‘Respect for the uniform’: NYC woman writes 4,000 thank-you notes to cops

‘Respect for the uniform’: NYC woman writes 4,000 thank-you notes to cops

By Kirsten Fleming

This thank you has reverberated through every police precinct in the city.

Queens resident Coretta James has spent the last four years quietly handing out handwritten thank-you notes to New York’s Finest — and she’s on a mission to give one to every member of the NYPD.

“I have tremendous respect for the uniform: military, firemen and cops,” James told The Post. “They are not used to being thanked. And I feel for them. They need encouragement. I used to see guys with 30 or 35 years on the job but no longer,” she said, adding that many are demoralized and retiring earlier.

She called the surge of anti-cop sentiment and the defund-the-police movement that has brought violent demonstrations and destruction to parts of the city “heartbreaking.”

The idea came to James, 49, after she volunteered with the FDNY to send thank-you cards to service members stationed overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan. When the troops started to return home, she decided to turn her pen and gratitude toward the NYPD.

“I started with the 112th Precinct in Forest Hills, and that just set the tone,” said James.

To date, she has written more than 4,000 cards that she’s given to officers in all of the city’s 77 precincts and some working details at Yankee Stadium. She keeps a list of everyone she has thanked so far.

“There are 36,000 cops, so I have a lot of writing to do,” she said.

James, who is a nanny by profession, buys packages of Hallmark or American Greetings cards from Walmart and CVS and writes the missives at night and on weekends. She has specific cards for each rank.

In every one she says: “Thank you for your service in the NYPD. It takes a special person to take a job that every time you put on your uniform, you put your life at risk . . . Grateful for your service.”

James typically takes stacks of epistles into a precinct and asks whomever is on duty for specific names of police present ,so she can personally address the notes before giving them out. Each envelope is adorned with an American flag sticker.

“This is a personal, intimate expression of kindness to another human,” retired NYPD Transit Chief Joe Fox told The Post. Fox, who now works in corporate security and is still active mentoring and coaching members of the force, met James in 2017. But she gave him a card in 2020 as the pair attended a pro-police rally in Marine Park, Brooklyn. The pair struck up a friendship, and he sometimes helps her with department contacts to reach more people

James is aware that to some, her simple acts of kindness toward cops can be seen as polarizing.

“I am prepared for blowback. But it’s not about me. It’s about the police, and I want them to know they are appreciated,” said James.

She has also written notes to law enforcement in both Philadelphia and Washington, DC. But her priority now is the NYPD, so she hopes to inspire others with her gratitude project.

“I hope people join in and do this in their own communities,” she said. “It’s really so needed.”

Via New York Post


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