Published on November 01, 2021
November brings us two of my favorite holidays. On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, we celebrate Veterans Day. This is the day where our Country honors all of the men and women who served in the United States Armed Forces. As the son of a veteran and the father of a soldier currently serving in the armed forces, this day is special to me. I would like to thank all of our veterans for their commitment to our Country. I would ask all of you to thank a veteran for their service and sacrifice. Our veterans are the reason we enjoy the freedoms we have today!
The second holiday we celebrate is Thanksgiving. I am a traditionalist when it comes to Thanksgiving. Although I have had a deep-fried turkey and must admit that it saves time and delivers a flavorful and juicy bird, I still want to have the smell of a turkey roasting in my oven as I watch the parades and football games. No matter how you celebrate this holiday, I hope you take the opportunity to spend it with your family. Our families are what bind us together. They keep us grounded and are most likely the ones who will be there to support us when we need it the most. I hope you are fortunate enough to spend time with your family this Thanksgiving. I also hope that you find some time to help those who aren’t as fortunate as you. There are many in need so please, do what you can to help someone who, otherwise, may not have a Thanksgiving meal. Giving back to those in need is its own reward.
As I am writing this message about honoring heroes, family, and Thanksgiving, I can’t help but be distracted by the events that occurred last week. Hollywood Police Officer Yandy Chirino was shot and killed by a suspect who was riding his bicycle and pulling door handles, presumably to commit vehicle burglaries. Officer Chirino was shot after he confronted the suspect. The suspect has a lengthy criminal history, and the gun used in this murder was stolen from a vehicle in Miami. One of the suspects in that vehicle burglary is the shooter’s sister.
Officer Chirino will not be at the Thanksgiving table this year. His family will, no doubt, still be grieving his loss. Officer Chirino didn’t join the force to die in the line of duty, although he, like all of our officers, knowingly accept that risk when they are sworn in. Hollywood Police Chief Chris O’Brien was right when he said, “Last night Officer Chirino left the safety of his home, came to work to protect his community, and tragically will not be going home to his loved ones this morning. I want to remind everyone that the dangers our officers face on a daily basis are real. Too often, we take for granted or minimize those dangers.”
“Too often we take for granted, or minimize, those dangers.” Chief O’Brien is right. In our city, vehicle burglaries are one of our most prolific crimes. There are a lot of guns stolen out of vehicles in our city. Many times, the guns were unsecured and left in an unlocked vehicle. What happens to those guns? Could your gun be used to shoot someone- someone like Officer Chirino, whose parents are left to grieve their son?
Our department has pushed out messaging asking our citizens to lock their vehicle’s doors, and not leave valuables in their cars, especially loaded handguns. I can’t think of a more powerful reminder than the death of a young officer who dedicated his life to protecting and serving his community. Our hearts go out to the family of Officer Chirino, and our thoughts and prayers go out to our brothers and sisters with the Hollywood Police Department.
As you sit around your table to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, I ask that you think about those officers who aren’t around their table celebrating with their families. I ask that you think about those officers who, like Officer Chirino, left the safety of their homes to protect their communities. I hope you pray for their safety and are thankful for the men and women who are patrolling the streets of our community.
As always, if you see something suspicious or unusual in the community, you have the power to make a call and make a difference, call our non-emergency number (954) 344-1800. I hope you and your family have a very Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy this uniquely American holiday. If you haven’t already, please connect with me on Facebook @ChiefParry.
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