When the snow flies, first responders, police are out on the roads

When we think about first responders, we think of them responding to traffic accidents, fires, searching for missing loved ones. They are generally associated with what could be traumatic events in our lives.

And, if we’re honest, most of us cringe if we see police lights in our rearview mirror.

But police officers are often the first line of defense when it comes helping us during an emergency.

According to the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards, a police officer’s fundamental duty is to serve the community; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and peaceful against violence and disorder; and to respect the constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality and justice.

That’s a tall order under any circumstances. But our local law enforcement and other agencies respond well to potentially emergent situations — and lots of them.

Anyone who listened to the police scanner on Thursday, during the heart of a snow and ice storm, had to be impressed with local law enforcement’s willingness to help. Traveling in treacherous weather themselves to assist with all sorts of calls, despite the fact that snow was falling an inch or more an hour.

Several calls related to drivers who were unable to get up the hills in Marquette, traffic had to be directed or blocked until the car could make it out of the situation.

First responders were there. Numerous cars went into the ditch, first responders were on the scene again making sure the vehicle could be safely extricated.

There were a few accidents in Marquette County during the storm but many others were likely prevented by our first responders, including police and fire departments. Another of MCOLES codes of ethics calls for an officer to “recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service.”

And let’s not forget the plow drivers who work tirelessly to plow, sand and salt the roads to make them passable again.

Our first responders, including dispatchers worked as a team to help the community, and while it’s not unusual, it’s worth noting.

We owe them all a debt of gratitude, not just for the help they provided during the storm, but for the things they do every day to keep residents safe and to keep the peace.


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