A Thank You Letter
As you might imagine, I receive many letters, emails, and phone messages here at the department.
Most letters include complaints or concerns that range from neighborhood nuisances to safety issues that require our quick action. Recently, most complaints have been about transients and their bad behavior in parks and other public places.
Sometimes I receive a complaint simply because someone doesn’t like the way an officer stands, with a hand resting on his gun because the officer “looks a bit too serious.” Once in a while I’ll get a complaint about an officer who just gave someone a ticket for speeding. “Couldn't the officer find something more important to do?” they ask me. Sometimes, however, complaints bring important issues to light.
When people disagree with our actions or are concerned about an employee’s performance, we need to know. We take complaints seriously and fully investigate each one. If you have a complaint about employee performance, please contact us either in-person here at the station, by emailing your concern to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling us on the phone.
If Spanish is your preferred language, you can report to us in Spanish with one of our bilingual staff members or using the Spanish version of our complaint forms (available at our department during regular business hours).
I can’t remember a day when we haven’t received a little constructive criticism. And I have to say, that is one of the things I appreciate most about our community. Yes, you read that right. Because constructive criticism means people care. As an old football coach used to tell us, “We shout, because we care.”
Caring, I think, is the cornerstone of leadership. It's actually the reason for leading. Although budgets and bottom lines are important, it's caring for people that really matters.
If I had to ask Ukiah Police Department employees to exhibit just one trait, I’d ask them to care about those they serve, to care about how their actions and performance affect our entire community.
So needless to say, I was thrilled when our department received this letter:
To the Men and Women of the Ukiah Police Force,
Thank You. I would like to say thank you so much for your caring service to our community.
I know that many would say that you pick on them or are prejudiced towards them. I do not believe that this is the case.
I know that you see everyday the worst our community has to offer. You see the poor results of choices that we sometimes make as humans. Also the pain and suffering that come of those choices.
Because you have chosen a fairly small community to serve in, you are in a position to become familiar with those that get mired in those choices.
I know that you have hope for these people to pull themselves out and realize their potential.
My son has been pulled over, or I should say, “caught” many times. Too many. He has struggled, it may be a while before he is completely on to again. He may slip again, I hope and pray he does not.
I thank you for every time you have stopped him in his tracks. I know that he would be dead, would have died long ago, if not for your watchful care over our community and your personal care for him. I know that you care about my son, that he is one of the many (unfortunately) that you watch for in your efforts to protect our community and them.
I know that if my son had not had these “checks” in his life that he would have gone on to do something that would have devastated his soul.
I cannot adequately express how grateful I am for your service.
This letter really gives me an opportunity to reflect on what we can be grateful for. On the behalf of our community’s public safety personnel, I must say how much we appreciate the opportunity to serve this great community.
I am also deeply thankful for the courageous, caring approach our officers, firefighters, and dispatchers demonstrate day after day, year after year.
Every single day our public safety personnel respond to a host of emergencies and calls for help, which puts them in a position to see some of our community’s worst problems. Yet, despite the problems–and some criticism–these dedicated people get up and go to work again the next day because they get tremendous satisfaction out of helping others.
Our community is very lucky to have such caring and dedicated public safety personnel–people who want nothing more than to serve and improve our great community.
I truly couldn’t be happier to share this fantastic letter with our entire community. It shows me that some community members really understand what we’re trying to do.
Every place I turn, I find both citizens and our employees who work to make our community better because of their energy, drive, and determination to improve the lives of others.
I am extremely proud of our personnel and our department’s accomplishments, and I am happy to have opportunities to share a letter about our department and our personnel with the entire community.
As always, our department’s mission is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have any suggestions or comments about how we can improve, please feel free to call me, complete our online survey, or leave a crime tip on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com.