The Philadelphia Wings celebrated Local Heroes Night on Friday during their game against the New York Riptide. The event honored first responders and members of the military by shining a light on their service to the community.
For Wings coach Paul Day, who spent 27 years on the police force in Ontario, Canada, and whose wife is in her 25th year as a police sergeant, that event hit close to home.
“Working in the industry as a police officer for a long time, it’s always about the community, community safety and teamwork,” Day said. “For me right now, to give back to people that are working in emergency service or military background, it’s very important.”
Day has worked in professional lacrosse since 1991 as a player, coach and an executive. His rookie year in the National Lacrosse League was also his first year in the police force. It wasn’t long after his retirement from the force that his new role as general manager and head coach of the Philadelphia Wings was announced in 2018.
Spending so much time between lacrosse and law enforcement, he naturally drew parallels between the two worlds, stressing that relationship building was a key factor to his success in both fields.
If you’re a leader in your police service, sports team or leader in the community, it’s about how you deal with people, how you treat people and how you work with people. So, I think that’s probably the biggest thing I’ve learned.
As a now retired police officer, Day spoke about how those who aren’t first responders or in the military can still be local heroes to people around them.
“Doing the right thing and being good to people, I think that goes a long way every day,” he said. "I think if you live that way, you can be a hero to everybody.”