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Chattanooga community shows appreciation for local law enforcement

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

After police officers were targeted by a shooter in Dallas, the Chattanooga community is showing support for their own men and women in blue.

Many people were approaching Chattanooga Police officers on the street Friday, just to tell them, "Thanks for what you do."

Those simple words that go a long way, said Sgt. Tommy Meeks.

"It means the world to us," he said.

Less than 24 hours after 12 officers were shot in Dallas, 5 of them fatally wounded, folks at Nightfall were making a point to say "thank you."

"It's a sad day today, but we're very appreciative," one man told a group of officers. 

Many concert-goers greeted Meeks with several handshakes and hugs.

"You are the ones that protect us, and I understand the order," another man said.

"Thank you. I appreciate you, brother," Meeks replied.

"They always comfort and wrap their arms around us, to protect us as well as we protect them," Meeks told Channel 3.

Across the city, stores and restaurants are showing their appreciation by offering free food to the police force, including Moon Pie on Broad Street.

"After the recent events that have been happening around our country, we felt it was just a little something to show support to the guys and gals in blue," said June Harp, Asst. Store Manager.

Even though these officers don't expect anything in return, they say the sacrifice is part of the job; it reminds them why they wear the badge in the first place.

"This is our community. We want our community to be safe," said Meeks. "This is where I'm raising my family. This is where I want you to raise your family."

"Our men and women on this department are just dedicated to serve our community. And we're gonna do just that," he said. "We're gonna be here for them and protect them."

Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher said he has received "nothing but messages of support" since last night's shooting, and appreciates all his officer's service and sacrifice.

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