BY MATTHEW FOGAL
“One Team, One Fight.” That is forever. It steadfastly means something special here and has always meant something in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, particularly within our law enforcement family.
It has been my creed literally since day one as District Attorney and when my time comes, I would happily accept that on my grave marker. “One Team One Fight” essentially means that we cannot survive on our own and that we are never fully functional unless we collaborate. We cannot do it alone, and I am very grateful for the special relationships we have maintained as a law enforcement TEAM.
President John F. Kennedy is remembered as one of our greatest American presidents. In our collective national memory, however, he is unfortunately first associated with his assassination on Nov. 22, 1963.
What many do not recognize this many years later is that just six months prior to that, President Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated that May 15 would be annually recognized as Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the entire week would likewise be annually recognized as Police Week. He encouraged the citizenry of this nation “to observe Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week in this year and each succeeding year with appropriate ceremonies in which all our people may join in commemorating law enforcement officers, past and present, who by their faithful and loyal devotion to their responsibilities have rendered a dedicated service to their communities.”
So we should observe this upcoming 2022 Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week appropriately. Our local officers, troopers, deputies, detectives, agents and rangers have dedicated themselves, selflessly, to our safety and security. Well beyond just police unions, broader criminal justice systems or police agency management, the actual “rank and file” men and women individually and personally deserve our continued support and thankfulness. In doing so, let us always be careful to ensure that our support or any additional commentary is genuinely heartfelt and thoughtful, rather than a meaningless slogan or talking point, or merchandise. Each individual serving deserves so much better than that.
One team, one fight. Together and intrepid, whatever may come.
Matthew Fogal is the district attorney of Franklin County.