Superior Police Officer Helping Others Through Pandemic With Daily Facebook Posts
SUPERIOR, Wis. – We are now more than a month into the stay-at-home order in Minnesota and Wisconsin as thousands are jobless, businesses are shut down and emotions are running higher than ever. But there’s one police officer in Superior who’s trying to help guide those emotions in a positive way through posts on the department’s Facebook page based off his years of studying human response to disasters, as FOX 21’s Dan Hanger reports.
“Some of these messages are meant to be proactive. They’re meant to be preventive, they’re meant to be positive,” said Det. Marc Letendre.
If you’ve been following the Superior Police Department’s Facebook page recently, it’s been hard to miss daily posts about the emotional and psychological challenges many of us are facing through this prolonged pandemic.
“To try to have some semblance of optimism — but also to remind everyone that we’re right there with you as the police department,” said Letendre, who is behind the anonymous posts.
“I have friends and loved ones in businesses who are not drawing paychecks. The strain is everywhere and it’s on everyone,” Letendre said.
His posts are lengthy, full of knowledge and supporting evidence — almost like a college paper — because before policing, Letendre studied philosophy, psychology and got a master’s degree in emergency management leadership.
“None of the posts that I present are meant from any other position than a true desire to add good, to add optimism, to an otherwise very difficult situation for several people in our community,” Letendre said.
And it’s clearly working with the majority of the comments full of gratitude, thank you’s, even someone saying “I have truly appreciated your messages all the way down here in Florida. Thank you for your thoughtfulness.”
“These are difficult times but it will get better, and I do think it’s always better to have a positive attitude about things even during difficult times,” said Nicholas Alexander, Superior’s chief of police.
Alexander is fully supportive of the posts on the department’s Facebook page, especially during a time when so many people are isolated from each other — and his officers.
“My mission and vision is always to be a kind, caring police department – an agency that people look to for helpers and air on the side of compassion and empathy with people, and during this crisis is kind of an opportunity to espouse those values through social media,” Alexander explained.
Values Letendre plans to continue to live by — in part — through his words online.
“We got into service work, service industry out of a genuine belief that we could help, that we can make a difference, and if these posts in any way do anything positive, that’s a good thing,” Letendre said.