A Queens resident named Coretta James has spent the past few years giving handwritten thank-you notes to New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers.
Now, she is working to give one to every member of the department, the New York Post reported Monday.
“I have tremendous respect for the uniform: military, firemen and cops,” James said. “They are not used to being thanked. And I feel for them. They need encouragement. I used to see guys with 30 or 35 years on the job but no longer,” she noted, adding many felt demoralized and are retiring earlier.
The 49-year-old got the idea when she volunteered with the New York Fire Department (FDNY) to mail thank-you notes to servicemembers overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan.
When they began coming home, she set her mind on the NYPD.
“I started with the 112th Precinct in Forest Hills, and that just set the tone,” James recalled.
So far, she has penned over 4,000 cards and given them to officers in the city’s 77 precincts and a few working details at Yankee Stadium. She also maintains a list of those she has thanked.
“There are 36,000 cops, so I have a lot of writing to do,” James, who is a nanny by profession, commented.
“I once went into a precinct and a gave a card to a police officer, and he said, ‘In my 26 years on the job, this is my first thank-you card I’ve gotten.’ It made me realize what I was doing was very much needed,” she explained.
Originally from Antigua, she moved to New York City when she was 16, in 1989, and developed an appreciation for those in uniform during interactions with them.
Meanwhile, James knew her acts of kindness toward police might be viewed as polarizing.
“I am prepared for blowback. But it’s not about me. It’s about the police, and I want them to know they are appreciated,” she stated, adding she hoped to inspire others with the project.
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