Prince George’s leader reads Robert Frost to new police officers

July 23, 2013

It is not clear how often a poem by Robert Frost is selected for reading at a graduation ceremony for police recruits. But the new graduates of the Prince George’s County police training academy heard one Tuesday from the county executive.

The poem read by Rushern L. Baker was not the best known of the works of the celebrated American poet. Baker read “Choose Something Like a Star,” to the 47 graduates, said Officer Nicole Hubbard, a spokeswoman for the county police.

The meanings of poems are often personal; people are free to decide them for themselves. But the Frost poem appears to recognize the star for qualities, such as quiet steadfastness, that may be desired or expected in a law enforcement officer.

It also suggests perhaps a need at times for communication, as in the lines:

“Some mystery becomes the proud.

“But to be wholly taciturn

“In your reserve is not allowed.”

The star also “ asks of us a certain height,” the poem reads, “so when at times the mob is swayed / To carry praise or blame too far, /We may choose something like a star /To stay our minds on and be staid.”

Of the academy graduates who completed the county’s 123rd basic training session, the police said, 37 will join the county police. Of the remaining 10 officers, two will join the Prince George’s County Fire Department, five will join the Prince George’s County Office of the Sheriff and three will join the Prince George’s County Division of the Maryland-National Capital Park Police.

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