Those working in law enforcement are appreciated.
That was the focus and message of Monday's call between U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas, a Democrat from Manchester, and members of the state's law enforcement departments, part of Pappas' goal of honoring those who serve as part of Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
The national observance of Law Enforcement Appreciation Day was officially Jan. 9. But it's an ongoing effort, Pappas said, to continue to support those who serve.
Representatives from several police departments around the state participated in the morning call with the congressman, giving their updates and views of how departments are handling the pandemic and what resources and support might be needed from local, state or federal governments.
Stratham Police Chief Anthony King said his department is small and the pandemic has posed challenges, along with regular issues the force faces every day.
That includes a continuing effort to support those battling mental health issues.
Lt. Jon Urskevich of the Rollinsford Police Department stressed that his community is seeing a lot of drug addiction and mental health instability, on top of all the pandemic challenges officers are facing.
"Times are tough now," he said. "We are trying to do it day by day, do the best we can to help people."
And every day law enforcement is out there, doing their job and facing daily problems due to the pandemic and just other issues, officials say.
"Officers go through a lot," King said, adding there are added stress levels facing police and department employees.
Lt. Mark Morrison of the Londonderry Police Department, and also president of the New Hampshire Police Association, said departments around the state get a lot of community support.
"We still go out and do with the best we have," he said.
Morrison added "crime hasn't stopped," and departments are working hard to keep public safety efforts going with all the pandemic issues also faced.
"You do all you can and keep marching forward," Morrison said.
Add in the challenges communities are facing when it comes to planning budgets and other resources, and the list keeps growing
Others on the call say departments have faced the pandemic challenges by finding new plans and ways to do things when it comes to training, public safety, having enough protective gear and handling staffing issues if any people are out or in quarantine due to illness or exposure to the virus.
Some also spoke of how they missed the safe situations where police could interact more with the community, talking to business owners regularly or offering school programs or other public safety efforts.
For Pappas, it's appreciation day, every day and he said police are adapting to their new "normal."
"We want to make sure you have the tools to do your jobs," the congressman said, adding he appreciates the fact that those working in law enforcement are facing challenges they haven't seen before due to the ongoing pandemic and doing great things to keep communities safe.
"We are so appreciative of the work you do each and every day," Pappas said.
During Monday's call, Pappas also paid tribute to police lives lost during the recent events at the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday, including honoring Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick, who died from injuries sustained during the capitol riots and also 16-year police veteran Howard Liebengood, who died over the weekend from an apparent suicide.
Pappas also called out President Donald Trump for his role in inciting the riots and said in a statement he supported immediate action to be taken following the insurrection.
“What we witnessed yesterday should chill Americans to their core,” Pappas said. “Riotous, armed mobs overcame law enforcement and stormed the Capitol, and they attempted to derail American democracy. They did this after being incited and instructed by President Donald J. Trump."
Pappas continued, saying "He has failed the most fundamental element of the job: to support and defend the Constitution. That is why I support the growing bipartisan calls for his immediate removal from power under the 25th Amendment or the impeachment process, whichever means will ensure the swiftest possible end to his dangerous Presidency. "