By Sarah Naron
Messenger Reporter

In honor of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (L.E.A.D.) – observed annually January 9 – officials of Houston and Anderson counties took time to salute the men and women in blue who tirelessly work to keep the communities throughout each county safe and secure.

“We are very blessed to have our law enforcement that we have,” said Houston County Judge Jim L. Lovell. “It’s a very hardworking group of folks that protect us.”

Houston County District Attorney Donna Gordon Kaspar expressed gratitude of her own for the law enforcement officials who strive to protect the county and the cities of which it consists.

“Each of them do a great job every day to keep us safe by vigilantly patrolling to prevent crime and catching the criminals who do perpetrate crimes in our community,” she said. “They work long hours and can never be repaid what they truly deserve for putting their lives on the line each and every day.”

Houston County Attorney Daphne Session said she “greatly appreciates” all law enforcement officials throughout the county and is “proud to work with each and every one.”

State Representative Trent Ashby expressed pride in the ability to join with civilians across the country “to publicly thank our law enforcement officers for all they do to keep us safe and protect our communities.

“They have answered a call to service that few will ever know,” he pointed out. “On this special day, let’s all join together in thanking them for their bravery, courage and selflessness, as well as recommit ourselves to praying daily for their safety.”

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, Palestine Police Department and Frankston Police Department are three entities to which Anderson County Judge Robert D. Johnston pledges his full support.

“I’m just a big supporter of all law enforcement – and of course, our state law enforcement also,” he said.

Anderson County District Attorney Allyson Mitchell described the opportunity to work with the county’s law enforcement agencies as “an honor.

“The men and women at these agencies put their lives on the line every day to ensure that we live in a safer place,” she said. “Through continued open communication and assistance with my office and Anderson County law enforcement agencies, we have worked together to improve our community. I am truly grateful for all their hard work and look forward to the future.”

National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day is orchestrated by Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing resources to the families and coworkers of the approximately 140-160 law enforcement officers killed annually in the line of duty. C.O.P.S. encourages Americans everywhere to show their gratitude on Jan. 9 and provides several suggestions on how to do so, including:

• Request that children in your community write letters of support to local law enforcement.

• Wear blue clothing to show your backing of the men and women in blue.

• Send a card to your local law enforcement agencies.

• Share a story on social media about a positive experience with law enforcement.

• Change your social media profile picture to the image available for use at www.facebook.com/nationalcops.

• Perhaps the best way to show your gratitude on Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, C.O.P.S. says, is “if you see a police officer, thank a police officer.”

Sarah Naron may be reached via email at snaron@messenger-news.com.