The key mission of the BOMA/Chicago Security Committee is to recommend and implement programs designed to keep building owners and managers up to date on issues that have an impact on the security and well being of the people who work in member buildings and the properties themselves. But the Committee also is charged with establishing and strengthening working relationships with first responders called in emergencies – most notably members of the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Fire Department.
Maintaining a strong and cooperative relationship with our first responders is critical for the office building industry. Plans and procedures that were employed prior to and during the NATO Summit here last May really encapsulate a successful relationship between the private and public sectors.
Years ago, our Security Committee leadership explored ways to recognize and give a little back to our first responders; the result was the creation of the Appreciation Lunches, a program launched in 2008.
Through the program, BOMA/Chicago members are invited to sponsor lunches for these men and women who are on call 24 hours a day to provide help when needed. The sponsorships provide a boxed lunch that is delivered to each firehouse or police district, with enough lunches to feed each shift. Fourteen BOMA/Chicago members contributed to the program in 2012, raising a total of $8,700. Sponsor names are printed on a “Thank You” sign that’s displayed at each lunch and on brochures inserted into the lunch boxes.
Last year, Appreciation Lunches were given to more than 750 first responders who support the Central Business District, including the 1st and 18th Police Districts, Fire Department Engines 1, 13, 42, 98 and the Fire Prevention Bureau. It was great to see the men and women from these Districts and Engines enjoying these small tokens of our gratitude – as well as receiving recognition for their daily dedication and service to the owners, managers and people who work in office tower properties.
Are you familiar with any similar program to recognize first responders? Please share your thoughts.