**FILE** Courtesy of the Metropolitan Police Department via Facebook
**FILE** Courtesy of the Metropolitan Police Department via Facebook

It is neither false nor unthinkable that most cops deserve recognition and even praise for the many ways they put their lives on the line and the extraordinary acts of generosity they contribute to make a city safe and to protect its residents. It is not politically incorrect to celebrate those who have chosen to dedicate their lives in this way.

It is in this vein that MPD’s Seventh District Commander Regis Bryant hosted the Police & Community Awards Dinner, honoring the district’s men and women officers and the citizens who support the district. Bryant, who was promoted to commander in December, reinstated the annual event that hasn’t been held in the past four years. It was a true moment of joy for the capacity-filled room of officers, their families and residents who got a brief snapshot of the daily commitment officers make in neighborhoods in Wards 7 and 8.

Bryant said, “It’s no secret that Seventh District is the busiest and most challenged district as it relates to violent crime.”

Despite reports that crime is down, Bryant’s district is still plagued by gun violence and robberies. Yet, he is proud that none of his officers were lost in the line of duty last year, and that his district still maintains a long-standing reputation for producing some of the best police officers on the MPD.

“I will continue to strive to improve upon this tradition,” said Bryant, a 26-year veteran of MPD.

Two of Seventh District’s youngest recruits, minted on the job just six months ago, said they love being police officers and are happy to be assigned to the Seventh District because, “It’s like a family.” And that’s Bryant’s mission — to achieve a better quality of life through “positive communications, visible goals and mutual understanding” between his diverse group of officers, the residents and business owners in a community that is also becoming more diverse.

But this event was not meant to just allow the officers a chance to pat each other on the back and receive awards for doing what they were hired to do — although it improves morale and strengthens community and police relations. It also serves as a way to say “thank you” to the spouses, parents and especially the children who say goodbye to their loved ones daily, not knowing if they will return home unharmed or alive. Residents joined Commander Bryant in acknowledging their sacrifice which is the biggest of all for the benefit of us all.

We also congratulate to the officers of the Seventh District and all of MPD and say “thank you” for protecting us during these most uncertain times.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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