Holiday giving: Look inside the agency

December 09, 2009

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Betsy Brantner Smith Survival Insights
with Betsy Brantner Smith

Tip: Holiday giving: Look inside the agency

Most police agencies are involved in one or more charitable programs — especially during the holidays — and cops are some of the most generous people on the planet. In this economy, you might want to take a look inside your agency and see if there is someone who needs some extra help.

• How about that records clerk with four little kids whose husband lost his job?
• Or the dispatcher undergoing expensive cancer treatment that is having a tough time covering the expenses?
• Or one of your shift mates is supporting himself, his own wife and kids and his elderly parents on one salary?

For all these people, holiday gift-giving can look bleak for the whole family. These are not the type of people to ask for help, so be subtle, ask around, and then take up a collection and use the proceeds to buy grocery or variety store gift cards, or just put the cash in a holiday card signed anonymously: “from your family in blue.”

The financial and emotional impact will probably be felt for years to come, for both the givers and the recipients. It really is better to give than to receive, that’s why we wear the badge and gun.


About the author

Sergeant Betsy Smith has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience, retiring as a patrol supervisor in a large Chicago suburb. A graduate of the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety's School of Staff and Command and a Street Survival seminar instructor for more than 9 years, Betsy is now a speaker, author and a primary PoliceOne Academy consultant. Visit Betsy's website at

Contact Betsy Smith and Follow Betsy on Twitter

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