Southwick police chief encourages, reassures community


SOUTHWICK – Police Chief Kevin A. Bishop sent messages to the town’s young people, elderly and community at large March 20 to connect with them while people are urged to stay home to flatten the curve of COVID-19.

Bishop posted three separate messages on the Southwick Police Department’s Facebook page.

The first message was to Southwick’s youngest residents.

“I know right now things may be a little confusing and even a little bit scary, but please know there has been many times in my life that I have been scared and even a little confused, so you are not alone,” he wrote. “I would like to reassure all of you that all of my police officers and I will be doing everything we can to keep you and your families safe.”

Bishop quoted Eeyore from Winnie-the-Pooh, writing that “A little consideration, a little thought for others makes all the difference.”

Bishop encouraged children to be considerate to their siblings and parents, especially right now.

“Remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think……. A big hug to all of you from Chief Bishop,” he stated.

That same day, Bishop sent a message aimed at the community’s older adults. He asked for their wisdom during this time.

“First of all, I would like each and every one of you to know that you are all in my daily thoughts and prayers as this horrible virus seems to affect our elders the most,” wrote Bishop.

He then implored them to share their stories and words of encouragement.

“I ask this because it was your generation that has had to endure so many challenges and hard times before and have always risen above and made it through,” he stated. “Today, generations that have come after yours have never had to face a dark, difficult challenge such as the one before us today and need some reassurance we will survive this one as well.”

Bishop then apologized for asking the senior citizens of the town to take on his request, which he said was a burden, but he knew they had the “will and strength” to help others get through the pandemic.

Finally, Bishop addressed the community at-large as a fellow resident.

“I was born and raised in Southwick and have resided here my entire life. I share this with you so that you know my concern for all of you to be genuine and true,” he wrote. “I, like yourselves, am at times having feelings of anxiety and uncertainty but, I have full faith in the human spirit and humanity of the people of this community.”

Bishop posted that he had “no doubt” the world, and Southwick specifically, would make it through what he called a “dark, difficult time.”

Bishop said patience, concern and compassion would see everyone through, along with adhering to the health and safety guidelines recommended and ordered for the town, state and country.

“I am requesting one thing from all of you, and that is to PLEASE heed the recommendations of our healthcare professionals and to PLEASE, practice all safeguards that have been put into place, and of course, as much social distancing as possible,” posted Bishop. “I ask this not for myself but for all of you, all of our healthcare professionals, fire/EMS workers, police officers and on a very personal level, for my daughter who is a paramedic and on the front lines, who are working so hard and sacrificing so much to keep all of us healthy and safe.”

Bishop shared that he is not someone who typically worries about the future, but as chief of police, he has the safety of all residents as a priority.

“I must now ‘plan for the worst, and pray for the best,’ and that is just what my officers and I are going to do to ensure the safety of this community,” stated Bishop.

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