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Christmas Tribute to Police & Responders

Christmas Tribute to Police and First Responders

by Julie Alston, Municipal Judge -

City of Huntington and City of Zavalla

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose”… Yes, it is that time of year. A season of time with family, wonderful food, and great joy as we celebrate the Savior’s birth. But, there is always a down side to every holiday, especially on our highways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), December is the deadliest month of the year for traffic fatalities. In the month of December, 41% of fatalities occur on New Year’s Eve, and 38% occur at Christmas. And every accident involves many, many hours of time from law enforcement and first responders.

During the holidays, our local police officers have extra duties, and it is their duty to patrol for traffic violations when the number of vehicles on the road increase, when alcohol may be involved, and when there are so many distractions for drivers. Remember to thank our local law enforcement officers for protecting us and serving us, because they are missing holiday time with their own families to make our holidays safer and enjoyable.

I ran across the following poem for police officers, fashioned after “The Night Before Christmas”, and I thought it was fitting for this time of year.

A Cop’s Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas,

Yet he slept all alone.

In a one-bedroom house,

Made of plaster and stone.

I had come down the chimney

With presents to give,

And to see just what man

In this small house did live.

I looked all about,

What a strange site to see.

No tinsel, no presents,

Not even a tree.

No stockings by the fire,

Just boots spit-shined bright.

Then something else gleamed,

Reflecting the moonlight.

They were medals and badges,

Awards of all kinds.

And a sobering thought

Soon came to my mind.

For this house was different,

Unlike any I’d topped.

This was the home of an officer,

The home of a cop.

I’d heard stories about “them”,

And I had to see more.

So I walked down the hall,

And pushed open the door.

And there he lay sleeping,

Silent and alone.

Curled up on his bed,

In this one-bedroom home.

He seemed so gentle,

His face weathered tan,

I soon understood

That this was more than a man.

For I realized the families

That I saw this night,

Owed their lives to these people

Who were willing to fight.

Soon round the nation

The children would play,

And grown-ups would celebrate

On a bright Christmas day.

They all enjoyed safety

Each month, and all year

Because of officers like him,

This man lying here.

I couldn’t help wonder

How many were on patrol.

All alone on Christmas Eve

Out in the shivering cold.

I watched him for hours,

So silent and so still,

And I noticed that he shivered,

From the cold nights chill.

So I took off my jacket,

The one made of red.

And I covered this officer

From his toes to his head.

Then I put on His jacket

With the badge of silver and gold,

With the words ‘Police Officer’

Emblazoned so bold.

Though it barely fit me

I began to swell with pride,

And for one shining moment

I was an officer inside.

I didn’t want to leave him

So quiet in the night,

This guardian of justice,

So willing to fight.

But half asleep he rolled over,

And in a voice clean and pure

Said, “Carry on Santa –

it’s Christmas, All here is secure.”

One look at my watch

And I knew he was right.

Merry Christmas my friend,

Code four and good night.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas from your Municipal Court and staff!

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