‘Respect for the uniform’: NYC girl writes 4,000 thank-you notes to cops

This thanks has reverberated via each police precinct within the metropolis.

Queens resident Coretta James has spent the final 4 years quietly handing out handwritten thank-you notes to New York’s Most interesting — and he or she’s on a mission to present one to each member of the NYPD.

“I have tremendous respect for the uniform: military, firemen and cops,” James informed The Publish. “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 stated, including that many are demoralized and retiring earlier.

She known as the surge of anti-cop sentiment and the defund-the-police motion that has introduced violent demonstrations and destruction to parts of the city “heartbreaking.”

The concept got here to James, 49, after she volunteered with the FDNY to ship thank-you playing cards to service members stationed abroad in Iraq and Afghanistan. When the troops began to return residence, she determined to show her pen and gratitude towards the NYPD.

“I started with the 112th Precinct in Forest Hills, and that just set the tone,” stated James.

Coretta James with a fresh stack of thank you notes for the NYPD
Coretta James with a contemporary stack of thank-you notes for the NYPD.
Stephen Yang

So far, she has written greater than 4,000 playing cards that she’s given to officers in the entire metropolis’s 77 precincts and a few working particulars at Yankee Stadium. She retains a listing of everybody she has thanked to this point.

“There are 36,000 cops, so I have a lot of writing to do,” she stated.

James, who’s a nanny by occupation, buys packages of Hallmark or American Greetings playing cards from Walmart and CVS and writes the missives at evening and on weekends. She has particular playing cards for every rank.

In each one she says: “Thank you for your service in the NYPD. It takes a special person to take a job that every time you put on your uniform, you put your life at risk . . . Grateful for your service.”

James sometimes takes stacks of epistles right into a precinct and asks whomever is on responsibility for particular names of police current ,so she will be able to personally tackle the notes earlier than giving them out. Every envelope is adorned with an American flag sticker.

Coretta James with a group of NYPD police officers
Coretta James with a gaggle of New York cops
Courtesy of Coretta James

“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,” stated James.

One other officer informed James that she had lately given one to his girlfriend, additionally a member of the NYPD. “He said, ‘She was having a bad day, and then you showed up.’ ” One requested her if the cardboard got here with a hug, and James responded with a powerful sure and hearty embrace.

The native of Antigua moved to New York Metropolis as a 16-year-old in 1989. On the time, she stated police weren’t on her radar, and he or she doesn’t come from a legislation enforcement or army household, however she developed an appreciation for the uniform from interacting with them.

“I see them as human beings, because I want them to see me as a human being. Some people think cops crawl out from under a rock, then go home and crawl back under that rock. They are somebody’s son, somebody’s daughter or mother or father.”

A close-up photo of a thank-you note to NYPD handwritten by Coretta James.
Coretta James hopes to distribute her handwritten playing cards to all 32,000 members of the NYPD.
Stephen Yang

And she or he has solid significant relationships with some.

“This is a personal, intimate expression of kindness to another human,” retired NYPD Transit Chief Joe Fox informed The Publish. Fox, who now works in corporate security and remains to be lively mentoring and training members of the pressure, met James in 2017. However she gave him a card in 2020 because the pair attended a pro-police rally in Marine Park, Brooklyn. The pair struck up a friendship, and he generally helps her with division contacts to achieve extra folks.

Coretta James with one of the many officers she's gotten to know through her gratitude project.
Coretta James with one of many many officers she’s gotten to know via her gratitude mission.
Courtesy of Coretta James

“For anyone who might think, ‘What does a card do?’ ” Fox stated. “Well, in this environment, when people flash their brights to a police car and give them a thumbs up and a wave, that means more than you know. They will nod and smile, but it means a lot for someone to say ‘thank you.’ A card is a lot more than flashing the brights and giving a thumbs up. A written note and a card has a lot of value these days,” stated Fox, including that many cops cling these playing cards up of their lockers or take them residence to point out their household.

James is conscious that to some, her easy acts of kindness towards cops will be seen 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,” stated James.

She has additionally written notes to legislation enforcement in each Philadelphia and Washington, DC. However her precedence now could be the NYPD, so she hopes to encourage others along with her gratitude mission.

“I hope people join in and do this in their own communities,” she stated. “It’s really so needed.”

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