Residents thank local police departments in wake of shootings

Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Residents thank local police departments in wake of shootings
Residents are expressing their gratitude to local police departments

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- As they mourn the lives lost in Dallas, police departments around the Triangle are also taking to social media to thank the community for the outpouring of support.

The Zebulon Police Department posted a picture on Facebook of a sign outside the Touching the Heart Deliverance Ministry on W Barbee Street. It says "Thank you for putting on the uniform."

The Fuquay-Varina Police Department posted pictures of Krispy Kreme Donuts, fruit. and cards sent by residents.

The Apex Police Department also got plenty of food sent to officers and thank you cards with hand-written messages like: "Thank you for keeping us safe," and "You risk your lives so that we can live ours in peace."

"We've always felt our community support but after the events in Dallas, it's been great to know that they are behind us and that they do support us 100 percent, whether it's kids making us keychains or cards or cookies," said Apex Police Department Captain Ann Stephens.

One Apex resident dropped off an angel statue to officers, saying police are the angels of the community.

"All those little gestures mean a lot to us to know they are there supporting us," Captain Stephens said.

But perhaps the greatest gifts officers are getting are the hugs, hand shakes, and smiles.

"Personally, I've had people just stop me, shake my hand, thank me," said Town of Garner Police Chief Brandon Zuidema. "People that are specifically taking this time, whether it's at the post office or at the store, just out in the community, stop and particularly talk to a police officer and that's really meaningful to all of us because it's reassuring."

Garner Police Chief Brandon Zuidema says they're getting that reassurance in their everyday interaction with the community from residents like Mo Ahumada.

"We've made a point to say 'thank you' to the guys and women of the police department," Ahumada said. "We understand that they're first responders and they're there to help us out. They put their lives on the line for us. They make our community safe and strong."

Double-sided signs saying "Thank you Garner Police!" are popping up outside some homes and businesses in Garner. A resident placed one by the police department entrance.

Bill Ferenz, the owner of Signarama on 201 Tryon Road in Raleigh, says a customer ordered one after the Dallas shootings and now more people are requesting them. He said they've sold about a dozen signs.

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