On Friday, May 22, the Department of Homeless Services (DHS)recognized the outstanding achievements of the DHS Peace Officers at the annual Medal Day Ceremony, held on the campus of John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
The officers were joined at the ceremony by Commissioner Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Security and Emergency Operations Michael Gagliardi, and their peers, as they reflected on the achievements of the past year. Also in attendance were Executive Deputy Commissioner Lucille McEwen, Chief of Staff Rochelle Haynes, and Director of Peace Officers Joseph Garcia.
During the event, officers were recognized for accomplishments such as length of service, admirable action on the job, and promotions. These acknowledgements also included several instances of life-saving measures, demonstrating the unyielding commitment of the officers to aid clients during times of need.
"There is no shortage to the number of diverse and complex issues that our Peace Officers handle every day," said Deputy Commissioner Gagliardi. "Although serving as an officer comes with great challenge and responsibility, the men and women here today have proven their commitment to DHS staff members and clients alike. They are always present during times of need, ready and willing to assist in any and all ways possible."
DHS Peace Officers must delicately balance high levels of vigilance and law enforcement instincts with an approachable demeanor and compassionate outlook, and Commissioner Taylor's closing remarks spoke to this. "Our clients come to us in times of crisis, needing to rebuild thier lives. And at the Department of Homeless Services, we give people an opportunity to get back on their feet. We treat our clients with honesty and integrity, and we help them face their challenges under unique circumstances. Your service, ensuring the security and stability of our sites, is what enables us to do the work assisting our clients in need."
Over the years, DHS' force of Peace Officers has not only been highly effective at promoting security within agency facilities, but has also revolutionized methods of policing within a social services framework, living by the motto, "policing with compassion." Above all else, Peace Officers pledge to maintain the public peace, value human life, respect each individual and render services with courtesy, pride and civility, while displaying the highest standard of integrity. Medal Day is the ultimate reflection of this exceptional code of conduct. DHS Congratulates this year’s Medal Day awardees and sincerely thanks all of our Peace Officers for their outstanding service.