Women’s group distributes goody bags with poems to police officers

This week, Jackson County is recognizing Seymour police officers for their sacrifice and diligence in keeping our community safe.

National Police Week runs through Saturday, and today is Peace Officers Memorial Day.

The special week has been celebrated since 1962 when President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation declaring May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which it falls as National Police Week.

In honor of hardworking law enforcement officers, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will light the White House in blue today.

Americans are encouraged to display the flag from their homes and businesses today, and flags will be flown at half-staff in special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

A local group, Women Behind the Badge, is recognizing law enforcement in a different way by delivering treats to Seymour police officers.

After all, even police officers like a goody bag now and then.

This group of women should know because the group was formed three years ago by Seymour police officers’ wives as a way to help recognize their husbands, but it also has become a support group for the wives.

“A policeman’s wife started it in the fall of 2017 and invited all significant others of police officers,” group member Natasha Miller said. “Our first meeting was at the Donald Winn FOP to play bunco. We try to add the significant others to our group as new officers and reserves are hired.”

Miller said one purpose of the group is to establish friendships with other police officers’ spouses and girlfriends to be able to help the department as a unit, such as provide goodies for police week and other events they see fit.

“The group meets periodically throughout the year for dinner and games. Lots of people don’t understand the law enforcement officer way of life,” Miller said. “Officers work long hours, weekends and holidays. It is nice to be able to talk to other people that live a similar life as you.”

There are 29 members in the Women Behind the Badge private Facebook group, and there also are some other members not on Facebook.

The group donated snacks and other small items for the gift bags given to the Seymour Police Department this week.

The women do something special every year for National Police Week, such as the bags, small treats or hot meals during police shifts.

“This year, we decided to make bags for everyone that worked at the Seymour Police Department,” Miller said. “The officers all got a bag with one poem written by an officer’s wife, and everyone else got a bag with a different poem and slightly different goodies.”

They began organizing the project in February and had originally planned to meet at the end of April to put together the goody bags and have a game night, but due to the COVID-19 restrictions, they had to cancel that gathering.

So instead, one of the group members did porch pickups to gather all of the supplies that the other women had signed up to donate.

Over the course of a few days, the bags were ready to go for 44 officers and 21 Seymour Police Department staff members and were delivered Monday morning.

Miller said she admires each officers’ courage, commitment, instincts and nerve. Being a police officer isn’t for everyone, and she is glad there are men and women who choose a career to help protect and serve others.

“Police officers are committed to serving others and put their lives on the line every day for the citizens,” Miller said. “I think it is important to recognize the sacrifices they make to help protect and serve the citizens.”