I have enjoyed for over sixteen years being able to say that my brother was the Chief of Police in Wake Forest, North Carolina. So, let me say it now...my brother is the Chief of Police in Wake Forest, North Carolina. I can keep saying that for about thirteen more hours as of this writing as he has retired effective at mid-night tonight, December 31st, 2009.
Tuesday night I attended his retirement dinner given by the town of Wake Forest. The venue was nice, the food was good (heavy hors d'oeuvres) and the crowd was impressive. A very, very cold night in the middle of a busy Holiday season could have meant a scarce crowd but the place (actually a large heated ... almost ... tent attached to a beautiful old home which is rented for social events) was packed.
One after one, officers, town management, state officials, town employees, organizational leaders and two family members (my oldest sister and I) shared stories and appreciation and many many plagues and gifts and items of recognition.
When Greg went to Wake Forest, they were a town of just over 6,000 people and 14 employees in the police department. Today the town is over 27,000 people and the police department has 64 employees which includes 54 officers. They have their own training department and the police department has been called one of the best in the state with highly trained personnel and state of the art equipment. The crime rate in Wake Forest is amoung the lowest in the state in spite of the rapid growth and close proximity to Raleigh.
Greg is a graduate of the F.B.I. Academy and has sent several of his officers through the academy as well. He was the first to receive the first police science degree offered at Elizabeth City State University where he was an Honor graduate.
He has served as preisdent of N.C. Police Chief's Association and the state board of Special Olympics and the State D.A.R.E. program.
Greg served on the Roanoke Rapids Police department for several years was Chief of Police in Weldon, NC prior to going to Wake Forest.
I said Tuesday night and I repeat here, Chief Greg Harrington is my hero! I am very proud of him. We came from very humble beginnings and Greg has truly been an example of success and all along doing it with strong Christian values.
I was greatly moved Tuesday night by the constant mention by his peers of his strong Christian convictions and lifestyle. That's not something you hear a lot about at that level and that blesses me deeply.
I love my family and am very proud of my brother and very grateful for all the influence he has had on me and my family.
Friday, December 4, 2009
I wrote this poem for the Step of Faith 13th annual Christmas Concert today.
Remember when life was simplier and coke was something you drank.
Remember when it wasn't abuse to give your child a little spank.
Remember three channels, four if your attena was just right.
Remember leaving your doors unlocked when you went to bed at night.
Remember your first telephone and you probably had a party line.
Remember wearing a cross to work, and everything was just fine.
Remember playing after lunch, just be home when the street lights came on.
Remember turning on the radio and actually understanding the song.
Remember having to get out of the chair just to turn the channel.
Remember when modern technology was teaching the bible with a board and some flannel.
Remember when the whole family ate together at the table.
Remember when being a Christian was not a negative label.
Remember when respect was shown when the National Anthem was played.
Remember when marriage meant, no matter what, we both commit to stay.
Remember waking on Christmas morning full of excitement and glee,
And being overwhelmed with just one or two presents under the tree.
Remember when someone told you that we are in need of saving grace.
Well, please always remember the love found in Jesus' face.
For many things have changed and few have stayed the same,
but Christmas is about eternal life ... found only in Jesus Name!