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Leaders, Churches Honor Local Law Enforcement Officers

Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 6:02 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -

Working in law enforcement carries a huge weight of expectations. It can also be a thankless job. That’s why some Wiregrass leaders gave local law enforcement some much needed encouragement Monday.

“They too are dads, and moms and sons and daughters. And so they are just humans like we are. And they need encouragement for the work that they do,” Pastor Charles Lewis said.

Area church pastors came together for the Dothan Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. It was held to honor police officers, sheriffs deputies, and state troopers.

“Right now, we are going through times that are difficult. And this helps a lot of officers get through and know that they have support from the community and our churches,” Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza said.

With many police departments facing backlash for the bad decisions of a few, Lewis says the appreciation day was a small way to give encouragement.

“I hope that they take with them that there’s a community that supports them. That there’s a community that is praying for them. And we want to also challenge them to serve with justice and fairness,” Lewis said.

The program included a Chic-Fil-A lunch, words of encouragement from community leaders, and a prayer.

“It’s often times difficult to keep the officers motivated and happy and content with what they’re doing when they’re under appreciated. That doesn’t mean law enforcement officers don’t make mistakes. They certainly do, but we can do our part to remain transparent and accountable,” Dothan Chief of Police Steven Parrish said.

A city coming together to honor those who sacrifices every day, not knowing when or if they’ll return home.

“They are often taken away from birthday parties, special events, they just have to leave. And it’s not just them. But its their families too,” Lewis said.

As part of the festivities, some of the officers and community leaders got the chance to take a tour of the facility and take part in a round table discussion.

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