It would be an understatement to say the past couple weeks have been anything other than routine. Among other events, this week revealed the culmination of a county-wide effort to prevent a potentially tragic situation. There were a number of other events here in Northfield that placed an emotional strain on our staff as well…so it was with some anticipation that I looked forward to ending this day by taking my turn scooping ice cream at the Summer Opportunities Fair at the Northfield Middle School. For the past few days, I’ve been reading in another web venue about the concern with rude kids and lack of respect. It was gratifying as I scooped ice cream for mostly middle schoolers and younger kids to hear their “thank you” and “please” phrases. The after school activities are a great asset for kids.

I left the Middle School to head to the Northfield Human Rights Commission meeting. The commission is made up of really dedicated volunteers who work to address the concerns of the community and promote education and tolerance. It’s always a pleasure to assist the commissioners as a staff liaison.

After leaving the meeting, I stopped by a local restaurant for a late dinner. I sat in a corner booth and just took in the atmosphere. In the background was the sound of dishes being stacked in the kitchen, silverware clanking against plates and a low murmur of multiple conversations throughout the room woven together by the sound of “Miracles” by Jefferson Starship over the sound system. In an adjacent booth were four teens who were planning a church lock-in. In the booth next to them were two generations of a family sitting and talking about the events of the day.

I made it home in time to talk to my kids before they turned in to learn a bit more about what they did today. I checked some email and found myself here. As I put the words in this blog, I’m reminded that the very normal things in which I participated tonight are what those in law enforcement work so hard to preserve. A lot of cops from many state, federal and local agencies put their own safety on the line this week. Judges and prosecutors faced a very real threat for simply doing their jobs.

The activities I enjoyed tonight that helped me “back to center” are a result of the efforts of those dedicated women and men who keep our community safe.

About Gary Smith

Chief Smith has served over 31 years in the criminal justice field. He is currently a consultant assisting public and private organizations better establish community goals and ethical conduct with the members of their organizations. Chief Smith serves as a facilitator, lecturer, professor and other capacities both inside and outside the criminal justice field.
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