Helping to facilitate positive interactions between the community and law enforcement is a task that the Kiwanis Club of Wetumpka has gladly taken on.
The club, which was chartered a year ago, is kicking off its Thumbs-Up Thursdays initiative this month. On the third Thursday of each month, the Kiwanis Club is asking residents to thank every law enforcement officer they come across during the day, according to Kiwanis Club secretary Anna Chappelle. Residents could also give them a thumbs-up as they pass by.
Chappelle said the club is also printing signs for local businesses to place in their windows to remind people about Thumbs-Up Thursdays.
“Our officers will also see those signs as they pass by and they’ll know that the community is thinking of them,” Chappelle said.
Chappelle said the Concerned Citizens Organized for Police Support program started the Thumbs-Up Thursdays initiative.
cCOPs was founded in Montgomery by Jack Galassini with the mission of improving “communication between law enforcement and citizens throughout the country while also honoring the officers who make daily sacrifices to serve their communities.”
Galassini said he began developing the program in 2017 and it officially kicked off in 2018. In addition to Montgomery and Wetumpka, the program has a presence in Auburn, Tuscaloosa and Gadsden.
Galassini said he founded the organization on the belief that once citizens and law enforcement officers get to know each other, their interactions will be friendlier.
“If we don’t know each other, chances are that we’re not going to be as friendly,” he said. “Once we get to know each other, that’s when we start breaking down the barriers.”
Galassini said Thumbs-Up Thursday is a form of communication to say, ‘You’re doing a good job’ or ‘Thanks for what you’re doing.’
The Kiwanis Club has adopted cCOPs as their club’s outreach program. Chappelle said the club was searching for meaningful ways to serve and felt that this organization would give them a chance to have a good impact in the community.
“Being and officer can be a thankless job,” Chappelle said. “With many of the current trends in our country, with regards to law enforcement, we wanted to show our Elmore County law enforcement that we do truly support them.”
Chappelle also encourages area residents to consider joining the Kiwanis Club. Meetings are held regularly at Hampton Inn on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at noon. Residents can also follow the club’s Facebook page, Kiwanis Club of Wetumpka, Alabama.