Captain J. Sapp, Delaware State Police ~ Why I serve

“Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall be called the children of God.” ~ Jesus (Matthew 5:9 ~ The Bible)

Over the past several years the mainstream media and some of our major metropolitan cities have villainized the men and women that took an oath to protect and serve our communities.  Society and culture have gotten it wrong, again.  At High 5 Hospitality we believe in community.  That’s why one of our cornerstone partners is not only the Delaware State Police but the DSP Memorial Fund.

That connection came about because of a seating assignment at a fund raiser several years ago.  I was place at a table with the father and the wife of this month’s contributor.  From that sprung a friendship, a mutual respect and an informal promise that someday (after retirement) he would become the best dishwasher that H5H has ever seen. Captain Sapp serves as the Director – Office of Strategic Development and is the Statewide Honor Guard Commander.

Just before he assumed all of the duties surrounding the Delaware State Fair a week ago, I connected with Jason and asked one question:  Why do you serve? 

“Every Delaware State Trooper, from the time they enter the Training Academy through their final day with the Division have the Division’s Core Values instilled in them.  These values – our H-I-C-L-A-D-S – serve as a framework for what we as Delaware Troopers and Civilian employees are to embody.  These Core Values are Honor, Integrity, Courage, Loyalty, Attitude, Discipline, and you guessed it – Service…

The calling to commit to a life of service, ‘public service’ for me, began in my earliest years.  My paternal grandfather served in the United States Army in the Pacific theater during World War II.  My maternal grandfather served in the United States Navy in the Pacific theater during that horrible war as well.  Fortunately, both survived that experience and went on to enjoy fulfilling lives Stateside afterwards.  Both my father and uncle Honorably served as Wilmington Police Officers.  With those four role models in my life during my formative years I don’t know how I could have ended up doing anything but this…

As I enter my 28th year of ‘service’ to the citizens of this Great State I have gained a perspective on the word service that I don’t believe I possessed as a young Trooper.  Entering the Academy at 21 years of age I was certainly committed to the notion of serving but was also, admittedly, somewhat addicted to the adrenaline rushes that this profession provides.  Without a clear understanding of what constant adrenaline spikes and the associated stress would do to my body at that time I immersed myself in this profession.  While I am not the physical specimen, I once was due to that stress (If I’m being honest I was never much of a specimen…) I believe that my soul has been fortified over those many years in a meaningful way.  That fortification largely came from serving.  In serving I can only hope that I served well, whether it be helping stranded motorists traveling through our State or helping to apprehend violent criminals. 

Most of the service provided by law enforcement professionals day after day goes largely unnoticed by the general populous – that’s ok.  Many in the media and those in positions of ‘influence’, such as politicians and celebrities, very recently have chosen to paint a very different picture of our profession and by direct extension those of us in it – that’s not ok but unfortunately it has become our ‘world.’  If you were to believe much of what you see and hear these days you might be inclined to think that law enforcement officers do what they do for all the wrong reasons…  Don’t buy into that.  We, at our very core, exist to serve…

Myself and my many noble colleagues love to serve just as the phenomenal employees of High 5 Hospitality love to serve.  That desire is what drives us into our uniforms every day and out the door…   I’ve lived a full, rich and, admittedly at times, a challenging professional life but I have never experienced a greater feeling of personal satisfaction than in those instances wherein I was able to help someone, SERVE someone, in a time of need.  While the service I ‘provide’ to the citizens of this State may differ from the service you all provide my family and I, whether it be at B Dubs, LBB, Stone Balloon, Eggspectation or Jersey Mike’s I believe it comes from the same place.  That said, our collective service, regardless of venue or scope, creates a massive similarity between us all!

I plan to serve in the uniform of a Delaware State Trooper for a few more years and I promise I will give my best effort in doing so!  My hope is that each of you will continue to provide that same effort as you serve not just as employees of H5H but in every aspect of your lives!  Thank you and God Bless!”