outpouring of appreciation shown to local agents during vacation | News, Sports, Jobs


Wheeling Police Department officers Sgt. Dan Finger, Constable Cody McCormick and Sgt. Jason Hupp, left to right, takes custody of another tray of homemade holiday cookies donated to the Wheeling Police Department this week. (Photo provided)

WHEELING – Many Ohio Valley residents will take a day off to celebrate Christmas with their families this weekend, while a number of men and women in uniform will stay on the job to keep the peace and making sure everyone stays safe while on vacation.

Essential workers like police officers, highway patrollers, 911 dispatchers, and sheriff’s assistants are on duty 24/7, and this holiday season and even federal holidays are no exception. During the season of giving, many people recognize the service and sacrifice provided throughout the year by law enforcement and other emergency service agencies.

And their surge of appreciation certainly does not go unnoticed.

In recent weeks, many local agencies have been showered with thanks, Christmas cards, Christmas gifts, chocolates, cookie platters and other treats as gestures and tokens of appreciation from communities for this. what the men and women in blue do.

“It just shows you how much the people in the community come to the aid and appreciation for what MPs do when they’re out there, especially during the holidays,” Belmont County Sheriff Dave Lucas said.

“It’s really nice when people from our community come and show their appreciation to the MPs, as well as our support dogs and our K-9s. It’s awesome. It really makes us feel good to have this support.

According to Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger, Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger, Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger showed community gratitude during the holiday in the friendly town, during the last few weeks.

“We experience this from around Thanksgiving to New Years,” Schwertfeger said, referring to the range of cards, candies and cookies the department receives from local entities this time of year. “I think we all gain five to 10 pounds each over that two month period.”

The show of support has a positive impact on the officers, according to the chief. For those who work long shifts – especially vacation shifts – coworkers and the right people in the community can become an extended family for those who have to spend the holidays away from their own family at home. A job well done can be rewarding in and of itself, and kind gestures from the public often help underscore the important purpose and key role essential workers play – and emphasize that this doesn’t go unnoticed.

“It’s heartwarming,” Schwertfeger said. “There are always police officers on duty, and many young police officers in particular may not be able to spend all day with their families. We try to accommodate everyone as best we can.

Just because most businesses are closed during the holidays, and commerce is mostly limited to travel to and from family events, doesn’t mean a shift makes the workday easier. Even on Christmas Day there are calls for service and often tense situations in which citizens need law enforcement to intervene.

“They may be required to respond to a servant or who knows what else,” Schwertfeger said. “The officers are dedicated, without a doubt. It’s always nice when members of the public express their thanks to the people in the department for their service to the community.

In recent years, police officers in particular have not only had to fight crime and protect citizens at work, but also had to perform their duties despite the COVID-19 pandemic and serve everyone in the community in the face of national narratives. turbulent. which often influence and polarize societal attitudes towards the police.

Sarah Erwin, left, and Alicia Estadt deliver platters of cookies and pastries for officers and even dog treats for K-9 units to the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office to express their appreciation over the holidays for the service that officers provide year round. (Photo by Eric Ayres)

While many local businesses and organizations give special thanks to law enforcement during the holidays, some people make a point of stepping in and showing their appreciation as well.

Alicia Estadt of St. Clairsville has been joined by a rotating team of assistants for a heartwarming holiday blitz to show her thanks to local service agencies over the past several years. This year Sarah Erwin of St. Clairsville and Sarah Hughes of Moundsville helped round out the group, which not only made tons of homemade cookies and pastries, but also put together care packages and treats for officers and the K-9s.

“This is the third year that we’ve been doing it,” Estadt said. “It started out as kind of a random thing, but now we do it every year and we really enjoy it.”

Estadt said she and her friends provide vacation deliveries to the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office, the Ohio State Highway Patrol Station in St. Clairsville, the two service stations in St. Clairsville. Cumberland Trail Fire, Belmont County 911 Dispatch Center and St. Clairsville Police Department.

“I have health issues and I get a lot of help from first responders,” Estadt said. “They always take time away from their families to help people like me and others in the community, so why not do something special to say ‘thank you’? They deserve it.”

Public officials and their supporters can probably agree that at the end of the day, thanking and counting His blessings has always been part of the essence of the holiday season.

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