Message delivered by Alderman C. Paul Smith at the May 2009 Police Academy Graduation Ceremonies in the Weinberg Center.
Chief Dine, Frederick Police Officers, Honored Guests, and Candidates . . . .
It is my honor to be here, and on behalf of Mayor Holtzinger, to say a few words to the graduates and families of the 30th class of the Frederick City Police Academy in connection with their successful completion of that training.
In many respects the Frederick City Police is the face of the City—How you carry yourselves and how you carry out your responsibilities reflects on the City government and on the entire community that your protect and serve.
I believe that many of you regard the work of a police officer as a mission or calling to serve your fellow citizens—your brothers and sisters, if you will—to protect and defend your fellow citizens, and especially the weak, the young, the ill and the aged. I commend you for these desires. Those whose lives are devoted to service to their fellow man are the happiest and the greatest people. Your successful completion of the training course qualifies you for this glorious opportunity for service. Those who lose themselves in the service of others truly find themselves and find the key to happiness in life.
The families of officers and trainees share in making many of the sacrifices that are required of police officers. We certainly acknowledge this. We thank you families—wives, husbands, parents and children of police officers—for your support, without which the officers would not be able to tackle such enormous tasks.
As you all know, not everyone can qualify to become a police officer. To become a Frederick City Police Officer, one must possess the qualities of self discipline, courage, knowledge, skill and integrity. There is no virtue in ignorance, but there is great power in knowledge. To this end your training course has assisted you in learning about Frederick City, our roads, our stores, our parks, our homes, our people, our laws, and the multitude of procedures to govern your work. The training course has assisted you to develop observation and analysis and communication skills, and to develop multiple self-defense skills. And most importantly, under the exemplary leadership of Chief Kim Dine, you have been taught (or had reinforced) the habits of courtesy, decisiveness, patience, self-control, assertiveness and the proper use of force.
The acquisition of these attributes enables a police officer to be cool and composed under the most intense pressures, and to act with strength, skill and courage in the line of fire. Such men and women are the epitome of greatness. Congratulations to each of you on qualifying to join such an elite group of heroes. Thank you for your commitment to service, and God bless you in this noble endeavor.