APD rolls out blog to strengthen community-police relationship

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — A little recognition for a job well done can go a long way, and the Austin Police Department is making sure officers get credit where it’s due.

“The good that is done on a daily basis in the communities police serve in this country far outweighs those instances where we fall short or completely mess something up,” said Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, who knows the importance of rewarding success.

A new blog called “Making a Difference” gives people who want to say some nice things about APD a place to put it. Post after post are stories of gratitude.

Chief Acevedo read from some of the posts:

“Thanks for the smiles on my kids’ faces and the hope you put in their hearts,” he read.

“I just want to say thank you to two of Austin’s Region 3 police officers, APD Officer Marie Bynum and her partner.”

Someone wrote about Officer Marie Bynum, because she helped a dog stranded on the side of the road get to safety.

“It’s good to know that there are citizens out there that do support us and see us in a different light,” said Bynum.

Acevedo went on to read more about the post about Bynum. “They were incredibly helpful and compassionate and professional. I hope you find more like them.”

“It takes time out of somebody’s day to write something nice about you,” Bynum added, “so, it meant a lot to me.”

While the blog helps the public see the good police are doing, Acevedo says it is also for morale within the department.

“We want our folks to take some pride in the work they do,” he said. “I always tell them, regardless of what you might hear, what you do matters and you matter.”

He says recognizing the good will only encourage more of it.

“If we don’t celebrate excellence, shame on us,” said Acevedo.

On the city website you can fill out a form explaining your interaction with an officer. That form goes to the Public Information Office and then to the officer’s chain of command. The department says they get five to 10 notes during many weeks.

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