Updated: Apr 5
The National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day is January 9th in the U.S. and was formed in 2015 by C.O.P.S (Concerns of Police Survivors). This day is set up to show gratitude to those who chose a high-risk career that often times demands many personal sacrifices. An Otter Milestone would like to take time to not only thank all those who protect and serve but specifically our local law enforcement who are passionate and committed to keeping our community strong.
Appreciating Our Findlay Officers
As a tribute and support for National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, An Otter Milestone reached out to Officer Matthew Paugh so that we could show recognition for his dedication to our community.
Officer Paugh has been with the Findlay K9 Unit for almost 10 years. He is the handler for K9 Shadow who is dual purpose in narcotics and patrol.
Matthew was 21 when his interest in law enforcement was peaked by talking with his cousin at the gym. His cousin was a State Patrolman and how Matt's cousin talked about his job compelled Matt to join the Police Academy. Officer Paugh said it took him around 7 months of training in the Academy prior to passing his state test.
Being an officer, according to Matt, is as rewarding as it is challenging. His favorite part of his job is working alongside fellow officers and the versatility of shifts. There is an exciting atmosphere when not knowing what to expect and shifts are rarely mundane. Matt enjoys being a service to Findlay because the community is nice. Findlay isn't too big nor too small and has many things to offer its residents. He volunteers and participates in different community events such as Shop with a Cop and public or school K9 demonstrations. The challenging part is although shifts can be interesting and coworkers are as close as brothers, shifts are also long in hours and sleep is short. The stress of long hours and limited sleep can test interactions with personal relationships.
All officers are real people behind the badge that have their own interests and hobbies. Matt is no different. When he does have some downtime, he enjoys shaking off the stress of his job by hunting, fishing, or cutting wood. He stated that being alone in the woods is peaceful and relaxing after a long shift.
When we asked Matt what advice he would provide to anyone who might be interested in joining law enforcement he said to ask a department to do a citizen ride-along. This is when an officer has a citizen with him/her for a shift. The ride-along gives citizens a deeper look into a day in the life of an officer and gives them time to ask questions about the job. The importance is eye-opening as officers see a lot of things that most wouldn't want to imagine. Being in law enforcement takes a lot of will and not for the faint of heart.
We, at An Otter Milestone, want to say thank you and show our appreciation to Officer Matthew Paugh for his decade of service and his part in keeping Findlay safe and a great community to live in. What is the best way to show appreciation? Matt says:
"A friendly wave to a cop or saying thank you is always a great gesture of appreciation. I'm always up to talk to people because everyone always has questions about our job. Never be afraid to come up and talk to a cop."