The Cop Shirt

Neighborhood Gazette Publisher Guy Nahmiach

Being part of the Wheat Ridge team, presenting at the All America City Conference, was a huge honor. We were asked to each wear a “Wheat Ridge t-shirt”. The presentation described what and how the city had addressed the recent racism and anti-semitic attacks on our town and how we dealt with it. We had formed the equity committee, the What’s Up program and helped communicate, not only to the citizens, but more importantly, from the citizens back to the city. I thought it would be important to mention the incredible work Chief Murtha and his department did in reshaping the police department with a community relationship-based program. All that said, I decided to wear a WRPD t-shirt. That’s right, a cop shirt.

I thought it might be controversial. After all, our presentation made mention of the horrible events involving the death of George Floyd. But my shirt represented OUR force, OUR people and OUR community. I felt great wearing the WRPD emblem on my shirt on stage. 

After the presentation, there was a reception with booths and representatives from many cities and towns across the country. As I walked around and chatted with people, I noticed their eyes glancing toward the gold printed shield on my chest. Some eyes went back to me accompanied with a wide smile. Of course some looked at me with great distaste. It was a first for me.

Imagine wearing a uniform everyday and having to confront people who judge you solely based on that uniform, badge or whatever defines your occupation. I am proud of our police force and the excellent job they do every day. It was interesting to hear some of the competing cities make “public safety” a top priority for their town. The scariest thing for me here in Wheat Ridge is the daily reconfiguration of the traffic cones on 38th and Wadsworth Blvd. 

Of course I kept the shirt but I only wear it around the house just laughing and imagining the reaction of chiefs Brennan or Murtha seeing their worst nightmare come true. I mean can you even imagine me pulling you over for driving 22 in a 35 zone? 

I love the festivals being organized around town. You can always find me in the Gazette booth with my banner that reads “I Will Talk To Anyone About Anything”. It’s pretty amazing what people will come up and chat with me about. Don’t be shy, please visit my booth and give your ideas for new articles or artists you’d like us to highlight. We are, for the first time in 19 years, at 24 pages… and they said “print was dead”. As always, thanks for reading. 

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