SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Area police officers are being honored in Lebanon during a week-long event.
Organizers say the Lebanon Backs the Blue event was created for the first time this year to honor local law enforcement.
Banners and decorations cover the downtown area to celebrate.
Organizer Don Anderson said they formed a Back the Blue committee about two months ago to organize and plan the event.
He said it comes after they noticed area agencies were struggling to find officers.”If you come to Lebanon and want to serve in law enforcement here, we’ve got your back.” Anderson said. “We will be there with you.”
Laclede County Sheriff David Millsap said he’s hopeful the Back the Blue week might draw people in.”I think if I was a young person getting into this business, I’d be looking around to communities like Lebanon and Laclede County and going, you know what, that’s the place I wanna go serve,” Millsap said.
Anderson said area businesses are stepping up to make officers feel appreciated.”A lot of our restaurants have actually given us enough certificates to give a free meal to every one of those who serve in law enforcement,” Anderson said.
Millsap said a simple thank you will do. He said their department is thankful the community is coming together to do something like this.“I think that means something to them to be able to step back and go, I don’t care about all this other noise, I know what my community thinks of the work that we do,” Millsap said.
Anderson said there’s a special ceremony planned for law enforcement at Lebanon’s Friday night football game.