It's a trying time for all and we're all noticing more and more of our "essential workers". For those of us who have been around for a while though, our first lesson in "essential" was when the USA was attacked on September 11th in 2001. It's a day that no one alive at the time will ever forget, and it's a day too that we all stopped for a minute and thought about just what goes on in the life of our Police, Fire and EMT workers and how they run in to the emergency, when all of us run away from it.
Today, the enemy isn't as easily seen, but our first responders still have a job to do. The devastation on a national level is immense and thankfully, with the suggestions from the CDC and health officials, we've kept our level of infection and death to a minimum in Muskegon County, although one death is too many from any type illness. It's not been an easy time for anyone and for those who have the job to do of trying to maintain safety and order while everyone else is busy trying to avoid any close contact, it's not been an easy task.
Everything from directives coming down from the State level, sometimes up to hour by hour, to figuring out ways to handle the jail population's safety and the safety of our law enforcement community has been the task of Sheriff Michael Poulin and the other 10 agencies here in the county. Let's face it, there are situations that will arise for the men and women of law enforcement that will not allow for the proper use of social distancing, use of personal protection equipment (PPE) or give them the opportunity to do a quick scan with a thermometer to see if someone they might have to interact with is spiking a fever. Yes, they are police and fire fighters, they knew they were getting into a risky business, but they also have family at home and their community to live in. It's a scary time for everyone.
Measures had to be taken quickly. Policy had to be implemented immediately and then maybe changed a short time later. Protection needed to be set up for the population housed in the Muskegon County Jail and ways had to be figured out through all the proper legal channels how to minimize the risk to them while making sure that the violent offenders were still in place. It's a whirl wind of decisions that need to be made with a cool head, clear vision and the ability to be the "calm in the storm" when there is so much turbulence coming from every direction.
Sheriff Michael Poulin has been at the point of all of this. Working day and night to make sure that everything is being taken care of in Muskegon County to assure our safety and order. He was able to spend a few minutes today talking about the actions that his office as well as other law enforcement in Muskegon County have taken to hold us all together and keep us safe. While he's well aware that tensions are not going away anytime soon, the ask is simply for patience and kindness as people process what we're all going through their own way. We talked about that and how law enforcement has adapted to our times....for the time being, take a listen.
We're all thankful, right? We can wave flags, we can honk horns. We can watch police and fire do drive by birthday parades for kids and we can share them all on our social media feeds, but the true gratuity comes from helping make their jobs easier...and safer. Like the Sheriff said...it's as simple as practicing courtesy, kindness and understanding of what the "other guy" might be going through during all of this. If we agree or disagree with an order or mandate, doesn't mean someone else's thought pattern has to match and that "we're in this together" means that giving each other a little space will go a long way for us as individuals and in helping make our most essential workers jobs a little easier, and a little safer in some very trying times. Our many thanks to Sheriff Poulin for finding a few minutes today to talk with us. You can visit the Sheriff's website by clicking below.