As Law Enforcement we deal with just about everything. Some days are rougher than others and some days are great. Every Law Enforcement Official has their own version of what it means to be an Officer, Deputy, State Trooper or any number of other Law Enforcement entities. I would like to give my version. Ever since I can remember, my goal was to serve. Law Enforcement's vision is to Protect and Serve. There are numerous definitions, however the easiest one to list is (Serve)“perform duties or services for (another person or an organization)”. (Protect)”Keep safe from harm or injury”. Those are pretty simple definitions for something far more complex in our line of work. To SERVE is a Calling, and an Honor that is bestowed upon us when we make the decision to take the Oath. I hear things all the time such as the Police are not a taxi service, babysitter or mechanic. The truth is we are what we need to be at the very time we are needed the most. To PROTECT is the easy part, we are equipped with state of the art technology, we go to great and meaningful training events, and we are instructed by the best there is to offer. However, I personally believe, that the one thing that cannot be taught is “how to serve.” It’s about something that is inside that was meant to be and we strive for every day. The Meade Police Department strives for this on a daily basis. I can say that I am very fortunate to have the great staff that makes up the Meade Police Department that has dedicated not only themselves, but also their families, to stand on the Thin Blue Line that we represent. The Meade Police Department had an incident last month and the following was a letter from an individual that was directly involved in the case.
"Dear Chief of Police: Michael J Inlow,
I wanted to reach out to you, your staff, the officers and the Sheriff's department and your own family to thank you for your professionalism, kindness and a job well done! Your empathy, kindness, caring nature and generosity is touching, and breath taking! If ever anyone has questioned the motives of any law enforcement officials, your actions must now restore faith and admiration for officers and citizens like you who risk your safety day in and out while protecting our communities and citizens.
On or about September 28th 2018, your Police Officers stopped my daughter ****** while she was in your jurisdiction for a traffic infraction. I had reported ****** as missing with my granddaughter ****** whom I have legal guardianship for, via my local Police. They in-turn placed an all points nationwide bulletin for my daughter whom suffers from a mental illness and was off of her medication. By the time she was apprehended she had been on the road for over 5 days and in a severe delusional state with my granddaughter in her back seat. Your officers communicated with my local authorities and were able to access and handle the situation accordingly.
In addition, you and your family took my grandchild in overnight when you did not have to. You cared for her, fed her, entertained her and got her to me safe and sound the following day. Deputies and Officers Dylan Wondra; Doug Ritter; and Ashley Clerk all were instrumental in assisting my daughter and granddaughter. With ****** delusion and mental state. things could have been much worst. I feel as if God made this possible (her apprehension in your jurisdiction) as a way of keeping her and the baby safe and secured. Your staff were like guardian angels and I will forever be in your debt.
I want to acknowledge you and specifically your wonderful wife and children for taking such good care of ******. As you may imagine the ordeal was very traumatizing for her as she is still a toddler. However, your care, kindness and generosity as a family helped her to adjust and the effects of her ordeal to be defused. Please also thank Deputy Ritter, he was so kind and generous, he gave the baby a stuff toy that she clung to the entire trip back and loves to play with. Please thank all the unnamed employees that were so professional, patient and empathetic with me and my family. I cannot thank you, your family, the police department and the Sheriff's department enough! Your town is blessed to have you and I have been blessed to have come in contact with you all as well. Chief, you went above and beyond your call of duty and I just need to express my profound gratitude to you for everything! Please pass on my sincerest thanks to all involved and God keep you safe and sound! Please never hesitate to reach out to me if I can be of service in any way, God Bless!"
The names of the individuals involved in this case were replaced with ****** in order to protect their identities. I wanted this to be available, as some only see Law Enforcement as a “number,”-- meaning how many citations we issue. Trust me when I say we are much more than that. The City of Meade and the County as a whole are very fortunate to have the Law Enforcement Officials and all First Responders that we do. I also want to say how our families play such a vital role in our careers. Without them we would be lost. I am personally speaking for mine when I say how proud and truly lucky I am that they support my passion, beliefs and goals. They did a truly fantastic job in assisting with this situation, as they always do, especially my wife, because she is always by my side and takes care of any child(ren) as if they were her own whenever a situation arises when children need to be removed from their homes in unfortunate circumstances. But, to hear how her and each of our children felt after this event was amazing. So again, I want to say THANK YOU to ALL Law Enforcement, First Responders, and their families. I want to also give a shout out to Officer Ashley Clerk and Officer Dylan Wondra. They are new Officers and they handled the situation very well and showed great maturity and really took the vision of the Meade Police Department and has put it into action and represented themselves, the Department and their Community exceptionally well. Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the article and thank you to our Community for the support that you have shown and continue to show.
Michael J. Inlow
Chief of Police
Meade Police Department