Every day, the men and women of the Philadelphia Police Department perform good deeds for the citizens of the city. But, it’s only the extraordinarily good – or bad – actions of a few officers, that seem to get the attention of the masses.
Officer Brian Geer hopes to change that.
"When you see stories of the bravery and the other things, that’s worthy of acknowledgment, but there’s good people out there doing good things every day," he said.
Geer, an 8-year veteran of the department and member of the force’s tweeting elite, was spending the day with his daughter last week when he decided to put out a call for positive stories about people’s favorite police officers.
With a few taps of his finger, Geer typed out this message, using the hashtag #FavPPD to start a conversation:
Hey Philly! Do you have a good cop story to share? Do you have a favorite neighborhood police officer? Tell me about him/her. Use #FavPPD
— Brian Geer (@PPDBrianGeer) November 4, 2013
"I thought ‘You know, let’s just get some people to tell their stories,'" he said. "At the end of the day, we are all just regular people and all have good things to say about each other. Most of that goes unsaid."
He quickly got a handful of responses:
— MC (@USAF4life) November 5, 2013
— Stephanie Morgan (@AZofSNB) November 5, 2013
— Mike McVeigh (@upper_darby_boy) November 5, 2013
Many of the first tweets focused on officers who, through their everyday interactions, have made an impact on the people they work with and serve.
"A lot of these good things that happen aren’t police work in the sense that it’s…not responding to a crime, it’s just human reaction," he said.
Through the initiative, Geer is encouraging more people to share specific stories about how officers made a positive impact in their lives – even if someone doesn’t remember the name of that officer or detective. He said one woman tweeted him to talk about her phone conversation with an unknown officer after she was assaulted.
"She sat there with a police officer on the phone for a half hour as she cried. She said that made her feel like he cared," Geer said. "We see people at their worst and I think sometimes that brings out our best and they appreciate it."
Geer also hopes these short stories will help humanize officers and show the people they serve that police are much like them.
"My intent is also just to show people that I’m just a regular guy. I’m no different than somebody in the city that’s had their electric turned off," he said. "We’re not untouchable because we’re police officers. At the end of the day, we’re all just regular people."
To share your story about your favorite Philadelphia Police officer, tweet using the hashtag #FavPPD.
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