May Message from Chief Parry
The month of May is about celebrations and recognitions. This is a special time for many of us here at the Coral Springs Police Department and throughout our community. Although it has been a tough year, we have much to be grateful for!
May 4th is Teacher Appreciation Day. One of the most valuable items we can give to our children is a good education. The COVID-19 pandemic made traditional learning impossible. It forced our teachers to find new ways to teach their students. It wasn’t easy, but our teachers were up for the task. As we return to normal and welcome students back in our classrooms, we should thank our teachers for overcoming difficult obstacles and having the patience and perseverance to educate our children under the most difficult circumstances. Please join me in celebrating and honoring our teachers.
May 6th - 12th we celebrate “Nurse’s Week” and May 9th – 15th is “Hospital Appreciation Week.” I hope you all would agree with me that the last year has brought into focus how special our nurses, doctors and other hospital employees are. During the pandemic, they worked long hours, treating sick patients, and saving lives. These brave folks put themselves in harm’s way as they cared for others. They are truly heroes. We are very fortunate to have several fantastic hospitals in our area, including our very own Broward Health Coral Springs. The wonderful staff of dedicated professionals do a fantastic job of caring for our sick. Please help me celebrate them by thanking them for all they do!
May 9th – 15th is National Police Week, the week where we celebrate police officers and honor those offices who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their communities. I have always been proud to be a police officer. I am even more proud to be the Chief of the Coral Springs Police Department, a department that I believe is one of the finest police agencies in the nation. During Police Week, our citizens traditionally shower our officers with compliments, cards, gifts and accolades. We are so fortunate to have citizens who support our police and I am very grateful for all of you. But this year I am going to ask you for something different. I am going to ask you help us stem the tide of negativity toward our profession. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not asking you to stop questioning what you see or calling out bad behavior. You should do that. But I am asking you to get the facts before passing judgement.
Anyone who follows me knows that I was publicly critical of the actions of Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin. On April 20, Derek Chauvin was convicted on all counts in the death of George Floyd. Several hours after that verdict, a Columbus, Ohio police officer shot and killed Ma’khia Bryant as she was about to stab another girl with a knife. Before the facts of the case were revealed, many high-profile figures like LeBron James and Benjamin Crump immediately took to social media and demonized the officer. Mr. Crump incorrectly stated that the officer “killed an unarmed 15-year-old Black girl named Makiyah Bryant”. LeBron James posted a picture of the officer saying, “You’re Next”. These anti-police tweets push a false narrative that their followers believe. This behavior is divisive and dangerous. Some members of our national media edited the 911 call, leaving out the part where the caller says a girl is “trying to stab us” and didn’t show the knife in the hand of Ms. Bryant before she was shot. We are bombarded with a false narrative every day, and that narrative shapes our perception of all police officers.
Just this week I received an e-mail from a resident in reference to her daughter being pulled over which stated “being 16-years-old and seeing all the police brutality on TV, [she] felt scared when stopped by one of our own cops”. It has become “en vogue” to demonize the police and the national false narrative has crept into our little corner of the world. This behavior is reckless and dangerous, and it must stop. So, this year, during National Police Week, I ask you all to get the facts on use of force incidents before you pass judgement or take to social media with an anti-law enforcement tweet. I am asking this not only for our officers, but for all of you, because when the wolf convinces the sheep that the sheepdog is dangerous and must be removed, that is when the wolves will feast.
We close out May with Memorial Day on Monday, May 31st. While many of us will spend time during Memorial Day Weekend entertaining family and friends with a BBQ, I would ask all of us to take a moment to remember those servicemen and women who have died while serving in the U.S. military. We should honor those who gave their lives to protect this great nation. Please take some time to remember those brave soldiers.
I will end this as I started it. The month of May is about celebrations and recognitions. I hope you all take the time to honor the teachers, nurses, hospital personnel, police officers and veterans who lost their lives in the service to our nation. I know I will. If you haven’t already, please connect with me on Facebook @ChiefParry.