W. Michael Phibbs
How do the police and community show connections and support for each other? It’s a question I have tried to solve for the past 27 years as a member of the Richmond Police Department. In 2018, we created Be RPD as a way to show how everyone can play a part in making the community safe. That year I went to NAS Oceana to watch the Navy’s Blue Angels flying performance when I came across a group of people signing flags. The flags had nothing to do with the Navy, so I asked a burly-built guy with a long beard what the flags stood for. He explained that it was for the Patriot Guard Riders who escort fallen soldiers’ caskets to the funeral sites. After the flags are covered in supporters signatures the flags are presented to Navy ships as a show of support for the sailors who are protecting the country.
The next day the first “Be RPD ~ Share In Our Story” was ordered from Festival Flags. Since that date, two more flags have been ordered and are filled with signatures from around the country. The flags are a reminder of the impact the police can have on a community. It symbolizes the connection between the police and communities we serve. Once a flag is filled it is given to a Precinct, Unit, or person who embodies the spirit of Be RPD. The latest Be RPD flag was presented to Maximilian Pop who is the Director of Computer Services. From day one, Max has supported the Be RPD concept and his spirit shines through on the website he created: BeRPDRVA.com
Soon, another flag will be ordered. Let us know if you or your organization would like to sign the flag and show you are a member of the Be RPD community by calling 317-5892 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.