SPRINGDALE (KFSM) – Friday (Jan. 9) was “National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.”
The cold weather didn't stop a group of supporters from gathering at Jose’s Mexican Restaurant on Sunset Avenue in Springdale to recognize the men and women who work to protect communities across the country.
“If we can do anything to boost that morale for [police officers], and say `hey, we are behind you, and support you`, then why not do it?' said Callee Landers, the event organizer. “With all the negativity that has been happening in recent couple of months, we wanted to come out here and show our support for law enforcement.”
Jose’s provided free hot chocolate for those who attended the rally.
“There may be a few bad apples out there,” said Doug Allen, owner of Jose’s in Sprngdale. “But, for the most part, [police] are doing a great job.”
Retired deputy Gary Hendricks attended the rally.
“It is not a protest, we are not out here rioting,” Hendricks said. “People need to start supporting the police.”
”We would be lost without them,” Allen said.
Landers father, Joe Landers, served as the police chief of Lowell.
Joe Landers died in 2012 when a driver under the influence hit him on his motorcycle in Florida.
Callee Landers says recent protests around the country are what led her to organize today's event.
“We`ve [seen] protests with those who think the police are in the wrong when they protect their own lives,” Landers said. “[Police] have a split second to make that decision on who is going home at night. And, the fact that [police] chose to go home at the end of the night, that`s the best decision you can make. We are 100% behind that. They`re the ones who protect us at night.”
Some of those who attended the event brought signs to get drivers in on the rally.
Lander is also encouraging people to light blue light bulbs on their porches as a sign of support for law enforcement.