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On June 1, 2020 the 68th ROC reported to the Plymouth Police Academy to reconvene our training and instruction. Several weeks had passed from the time our academy was suspended, until orders permitted our return on June 1st. During our weeks of suspension, COVID-19 claimed lives across this country at an alarming and overwhelmingly tragic rate. The country was undoubtedly facing unprecedented, uncertain, and incredibly difficult times. Unfortunately, the unrest in the country became greater as our return date approached.

As the 68th ROC prepared for our return, we worked through the logistics and tried to mentally hurdle all of the instability the country was facing in an effort to remain focused on our mission. Between the state of the country, and the transition back to the academy, emotions were running high, and ranged from anxiety to excitement. What the 68th ROC did not know however, is that we would be greeted with an incredible honor, a special privilege, and a message that each of us would carry with us, not just for the day, but for our career.

On June 1st, an extraordinary young girl with a big smile by the name of Dakota addressed the 68th ROC. At just ten years old, she shared a message of hope, of courage, and of love that was well beyond her years. Dakota’s love for the police was undeniable, but it was her inspiration, her encouragement, and her call for self-reflection that left a lasting impression on the 68th ROC. Dakota urged the 68th ROC to make a conscious effort to interact with all populations within our communities, and to build positive relationships. She further challenged each of us to take the time to plant seeds in our role as police officers now and throughout our career. Most importantly, Dakota reminded us, that we have the ability but more so a responsibility of planting only “good seeds”. In the midst of the turmoil facing this nation and law enforcement as a whole, her message could not have been more appropriate for the times.

Law enforcement undoubtedly is facing difficult times, and the days ahead may prove more challenging still. The 68th ROC is confident however, that with the support, the inspiration, and the wisdom of young people like Dakota, our impact as law enforcement officers can be tremendous. Because of individuals like Dakota, our desire to become officers has been reignited, and our fears and uncertainties laid to rest. The 68th ROC will remain motivated, dedicated and disciplined to ensure we not only begin, but ultimately end our careers in law enforcement doing what Dakota challenged us to do; planting only “good seeds”.

Blog written by: Student Officer Jessica Priestly, Middleborough PD
Photo submitted by: Academy Director Eileen M. L. Goodick




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