We have been and are in trying times. The COVID-19 virus has changed the way we live, interact and move about our City. I have observed our City slow and business’s close for weeks on end. Traffic throughout the City was noticeably less. People had fear of the unknown and the information either changed frequently or was confusing. Our citizens suffered from the loss of work and income. Often people found themselves wondering what the next day would bring.
The Police Department has so far been fortunate to not have anyone off work due to illness. I can’t express my gratitude enough to the members of the Police Department who continue to come to work and protect our citizens. Police officers like everyone else have families and fears that they may contract this virus and bring it home to their families, but they are here. They know that law enforcement comes with risks, they accept it. This virus is just but one of the risks police officers face daily. Our first responder partners in Fire and EMS know this as well. We along with our partner agencies have altered some of our responses to help reduce this risk while still providing our core principal of protecting and serving the public.
What I am most proud of is our City and the people, who are strong and resilient. The safer at home guidelines were new and troubling. Our citizens voluntarily complied and this slowed the spread of the virus so that healthcare could ready for a potential increase in services they provide. Thank you for that.
A heartwarming side effect was that although people were apart I think we all became closer, more caring and helpful. I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity in this City. People regularly donated PPE’s, hand sanitizer and meals to working officers to help keep them safe. This effort to help keep our officers safe allowed the officers to continue to protect and serve. Thank you all so much.
People in general seemed kinder to one another, as we socially distanced we slowed down, we were in less of a rush and we were nicer to one another. One can only hope as we get past this pandemic, and we will, that we remember the good in everyone and remain kind and helpful to one another.
This City and her people is the primary reason I chose to work here. I am grateful for the opportunity this job presents. I look forward to continuing to build this Police Department with the current staff that I am so proud of.
I want to stop and say thank you to all of you who help make this City so special. We will get through this together. I am now able to fully understand what #LodiPride and #LodiStrong means.
Chief Wayne A. Smith is currently employed by the City of Lodi Wi. Smith is a charter member (1996) of The Wisconsin Association of Homicide Investigators (WAHI) and held the office of President (2012-2013), and in 2011 was named Death Investigator of the Year by WAHI.