Whether it’s for the fulfilling work experience or the inspiration of helping others, the reasons why people choose a career in public service are as diverse as the individuals who fill the jobs.
Yet, no matter the reason, their impact centers on one common theme: community. Having a positive impact on people’s lives in their communities fuels the work ethic of many public servants. And they do so with little fanfare or recognition.
During Public Service Recognition Week, it’s time to shine the spotlight on those individuals who serve as federal, state, county, or local government employees. This is the fourth post in our series for Public Service Recognition Week.
Stephen Meece, Ripon Police Department
“Everybody judges law enforcement on their last contact…. So, I think having contacts with our community and letting them know who we are, as people, allows them to understand where we’re coming from. I think if you don’t have compassion in this job you shouldn’t be in the job.
“The support our community gives us is unlike any I’ve ever seen and that’s what we pride ourselves on in the city—the safety. With the ability to handle smaller things a lot of times, we don’t have to worry about the bigger things as much, and it helps the community with quality of life.”
Taran Mann, City of Palo Alto, Human Resources
“What drew me to stay is what we do, not only affecting our employees, but the community. And I tell this to everyone, I work for the City of Palo Alto and it’s not like you’re working on a product. You’re affecting essentially 60,000 residents, and you’re making sure that their lights are on, roads are fixed. If there’s a fire, there are firefighters, there’s police service. So, you’re not focused on one thing, you’re focused on 60,000 individuals and that’s what keeps me going and staying in public service and that’s what will continue to motivate me to stay in public service.
“It’s not just that you’re focused on your product, on your employees within an organization, but rather you’re focused on an entire community and making sure that community is being served.”
CalPERS is proud to feature the people who serve the state of California in this special series, We Serve CA. If you have a great story to tell about what public service means to you and how you serve the state of California, please share it with us on our Facebook page, or by using the hashtag #WeServeCA on Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!