Last Thursday night, the nation watched in horror as five Dallas police officers were gunned down by a deranged killer. Nine others, including two civilians, were wounded in an attack that has been described as the worst loss of law enforcement life since 9/11.
On Friday, the local community came out to show its support for the men and women of the Kernersville Police Department who go out every day to protect and serve the town’s citizens, to tell them thank you and that not everyone hates police officers.
From sweet treats, drinks, flowers, cards and balloons, the officers were inundated with gifts, and visitors offered them kind words and supportive hugs to let them know they are appreciated.
One of those was an African American family, and Officer Blake Jones, the KPD’s crime prevention officer, described their visit in a post to the Town’s Facebook page.
“This afternoon an African American family came to the PD and gave us gifts. They told us ‘all black people are not bad!’ Officer Kearns smiled and hugged them and told them, ‘We already knew that, but thanks for showing it to us.’”
That officer is Officer Melissa Kearns, a relatively new member of the KPD who was sworn to duty in January.
“It was something I’ve never felt before. It gave me goosebumps every time I hugged someone,” said Kearns after the experience.
Kearns took the time to visit the family at their home and she and other officers went to Fourth of July Park on Saturday where they shot hoops and had fun with the kids there.
Someone posted on the Town’s Facebook page that she saw the interaction between officers and kids at the park on Saturday, writing: “We actually got the pleasure of watching from a distance yesterday as these great folks enjoyed the afternoon in the park. Watching one of the officers learning to skateboard was priceless! Many thanks for your service to our community and hats off for the many ways you strive to become a genuine part of the people living here.”
The support didn’t stop there. On Monday, Jenny Fulton, of Miss Jenny’s Pickles, stopped by the KPD to drop off several jars of her pickles to show her care and concern for Kernersville’s police officers.
Fulton said she dropped off the pickles because she wanted to remind the officers they are “truly appreciated here in Kernersville.”
“It was the least I could do given the recent tragedies in our country,” said Fulton.
Later Monday evening, two officers who went out to eat received a different type of show of support. When they got their bill, it had a note written on the back that said, “Thank you for protecting us. We really appreciate your wonderful service to the community. We all love you guys. God bless you.”
In posting the note online, Officer Jones responded, “Thanks to whomever blessed us with this note and we greatly appreciate it! God is watching over all of us!!! Thanks.”
Jones offered his thanks and the gratitude of the entire KPD in responding to the outpouring the department received over the weekend and beyond.
“Over the past few days the Kernersville Police Department has received a magnitude of gifts in the form of treats, drinks, flowers, cards, and offers for monetary donations. This country is going through hard times. Some cities have it harder than others. In Kernersville we have been very blessed with the people in the community, the emergency services we have, and most of all blessed to have God watching over us,” Jones said. “On behalf of the Town Of Kernersville and the police department, we want to say thank you to the people for taking care of us. It’s easy to get sucked into the hate. It’s easy to start to believe that what happens in some communities must exist everywhere. It’s hard to make a stand and show that we support each other. It takes work.”
“As officers, we know that there are people who produce negativity and people who produce positivity. They come in all shapes and sizes and quite often people have a tendency to produce both in a lifetime. As we continue to grow, there are always growing pains. Some pains are worse than others. Let us all continue to produce positivity in our community and continue to set the example. Thanks to all who have prayed for police and other emergency personnel and please continue your support. We will always need it.
Thank you and God bless!”