Today our nation is still mourning the loss of the Dallas officers killed in the line of duty, but Angelina County community members gathered at Lufkin ER to show their support for local law enforcement.
Briana Harkness who coordinated the event explained the meaning behind the prayer gathering.
"Being the daughter of an officer I think something like this is really important to just say thank you and let them know they are loved and supported," said Harkness
Briana’s father, Sherriff of Angelina County, was also there to show his appreciation for the people who came to the event and expressed their love for local police.
“Law enforcement is really lucky in Angelina County, we have good support and they really care about us," said Sherriff Sanches.
Those that gathered said being here shaking an officer’s hand was an honor.
“I think it’s really neat to have the opportunity to gather as a community and love on these officers," said Tifah Fleniken a supporter that attended the event.
Despite the fear and sadness that is being felt at a national level, Angie Stone said that she hoped the event gave local officers a feeling of appreciation.
"Our police officers are special, that their families are special, and the job they do is not easy, they deserve to know how much we care for them" said Angie Stone another supporter from the event.
Rusty Waters, a patrol officer for Lufkin Police Department said the entire law enforcement community is mourning this time in our nation,
“It is emotional for us, but we just have to stay vigilant so that we don’t become a statistic,” Waters said.
He said he was so appreciative of the community and their ability to organize an event.
“You will never know how much it means to an officer, I would tell anyone to just shake a first responders hand next time you see one, it will make their day,” Waters said.
Although there can be confusion from social media and other forms of mass communication, Sherriff Sanches asked the attendants of the event to continue to rely on the facts.
“We have to be very careful when we’re listening to social media, national media, or anything else sometimes they can paint of picture of division where there isn't one,” Sanches said.
Important for all to remember as the nation moves forward after the tragedy in Dallas, Texas that unity remains in Angelina County.
“There is that saying, ‘united we stand divided we fall,’ and I think we are united here, and that’s very important,” Sanches said.