McPherson Police were honored last night with an Appreciation Banquet, after which McPherson’s Police Chief Rob McClarty expressed his own appreciation for everyone who made it successful.
“The public, everyone that was involved from top to bottom,” said Chief McClarty, “It was a fantastic evening for the department, it really was.”
The banquet was well-attended by local supporters, community leaders, and even Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.
“I want to pay tribute to [McPherson] Police Department Chaplain Dick Reynolds, First Presbyterian Church, he sowed the seed,” McPherson’s Mayor Tom Brown said. “It was well-attended; there was good support.”
Approximately 40 different citizens and businesses from the McPherson community attending the banquet made donations that will go toward the purchase of new body armor for McPherson police officers, as Mayor Brown further explained.
“Our police department will be equipped with a new plate for their body armor that will have the ability to stop a high-speed rifle shot,” which is the kind of shot that killed two police officers last summer in Dallas.
Mayor Brown continued to thank those who organized and attended the police banquet, but mostly he wanted to thank police officers and their families for serving our community.
“As I sat and looked over that whole group where they had their families and their children there, [I thought], we forget that the police department is not the guy that you see in uniform, but that whole family is operating to support that man in a patrol car on the streets.
“So I would encourage citizens to thank first responders for their service,” Mayor Brown said. “They put themselves in harm’s way; it’s stressful for families. Just a kind word here and there goes a long way.”
Mayor Brown asked that the community thank police officers and other first responders in much the same way we would thank a military soldier in uniform.
“I hope that as a community we can do that,” he added. “These celebrations are great, but it would be nice throughout the year to have people thanking you for your service – fire department, police department, EMS…
“And even, when we have a storm,” Mayor Brown continued, “We’ve got guys out there working lines from the BPU. I consider them a part of first responder also.”
Mayor Brown went on to say that he believes the more we build positive relationships with local law enforcement, the less chance we have of anything negative happening in our own community.