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The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 11, March 15, 2009, Article 15

MAINE POLICE DEPARTMENT GIVING CHALLENGE COINS TO GOOD CITIZENS

The "challenge coins" used frequently in military circles is finding its way into civilian life. An E-Sylum reader forwarded this article from the Journal Tribune of York County, ME, which isn't the first we've seen on police departments using "challenge coin" medals to reward good Samaritans. -Editor
The Saco Police Department is handing out more than tickets these days. The Police Department has introduced a challenge coin, which officers are randomly presenting to good Samaritans city-wide.

“This is a way to recognize the good deeds that citizens do for each other that go above and beyond the normal courtesies that society expects,” said Saco Police Chief Bradley Paul.

The coins have a picture of the Saco police badge on one side, with the law enforcement oath of honor on the flip side.

“When an officer presents one of these to a citizen, that citizen knows he did something that he should be proud of,” said Paul.

The program was implemented a few weeks ago, said Paul. Recently, an officer gave a coin to a person who contacted police after not hearing or seeing a neighbor for a few days. The individual was concerned that the neighbor, who lived alone, might be ill or need medical attention.

The neighbor was away, and there was no medical emergency, but the person “did the right thing,” by looking out for the neighbor, said Paul.

The coins are a way for the police department to reach out and to establish pride in the community. Many times, police are seen as the people who give out tickets or make arrests, which can have a negative connotation, said Paul.

“We’re always looking for ways to positively impact the community,” said Paul.

To read the complete article, see: Saco to give challenge coins (www.journaltribune.com/pastnews/2009/march2009/NEWS031209.HTML)



Wayne Homren, Editor

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