I was inspired in June when my daughter and her husband decided to do something to counter the loud, but minority voices wanting to tear down the institutions that make our country the greatest in the world. They struggled the most with the way some voices inside and outside our community were treating our local police and fire. These critical institutions are made up of real people with families, our neighbors, our friends and for the most part our younger generation. Her family didn’t get political, they didn’t start a counter protest, they didn’t march on Tempe City Hall.
They quietly went shopping for a couple truck loads of bulk snack items. They gathered their kids (my grand kids) and made a family trip to their local Tempe Fire Station and the closest Police Station. Together the kids unloaded the stacks of snacks and helped the officers and firefighters haul them into the buildings where they would be enjoyed by everyone. Their family didn’t make a big deal about it, they didn’t call the news media, they didn’t want anything in return, they just quietly said thank you as a family to the men and women who protect and serve their community.
As a business owner in Tempe, I recently had the privilege to speak at length with Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir. She’s an amazing and talented leader. I think we’re lucky to have her as our Police Chief. I had called her to ask if there was anything her department needed. I wanted our business to say we appreciated everyone on her team and we want to find a way to show it. We’ve been blessed as a business. I founded our business in Tempe, bought our headquarters building in Tempe, we collect sales taxes for Tempe and we depend on well managed public services to operate. My heart broke when Chief Moir told me that “while she get’s plenty of hate mail, I was the first business during the past couple difficult months who had reached out to say thank you and offer support.”
From that conversation appeared the concept to form a coalition of businesses in our community who could advocate for our police department by simply saying thank you, we appreciate you, we understand what you’re going through and we want to support you. We want to say to our politicians; “This isn’t Seattle or Portland, and as a business community we can only thrive when law and order is respected and upheld. If you want to weaken our Police you will need to answer to the business community that collects your tax revenue and partners to improve life in Tempe.” Frankly, for the most part we’re lucky to have leaders in Tempe who get it, are forward thinking and don’t collapse at the first sign of descent. I just think they need to know our business community is paying attention and we want to partner with them to protect our community for future generations.
I don’t know where this will all end up, but I hope if you’re a business owner or manager in Tempe and you feel like I do, you’ll add your voice to mine. Let’s send a simple message to the Tempe Police Department and City Leaders that we do care about law and order, we do appreciate how hard their jobs are and we want to be part of the solution. Unlike the unruly mob, we don’t have a list of demands, we just want to stand with those who protect and serve.
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