Honorary Colonels are vital in supporting police departmentMay 02, 2022 08:45PM ● By Bill Hardesty
By Bill Hardesty | [email protected]
The South Salt Lake Police Honorary Colonels Association is a civic organization dedicated to supporting law enforcement.
"The support we receive from the Honorary Colonels is immeasurable. They are leaders in the community that provide a positive interaction with each officer," South Salt Lake Police Chief Jack Carruth said. "They show up at each new officer swearing-in and provide each officer a token of appreciation. I/we want to express our deep gratitude for the support and continued partnership dedicated to law enforcement appreciation."
As part of National Police Week (May 11-17), the Honorary Colonels want to tell their story.
During Robert Gray's tenure as SSLPD chief (1994-1997), he invited Orrin Colby and Ron Greensides to establish the Honorary Colonels. The association has functioned ever since.
"Our purpose is to create a positive relationship between the police department and the community. We also want to ensure every officer feels supported and appreciated," Sean Marchant, chair of the association, said.
In addition, they raise funds for police department needs, render aid to police families in time of need, and facilitate educational events and forums.
Some specific examples of how they fulfilled this mission are:
· Help sponsor annual awards banquet, including honoring one officer
· Help sponsor the annual police motorcycle ride
· Assisted Officer David Romrell's family when he was killed in the line of duty in 2018
· Helped finance acquisition of police dogs
· Provide annual Thanksgiving dinner for officer families
· Provide meals on Christmas for officers on duty that day
· Spearheaded a formal declaration last year that the mayor and city council signed stating that the city and city officials support the police department
· Provide activities and events for officers and their families to interact and build relationships, such as the tug of war at the community fair last year and a police appreciation barbecue
· Do public relations promotions, including billboard campaigns, radio spots
· Chair the selection committee for a new police chief
· Attend new officer swearing-in events
Currently, there are no youth programs. However, the Honorary Colonels support programs like the Police Athletic League (PAL). They are working on creating an Honorary Captains committee made up of junior high and high school students so they can come up with their own ideas of how to create a positive relationship between youth and the police.
"There has never been a greater need to support law enforcement than now. If we want good officers, they have to know they are appreciated and supported," Marchant said. "They are all willing to put their lives on the line for public safety, but perhaps the most difficult thing we ask them to do is see reality as it really is. They see humanity often at its lowest possible level, and we ask them to deal with it daily, so we don't have to. I'm certain this can affect their faith both in people and even in God, and it's critical we remind them why what they do is so important, and we couldn't have a functioning society without them."
There are two types of memberships—an individual membership with annual dues of $200 and a business membership with yearly dues of $1,000.
All members receive a certificate, T-shirt, updates and messages from the police chief. In addition, a business member receives a plaque, business recognition, and participation in special events.
Other benefits are building relationships with other Honorary Colonels and interacting with police department leadership and officers.
More information can be found on their website: www.southsaltlakehonorarycolonels.com.