PARKVILLE, Mo. — Hundreds in the Northland are saying thank you to law enforcement officers. On May 19, The Parkville Police Department hosted an event to bring the community and officers face to face.
For these officers putting on their badge is something they do every day, but for the kids who came to the event, some peeled on their first foil shield.
” It’s just our way of letting the community interact with us, so it`s exciting to see the children, and adults too quite frankly,” said Parkville Police Chief, Kevin L. Chrisman.
For Law Enforcement Appreciation Week around 30 agencies came together not only to be recognized for their service, but to show people what they do.
“There’s all sorts of opportunities for them to get some exposure, and to learn the value and see it as a possible profession. So, I think it’s fantastic,” said law enforcement officer, Scott Hacker.
Hacker and his family are moving to The Northland to start a position with a department in the area.
“An event like this gives us an opportunity as an LEO to meet people and to show that what we do is really to serve the community,” Hacker said.
Andrea Ballentine brought her daughters to to the event to teach them about why she believes law enforcement officers should be respected, as well as the law. Her oldest daughter was excited about an officer giving her baseball cards.
“They’re so kind, and they’re so interactive with the kids. They sacrifice a lot in order to give us that safety,” Ballentine said.
Fallen officers are not forgotten here with banners of those who’s lives were lost, along with a thin blue line flag waving above the crowd.
“In the last couple years we’ve lost some really good officers in the Kansas City area. One of the ways we can show how much we value the law enforcement community is to show up to events like this,” Hacker said.
Both Chief Chrisman and Hacker hope events like this can help the community see what they do is more about engagement than enforcement.
“Police are really your friend, and we will respond no matter what. While sometimes we’re on the bad end of things, and get a bad reputation. The truth is that we do more good than bad, and we`re going to come and help you regardless,” Chief Chrisman said.
“It’s great to have an event like this where people have the opportunity to walk up and shake your hand and say thank you. I wish every profession were as lucky as we are in that respect,” Hacker said.