Police officers, Chief Gary MacNamara told the Board of Selectmen on Thursday, are like icebergs. What can be seen of an iceberg is impressive, he said, "but we all know you're only seeing 10 percent of the ice."

MacNamara gave the selectmen a report on things a police officer routinely does and accepted a proclamation from First Selectman Michael Tetreau declaring Friday "National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day."

The police chief said he welcomed the opportunity to bring the national discussion that's occurring on law enforcement to the local level.

"We have to win the hearts and minds of those one-on-one contacts we have," MacNamara said. "We become police officers because we know we can have an impact, and mostly, that impact is positive."

While officers may be involved in arrests or issuing tickets for motor vehicle violations, MacNamara said they are also doing a range of other things.

Over the holiday season, he said, they hosted a luncheon for senior citizens, and collected toys for needy children. They work with students from local high schools and colleges interested in law enforcement as a possible career, and teach classes to elementary school students to help them make the right choices in life, MacNamara said. They organize fishing derbies in the spring and Punt, Pass and Kick competitions in the fall.

"In the town of Fairfield, we are woven into the community," he said.

In his proclamation, Tetreau urged the public to show support of police by wearing blue, by sending a card or letter to the Police Department, or sharing a story on social media.

"If you see a police officer, please give them your thanks," Tetreau said.