an officer is on duty and ready to respond to any call – which means he’s not at his own kid’s soccer game or school play.

When you’re with your family opening presents on Christmas morning, an officer is on duty and ready to respond to any call – which means he’s not with his own family opening presents on Christmas morning.

When an officer is on duty and responding to a domestic disturbance, mediating an emotionally charged situation between a husband and wife, he’s not at home working on his own marriage.

When an officer is on duty and spending time talking with kids on the streets of the city, encouraging them to stay in school, he’s not at home helping his own children with their homework.

In other words, every day a police officer goes to work and leaves his own family in order to protect yours.

Mathematically, the probability is small that a police officer will be killed in the line of duty, the way Officer Pierson was killed. But the possibility is there every time a cop goes on duty. No one knows what’s behind the next corner, closed door, dark alley.

The criminals and, to quote Lt. Eric Paul’s eulogy in the above video, “animals” who wreck havoc on the city’s streets have no regard for human life – their neighbor’s, a strangers’, or a police officer’s. Every day officers are punched, spit on, slapped, kicked, cut. They’re called names by children who’ve been taught by their parents that all police are to be reviled.

This is not an exaggeration; there is a growing culture in our city where adults are actually indoctrinating their children with the belief that the police are out to hurt them – but they then call 911 when they need help. Imagine being the officer responding to a call for assistance today from a person who spit in your face yesterday. Not many of us would take that kind of attitude from our clients or customers. The police don’t have the luxury of refusing service.

But those people are a small fraction of the community. Most of us respect the police; we just don’t remember to say thank you.

The line of Rochester Police Department cars stretched as far as the eye could see.

The funeral procession for Officer Daryl Pierson, killed in the line of duty September , 2014. The line of Rochester Police Department cars stretched as far as the eye could see.

I thought about that as I stood on the corner of Fairport and Marsh Roads this week as the funeral procession for Officer Pierson passed by. The line of police cars stretched as far as the eye could see down Fairport Road and then down Marsh Road to the cemetery. Car after car was filled with officers in uniform, windows rolled down, thanking us as we thanked them. I suspect their tears of mourning were mingled with tears of gratitude.

I was touched by that. They deserve more than a thank you in the midst of tragedy.

So in the coming weeks and months, I’d like to invite you to join me in taking time to thank our area police officers, wherever you live. I’ve compiled a list of addresses (below) for the Rochester Police Department, Monroe County Sheriff’s substations, New York State Police, and local towns and villages in Monroe County with their own police departments. I’ve also include the mailing information in case you wanted to send a card directly to the Pierson family.

It’s pretty simple: just send a note, a card, a postcard to your local police department and say thank you. It can be that simple or you can be more elaborate with your message. But take the time to send an actual card (vs. an email) – write the address, put a stamp on it, take a few moments to actually pay attention to the gratitude that you’re sending to the men and women who protect our community every day. Do it once, do it once a month, do it whenever you think of Officer Pierson and his family.

I hope you’ll join me in taking time to recognize and thank the officers who are on duty, right now, while you’re reading this.

CONTACT YOUR LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENT:

(Note: I did my best to get every department in Monroe County on the list, but if you notice one missing, by all means just let me know and I’ll add it. Thanks! List updated 12/7/2014)

ROCHESTER POLICE DEPARTMENT

Rochester Police Department
Office of the Chief
City Public Safety Building
185 Exchange Blvd.
Rochester NY 14614

Rochester Police Department
Patrol Division West
1099 Jay Street
Rochester, NY 14611

Rochester Police Department
Patrol Division East
630 North Clinton Avenue
Rochester, NY 14605

Rochester Police Department
Special Operations Division
261 Child Street
Rochester, NY 14611

(Special Opertaions includes: Tactical Section, Mounted Section, Traffic Enforcement Section, Bomb Squad, Emergency Task Force, SCUBA Squad, Hostage Negotiation Team, Emotionally Disturbed Person Response Team (EDPRT), Mobile Field Force, Youth Services Section, City Security, Special Investigation Section)

