On April 2, Salt River Police Department (SRPD) Chief Patrick R. Melvin represented the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community at a special reception in Washington, D.C. in honor of first responders and the work they provide to their communities.
Vice President Joseph Biden invited more than 100 federal, state and local law enforcement officers and first responders, including police and fire chiefs and emergency-services executives, from across the country to attend the reception, which was held at the vice-president’s historic residence on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory.
“The vice president always has been a proponent of public safety and law-enforcement issues,” said Melvin. “I have worked with him in the past; I’ve been on conference calls with him talking about the narrowband radio communications issues.”
During the reception, Chief Melvin was able to spend a few minutes with Vice President Biden and took the opportunity to present him a Salt River Police Department “Coin of Excellence.”
The SRPD Coin of Excellence is similar to challenge coins, small medallions representing excellence and special achievements that are generally carried by individuals who are part of specific organizations, particularly the military. In return, Vice President Biden presented Chief Melvin with a White House Vice President challenge coin.
“The White House’s commitment to not only municipal police departments, but also tribal communities is very important and was displayed by this invitation. The president and vice president have made very clear their support for tribal communities and public safety,” said Chief Melvin. “I look forward to hopefully representing the community again in the future when given the opportunity.”
AAN Senior Reporter Tasha Silverhorn contributed to this article.