Milford Teen Celebrates ‘Thank an Officer Day’

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Skylar Parnell, a sophomore at Milford High School, has been the chairperson for “Thank an Officer Day” for the past four years. In an era when police officers are sometimes unappreciated, Ms. Parnell said she wanted to take time to thank the Milford Police Department for all the work they do.

On Saturday, September 16, Ms. Parnell delivered signed posters and thank you cards from local daycare centers to the Milford Police Department. In addition, she delivered baked goods and other items that were delivered to her booth at the Riverwalk Farmer’s Market that morning to the department as a token of the community’s appreciation for what officers do.

“Thank a Police Officer Day is a national event that takes place on September 16,” Ms. Parnell explained. “Local residents are encouraged to join us in recognizing local law enforcement officers. The event was launched by the Whole Truth Project in 2012 as a way to let police officers know we appreciate all they do.”

The Whole Truth Project was founded by Andrew Hale, who is also a founder of Andrew M. Hale & Associates, one of the top law firms in the country with a reputation for defending police officers in high profile cases. The Whole Truth Project, which was created as a Facebook page, has grown rapidly. In its first year, the project boasted over 600 Team Captain volunteers like Ms. Parnell whose mission is to share the good police do throughout communities rather than focus on the negatives.

“It’s such an easy thing to do,” Mr. Hale has said. “Just vocally share gratitude. The job of a policeman is difficult and dangerous. Their loved ones never know when a kiss goodbye is their last one.” Mr. Hale said that the purpose of his organization is to help people focus on the thousands of good police officers rather than on the few bad ones that seem to gain most of the attention.

Starting in 2012, The Whole Truth Project began holding Thank a Police Officer Day events. The goal is to host the event starting the third week of September. Since all communities are different, celebrations are held on different days during that week. In 2017, the week runs from Saturday, September 16 to Friday, September 22.

“Police help us every day,” Ms. Parnell said. “They are there to help make this world a better place. They are also members of a family. They are mother’s, father’s, brothers, sister’s, uncles, aunts and even grandparents. The fact that they put their life on the line every day to protect me and my family means a lot to me. I wanted to take the time to recognize all they do and this is just a small way to do it.”

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