St. Clair Co. neighborhood holds parade and cookout for first responders

Cookout to honor first responders

ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - A neighborhood in St. Clair County coming together to show their support for first responders.

They lined the streets and waved flags and held signs that read “We love our policemen”. And when those policemen and other first responders entered the Hunters Crossing neighborhood, they were greeted with many “thank you’s” from this tight knit community.

This neighborhood also feeding those first responders and prayed over their safety.

“All this has been tremendous and I just think a thank you blue or any simple sign and bow just says that we are thinking about you and we love you and appreciate you. They put their lives on the line for us,” Mary Beth Harris, one of the organizers said.

The outpouring of support has been steady since Kimberly Police Officer Nick O’Rear was shot and killed in the line of duty four months ago. He lived in this area.

Then earlier this month, Moody Lt. Stephen Williams was also shot and killed while doing his job. You’ll find blue bows on just about every mailbox in this community.

Residents say a “thank you” and a showing of gratitude is the least they can offer to those who protect us.

“Through recent events and tragedies, we can’t always control what goes on but we can control how we treat each other and how we love on each other at the end of the day, and I think that’s what we’re trying to do here today is just send a message to our community from our community to them, let them them know at the end of the day we’re here for you. We care for you, we love you,” Jonathon Ray, another organizer said.

First responders are grateful for all the support. We spoke with them about what’s going on around the country right now with law enforcement and police reform. They feel the majority of those who wear the badge do it because it’s a calling to serve and protect.

“We love our communities. We love our citizens and we want to come out here and serve them and take care of our community. We just ask them to show us that respect and let us to our job and don’t judge us for one other person’s actions,” Chief Glenn Walton with Odenville Police said.

“We don’t want to be all grouped into one lump sum that is bad. We do it because we feel it in our heart and our blood to get in and help everybody in this community. No matter who you are, we’re here to help,” Chief Bryan Smith with Margaret Police said.

Not only did the neighborhood raise money to pay for the meals.

They’re going to donate money to one of their local police departments to help purchase more bullet proof vests.

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