Policing the Community with Candy Canes and a Holiday Story

Candy Cane and Law Enforcement

RITE candy cane story

The history of the candy cane itself goes back many centuries and has often been used as a symbol during spiritual holidays. The Red, the White, and the Crook at the top, can have great parallels to all public service professionals.

History and Heroes – The Candy Cane Story

The Candy Cane is made up of (3) separate parts, joined together as one. Each part works individually, yet when joined together they become an important whole that it represents.


The RED in the Candy Cane

red candy caneThe first part of the Candy Cane is RED, often referred as the life-blood that flows through our veins. It is our own personal genetic make-up that makes us unique and human. As unique individuals we each face challenges and obstacles every day, but the question is how do we handle it? We call this our Emotional Intelligence, (EI). This is how we feel about the things happening in our everyday life, and how we react in positive or negative ways.

RITE Ladder at the bottomOur emotional awareness is critical to our own personal success, as our emotions drive our behavior of how we treat ourselves and others. Our thoughts are either helping us or hurting us.

If most of our thoughts are negative (Bottom of the RITE Ladder), like:

  • I feel Worry often, as bad things always happen to me
  • I am so Angry that I never get any breaks
  • I Fear I’ll never get ahead

… with those negative thoughts, everything bad will likely continue to happen. (That’s called the Law of attraction). In order to change anything, we must first be AWARE of it.

Top of RITE LadderIf we choose thoughts that are more positive (TOP of the RITE Ladder), like:

  • I Love that good things are happening for me
  • I am so Grateful and blessed with good in my life
  • I am Optimistic that my hard work will pay off


As public servants we face good and bad things every day, for which we may be happy, sad, and even angry. These trials and tribulations are a combination of things that happen to us, both on and off the job.

Some of us may have lost loved ones, a relationship break-up, face health challenges, or have made sacrifices like financial hardship. All of the personal challenges can affect how we act on-the-job when interacting with others.

The RED in the candy cane represents what is Inside of US, and our own emotions. Getting our own emotions in check first, will help everything else we do in life.


The White in the Candy Cane

RITE Candy cane and copsThe WHITE stands for our pure kindness, joy, and gratitude of everything and everyone in our life. This is our Social Intelligence, which represents our interactions with others.

How we engage is important when connecting with others in the community, in our department, with or co-workers, and with families and friends.

When you connect with others, do you show more Empathy that says, “I care about you,” or apathy, “I really don’t care how you feel.” Connecting with others means that we can walk in their shoes, and no matter if they transgress against us, we are able to show kindness and compassion, and add VALUE to them.

Take time out of your day to be grateful for what you have in your life, while saying “thank you” to others who we have come in contact with. Showing appreciation to others is a precious gift that we can give to everyone this holiday season.

The WHITE represents what is Outside of US, and how we interact with others. Getting our own emotions in check first, will help us treat others with more kindness, respect, and consideration.

The CROOK of the Cane

RITE candy cane storyThe last and third part of the candy cane, is its cane-shape, similar to that of a shepherd’s cane. Racial Intelligence, which means as servants in public service we take an oath to serve and protect, while treating everyone fairly.

Like a flock of sheep, every community is made up of many great different cultures, races, genders, and religious faiths. No matter our differences we can ALL choose to respect those differences, while serving as great shepherds that steer others to ‘Do the Right thing.’

RITE candy cane story Feel Connect ValuImagine if we used our own shepherd’s cane to all be great servants in the community, and look to add VALUE to everyone we meet.

Imagine removing our self-serving objectives, our entitlement, our disrespectful ways, and turned our attitudes into positive beacons of Optimism, Gratitude, and Hope. We all have the ability to choose how we shine our light on others… in other words, leave every encounter with VALUE


As public servants, our own personal life may have many twists and turns of red and white, like the candy cane. Our days may be long, and sometimes we may not always get the ‘thanks’ we deserve. May we all continue to be great shepherds with our candy canes this holiday season.


The CROOK (similar to a Shepherd’s cane), represents an OATH of SERVICE, to serve and protect the community, and to treat everyone fairly.

Lastly, may we honor those public servants who made the ultimate sacrifice in their communities as wonderful shepherds, while keeping fond memories of their dedication and service to their communities. Police, Fire rescue, EMS, Dispatchers, and Corrections represent the Candy Canes of our public service community. Their dedication to serve the public, are quite like the great shepherds in the community, always ready to help those in need.



RITE Academy teaches the Candy Cane story to public servants when teaching Professional Workplace Culture as it too represents our RITE Formula.

On behalf of all public service professionals, we wish you and your family health and happiness this Holiday Season. Spread Love, Gratitude and Joy every chance you get, at work and at home, this holiday season and beyond.Get RITE Academy Information

candy cane garland