Officer appreciation event brings community together

Back The Blue Picnic
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The first Law Enforcement Appreciation Community Picnic took place Saturday afternoon as a way to show love and support for men and women in uniform.

The event was held downtown. Police officers and their family members attended.  Volunteers gave out free food, drinks and door prizes donated from a number of businesses and individuals that participated as a way to tie the community together with Law Enforcement.

"This is just a way for citizens and businesses of Jonesboro to say thank you so much to police officers and local heroes," said Heather Talley, co-chair and volunteer for the event.

"You know for all of the people to come out and support the police like this is just incredible," Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin said.

This picnic was a fun community event, but to the volunteers and officers who attended, it was more meaningful than that.

"This started from an idea of Colby Brooks and me, brainstorming," Talley said. "How can we help? How can we show them that they are appreciated? And it literally took off like wildfire."

"You hear all of your life that this is a great community to live in, but then you start planning one of these events and realize it's phenomenal," said Colby Brooks, co-chair and volunteer for the event.

Brooks and Talley are just two of the nearly 100 volunteers along with several businesses that made this event a reality.

Jonesboro K-9 Officer Dustin Smith said he was just amazed at the amount of love from the community.

"There are so many people that came together in a short amount of time to put this on," Smith said. "It's overwhelming the amount of support that we have had from the community."

Talley said she has family in law enforcement, which is why she is passionate about showing her respect to officers.

"I see the sacrifices they make and I feel like our officers are, a lot of times, overlooked with the things that are going on in the world right now," she said. "Sometimes they get a bad rap and that is not my opinion at all."

Officer Smith said he is forever grateful for his community making every day a great day to work in law enforcement.

"Every time something happens, no matter what it is with our department, the city of Jonesboro always gets behind us and we'd like to say thank you for that," Smith said.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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