Bakersfield Police Department:

Recently, I had the honor of being able to briefly visit with both families and one of the Bakersfield police officers (the other officer was in surgery) at Kern Medical Center, recovering from being shot while serving our city.

Last week officers from the Bakersfield Police Department were again in harm’s way as they apprehended three dangerous suspects involved in a host of armed robberies, in which one witness was shot at; and numerous businesses along with their employees were victimized.

This week there are fundraising events planned for fallen BPD Sergeant Dennis Moore and the department’s 35th Annual Memorial Run, honoring officers killed in the line of duty. Next week we will welcome newly minted police officers to our community, as they graduate from the Bakersfield Law Enforcement Training Academy. They, too, will have the responsibility to pick up the mantle of citizen service, to help protect us from those who prey on others.

Under the leadership of Chief Lyle Martin, this department continues to adapt to the changing community needs and respond to its requests, with professionalism and service.

Bakersfield Fire Department:

An older gentleman suffers a medical event while attempting to bury his beloved dog in the backyard. He’s not only rescued, but his tools are locked away in his shed and his pet is respectfully buried. A family is chased from their home in the middle of the night when its engulfed in flames. Not only do rescuers find their scared pet, but save cherished family photos from the fire.

This year has also been extremely harsh, with wildfires as they burned out of control, and almost daily swift water rescues were required on the Kern River during the summer. While most residents were home on the 4th of July with their families, illegal fireworks enforcement teams were out patrolling city streets, so we could be safe in our homes from fire and explosions. Through all these events, the common denominator and defender to our property and lives has been the quiet professionals of the Bakersfield Fire Department.

Under the leadership of Chief Doug Greener, they serve with little fanfare, except for an occasional dramatic news photo, showing them facing some sort of manmade or natural calamity.

So, as we hopefully go through our crime and injury-free lives, please reflect upon those that serve with courage and little gratitude. They are our local public safety heroes — for whom service and sacrifice to our community are synonymous.

Chris Parlier is a Bakersfield City Council member.