Essential Service for Those in Need in Difficult Times

John Abel

Police officers are essential workers, but do not forget about the people we serve in our community who are jobless and struggling. Their tempers and patience may become shortened, but they will keep looking to us as first responders to continue to do our jobs. At times like this, I am reminded of a quote from John F. Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” As an essential profession in our community, we continue to receive pay and benefits that many others have stopped receiving. I have reached out to relatives and friends who I know are struggling and offered them help because I feel it’s the right thing to do. I am going to buy groceries and deliver them to a food bank in the Las Vegas area. I reached out to other officers with large families who I thought would be too proud to ask for help and offered my help to them as well. As police officers, we make a good living, and in times like this I would hope that we all find ways to give back to the communities we serve.

These are difficult and unprecedented times, and much will be required of us to get through them as best we can. I hope that every police officer who reads this article will self-reflect and remember what is important in times like these. When I self-reflect, the two words that ring clear are selfless and sacrifice. What can I do make this journey easier? If money becomes an issue, reach out to your mortgage and car loan providers and ask for a loan forbearance for 90 days. Do not be afraid to not have all of the answers and reach out to those entities that can provide answers. We will have some of the same hardships that the public has, but they will look to us for guidance on how to handle them.

Be that guardian of society that we all know how to be. Show up to shopping centers that provide an early shopping hour for senior citizens and ensure no one is waiting in the parking lot waiting to victimize them. Your presence will calm people’s fears. Remember, if we fall, the city falls. In times like these, we become the last line of defense against the people who will try to prey upon citizens of Las Vegas. Hopefully by the time you read this, the worst will be over and we can move into recovery. Recovery for our resort city will be tough, but with our help, recovery will happen and it will prosper once again.

The key things we should be focused on are keeping ourselves safe, maintaining our professionalism and limiting our exposure to the virus. Keep up to date with the COVID-19-related information put out by the Department. Read the daily COVID-19 SITREP posted on the intranet. Take extra time to put on your PPE and report exposure on an occupational injury form in a timely manner before the end of shift. If you have any questions about COVID-19 or related work issues, please call me at any time, 24/7, at (702) 468-0766.