The Musings of a Veteran Journalist

New “Shout-Out a Co-Worker” Program Leads to Massive Boost in Morale

QUEENS – After the Department’s groundbreaking announcement that members of the service will be allowed to nominate fellow officers as part of the “Shout Out a Co-Worker” program, morale has skyrocketed to levels not seen since the job was alive, sources said.

After learning about the new program, thousands of officers in dilapidated precincts citywide jumped with joy. “Finally, we’ve been heard,” screamed David Creadockson, a police officer who felt a day like this would never come. “Finally, I’ll be able to tell the job how good my partner is. Honestly, now, I don’t even care if my 28 gets denied 3 months in advance. My partner getting a pat on the back is the only reward I need,” he added.

In Manhattan, the otherwise bustling Pension Section was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. “Since the ‘Shout Out’ program was announced, no one has called to make a retirement appointment,” said Mr. Khan, a Pension Fund employee. “In fact, the only calls we’ve been getting are from people looking to withdraw their papers,” he said. Adding, “It looks like the Department finally found the right formula for employee success.”

One of these members, Sergeant Joseph Ricardo, said he was all set to retire, but the ‘Shout Out’ program made him rethink his plans. “I was about to move to Florida,” said Ricardo, who has fond memories of the job from a time when he would actually recommend it to loved ones. “This has been a tough time for cops. Sure, we’ve been begging for improved working conditions and better tours. But honestly, this is soooooo much better.”

Up in the Bronx, several uniformed members huddled around the command’s sole working computer to get a chance at sending an email to the ‘Shout Out’ team. “My tour ended 3 hours ago, but I’m staying on my own time for this,” said Police Officer Marcos Santos.

“The other day, one of the local SRG cops was flagged down by a motorist. They actually took a 61 for them. So, I pointed a finger at him and screamed ‘SHOUT OUT’ at the top of my lungs, you know, to boost his morale,” said Santos. “I could tell he was over the moon, and I want to make sure he gets the recognition he deserves.”

Several days later, we tracked down the SRG officer, who stated his entire outlook had changed after Santos’ nominated him for recognition. “That ‘Shout Out’ changed my life,” he said. “I went down to 1PP, shook some hands, and was granted a Commander’s Day for my efforts in merely doing my job. It was very humbling.”

In a shocking twist, sources later said the Commander’s Day was denied, and the officer vowed never to take a 61 again, just as his SRG field training had taught him. “Serves me right for trying to reinvent the wheel,” he said. “What am I, a newly promoted captain?”

Meanwhile, members of the Recruitment Section were flooded with calls from hopeful applicants who wanted a piece of the ‘Shout Out’ pie. “We’ve had trouble getting people without criminal records who want to do this job,” said Lieutenant Raquele Jones. “We tried to pitch all the benefits of doing a job with no support from the top, low pay, and lots of second-guessing, but there were few takers outside the bottom of the barrel,” she said.

One officer who recently vested quit his new police job and returned. “I can’t think of a better way to change the culture. The tide is finally turning,” he said. “Getting treated with respect by the community and command staff was great, but there was no way to ‘Shout Out’ co-workers. Who wants to work in that sort of environment? I’m glad to be back,” he said, moments before being forced to work a double on a day he requested off.

— Reporting by Hubert B. Tyman —