Positive police stories happen every day - we just need to get better at sharing them. Here are two recent letters the CPD received recognizing great work by Officers Burnett, Belinski, Thelen, and Colon:
"I had the pleasure of visiting the Charlottesville area over the weekend of __, 2018. We had dinner in town on Friday after enjoying some local tourist opportunities, Saturday evening was spent in the pedestrian mall area. Although we have been to Monticello on several different occasions, this was my first stay in the city. An enjoyable experience that we hope to repeat.
My true purpose in sending you this message is to commend your police force. While in the mall area, we witnessed an individual being taken into custody for (I am guessing) an open container law violation (near the Omni) Saturday evening around 8:00 p.m. The officers involved conducted themselves in an extremely professional manner and were able to diffuse a situation that had the potential to quickly escalate. The officers were respectful, calming, and conducted themselves in a manner as to not draw an excessive amount of attention to ongoing incident. Others in the group with the individual being taken into custody appeared animated, slightly argumentative, and very defensive. The three officers on bicycle patrol as well as the officer transporting the individual quickly put the observers at ease and appeared to be genuine in the interactions with all involved parties. The process ended with “fist bumps” by the group indicating to us that they were treated with fairness and respect.
In recent times, the conduct and professionalism of police forces around the country have been called into question. The positive actions of your department will, in likelihood, go unnoticed and underappreciated. They were respectful, professional, and skilled at doing their job in a way that did not draw attention to their positive efforts/outcomes.
I rarely hear of the positive public interactions by and with our Sheriff’s Department and did not want to let the opportunity pass to pass along our positive observances of your police force."
"Yesterday evening ___, 2018, Officer Thelen responded to a call concerning a hurt/sick cat on the side of Rockland Ave. She and I arrived at the same time, as a neighbor recognized the cat as one that I had been feeding and alerted me that she was laying on the side of the road. The cat was a stray/ feral/ community cat that I had fed for 6 years, and never touched, and she was laying there dying. Even though I never had a relationship with the cat because she was feral and would not come near me, I was very upset that she was dying and felt very helpless. Officer Thelen suggested the Emergency Vet, however, I have been there before and I knew I would not be able to afford their fee. She called them explained the situation and worked it out so there would be no charge. She also called the SPCA, and again worked it out so there would be no fee. My husband and I took the cat to the SPCA immediately, and they relieved her of her misery.
I am so impressed with Officer Thelen’s compassion, knowledge and professionalism. She handled a very stressful situation and gave options and solutions in a timely manner. She did not leave until she knew our intentions and knew everything was in control. She is an awesome asset to our community. I know she had more important things to do, but her compassion toward this little stray cat and me, was exceptional. We are so fortunate to have some one of her caliber watching over our city."