Rochester Police Department
Animal Services Center
184 Verona Street
Rochester, NY 14608

Rochester Police Department
Downtown Office
30 North Clinton Avenue
Rochester, NY 14604

MONROE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT

Monroe County Sheriff HQ
130 S. Plymouth Ave.
Rochester, NY  14614

Monroe County Sheriff Zone A substation
89 Linden Avenue
Pittsford, NY 14534

Monroe County Sheriff Zone B
245 Summit Point Drive
Henrietta, NY 14467

Monroe County Sheriff Zone C substation
2330 Union Street
Spencerport, NY 14559

Monroe County Sheriff
Monroe County Jail
130 S. Plymouth Ave
Rochester NY 14614-2209

Monroe County Sheriff
Monroe County Correctional Facility
750 E Henrietta Rd
Rochester NY 14623-1406

LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENTS

Brighton Police Department
2300 Elmwood Ave
Rochester, NY 14618

Brockport Police Department
One Clinton Street
Brockport, NY 14420

East Rochester Police Department
254 West Ivy Street
East Rochester, New York 14445

Fairport Police Department
31 S Main St
Fairport, NY 14450

Gates Police Department
1605 Buffalo Road
Gates, New York 14624

Greece Police Department
400 Island Cottage Rd
Rochester, NY 14612

Irondequoit Police Department
1280 Titus Avenue
Rochester, New York 14617

Ogden Police Department
269 Ogden Center Rd
Spencerport, NY 14559

Webster Police Department
1000 Ridge Rd.
Webster, NY  14580

NEW YORK STATE POLICE

New York State Police Troop E (HQ)
1569 Rochester Road
Canandaigua, NY 14425-0220

New York State Police Troop E (Rochester)
1155 Scottsville Road
Suite 400
Rochester, NY 14624

New York State Police Troop E (Churchville)
PO Box 311
Riga Town Hall
6460 Buffalo Road
Churchville, NY 14428

New York State Police Troop E (Geneseo)
5831 Groveland Stn. Rd.
Rt 63
Mt. Morris, NY 14510

New York State Police Troop E (Lima)
PO Box 543
Lima, NY 14485

New York State Police Troop E (Naples)
Naples Village Hall
106 Main Street
Naples, NY 14512

New York State Police Troop E (Penfield)
1985 Baird Road
Penfield, NY 14526

FBI, US MARSHALS, DEA, US CUSTOMS, BORDER PATROL

US Customs and Border Patrol – Rochester Station
171 Pattonwood Drive Rochester, NY 14617

FBI, US Marshals, and DEA
100 State St Rochester, NY 14614

NYS DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

NYSDEC Officers (Region 8)
6274 E. Avon-Lima Rd.
Avon, NY 14414

THE PIERSON FAMILY
(Note: In addition to his wife Amy and young children Christian (4 years old) and Charity (three months old), Daryl Pierson is survived by his father, Steve R. Pierson; his mother, Deborah J. Pierson; his sister, Patty (Greg VanFleet) Pierson; his brother, Brett Pierson; his sister, Julie Pierson; mother & father-in-law, Amy’s parents Mitch & Joan Evans; and lots of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles & cousins. I would imagine any and all of his family would appreciate notes of condolences.)

The Family of Officer Daryl Pierson
c/o The Rochester Police Locust Club, Inc.
1425 Lexington Avenue
Rochester, New York 14606

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5 responses to “It’s time to say “Thank You” to our police officers

  1. cori.miller19@gmail.com

    The Ogden Police Department was left off of this list. So sad!!!
    269 Ogden Center Rd
    Spencerport, NY 14559
    **** Please edit this article, no one should be left behind

  2. cori.miller19@gmail.com

    Thank you so much!! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Bob Lonsberry’s cancelled rally and showing support for local police | Rochester Night & Day

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