Locals express gratitude for law enforcement

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Local businesses are giving their thanks to those who protect them and their customers. Wednesday is Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.

Robbie Hales, co-owner of The Liberty Shop, is expressing her gratitude.

“We’re very thankful for our law enforcement. And having been in business for 44 years, when doing commerce, naturally in a city, you want to feel safe yourself, but [also] for your customer’s safety as well,” Hales says. “So we’re grateful for all that they do to keep us safe.”

Hales says there’s only been one time she has felt unsafe at her business and law enforcement was there for her in no time.

“I called the police department about 35 years ago. I felt a little uncomfortable when I was leaving [the Liberty Shop] one night; it was real late. I was doing windows, and they came down and watched me leave, and that is the only time that I have ever felt a little unsafe, and I’m here all hours, we come and go,” Hales says.

Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun with the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department says he is grateful for the support officers receive from the community.

“We are appreciative of the community and citizens who appreciate the efforts that are put forth every day,” Calhoun says. “It is nice of course on this day to have that recognition. We hear it quite often, not just on today. It may sound like it’s just one day, but we feel like we have a community that supports us and that helps us to get up every day and go to work and be motivated to do the right thing and represent the community that we are sworn to protect.”

There are more than 900,000 active law enforcement officers in the United States.

Since the first-ever recorded police officer fatality in 1791, there have been over 21,000 officers killed in the line of duty.