NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Special notes of thanks and the display of thin blue lines on vehicles are just a couple of ways Nacogdoches residents are expressing their "Back the Blue" sentiments.
Choosing a pro law enforcement event was an easy decision for a group of employees accustomed to helping others.
Nacogdoches County and city peace officers were honored with cheers and hugs. It's the kind of reception that almost makes them blush, but their expressions show they enjoy it through and through.
"It makes us feel good and brings a smile to our faces when people put on events like this and it just makes us feel appreciated throughout the community," said Brian Eggebrecht, a canine handler for the Nacogdoches Police Department.
That meant mission accomplished for Accolade Hospice. Every year employees can select a day of service that best expresses the ministry they represent, 26:12. The title is in reference to the verse from the biblical book of Isaiah.
"Lord, you have established peace for us; all that we've accomplished you have done for us," said Brian Tyre, an Accolade Hospice employee and a hospice chaplain. "And so today it's about us playing our part in recognizing and acknowledging these law enforcement officers that keep us safe and try to bring peace in the community."
The public was invited to leave sentiments on a Back the Blue Banner.
"Thanking them for all their service that they do and putting their life on the line for us each day," said Tracylynn Risher, a community member.
There were personal handwritten thank you notes too.
"And we're attaching them to a card with a bag of goodies, and we're going to take these to the sheriff's office and to the police department," said Kathy Payne, an Accolade Hospice employee.
There was also an opportunity to provide a public recognition for our peace officers. If you see a vehicle with a thin blue line across the back end of the car, then you know the driver "Backs the Blue."
"On a personal basis, it makes you want to actually get up and come to work," said James Jordan, a Nacogdoches Police Department patrol officer.
"We depend on the community support to do our jobs and be effective at what we do," said Sgt. Roy Mobley.
The volunteers' wider message was achieved.
"There's a force behind them as well and disrespect to them will not be tolerated by the majority," said Brandee Best, a community member.
The police officers at the event said appreciation for their service is often expressed and felt by East Texans. They only wish the same could be true for their colleagues across the nation.
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