For those who were not able to attend last week’s meeting, you missed a treat. There were 46 in attendance. President John Brown introduced a new segment to the meeting and our guest Lucinda Brown (President of the local chapter of the NAACP) highlighted the career of Thomasville Police Chief Troy Rich. Chief Rich was then presented with a Paul Harris Fellow by Past District Governor Fran Milberg.
The new meeting segment entitled “The Director’s Report,” will be used to keep the membership informed on progress being made by the different committees. Janet Liles and Adam Carvin reported on the club’s membership efforts. It was pointed out that all members can be involved in recruiting new members as we work to energize the existing members. During these challenging times we might want to ask ourselves this question. Am “I” doing my part to help the club be strong and vibrant? New blood can help towards this end.
Our guest Lucinda Brown reflected on the service of TPD Chief, Troy Rich. During Chief Rich’s long career in Thomasville, we the citizens, have been the beneficiaries of his forward thinking and innovations. His flagship contribution to the TPD and Thomasville, was introducing and implementing the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing recommendations. These recommendations were designed to help law enforcement improve its relationship with the community. There are six pillars of 21st Century Policing. Those pillars are: Building Trust and Legitimacy, Policy and Oversight, Technology and Social Media, Community Policing and Crime Reduction, Training and Education and Officer Safety and Wellness. These six pillars help the community and law enforcement work together for the good of all stake holders.
Chief Rich gave an emotional footnote to his career as a servant of the city of Thomasville. He is retiring from that service after 30 years. There is a quote that says, “Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.” Chief Rich has paid his rent. There is no outstanding debt to be collected. He leaves the TPD and the city of Thomasville in a much better place than he found it. Thanks, Chief Rich. What can we take away from this meeting? Let me suggest this. Rotary Opens Opportunities. Let us as Rotarians serve our community, others and ourselves by fully embracing “The Four Test.” Let us diligently place “Service Above Self.” Then we can each proudly say, we have taken advantage of the opportunities Rotary opened to us.