Back the Blue: Locals show support and appreciation for police
A store in Hixson is handing out free stickers and car decals supporting those who wear the badge and others are collecting donations for officers, and those are just two examples. People are coming up with their own good deeds all hoping officers will feel safe and supported.
In response to the shooting deaths of police officers across the country, the Chattanooga community is coming together to make sure local law enforcement feels supported.
A store in Hixson is handing out free stickers and car decals supporting those who wear the badge and others are collecting donations for officers, and those are just two examples.
People are coming up with their own good deeds all hoping officers will feel safe and supported.
"This is what I love doing I love making shirts and stuff, it's just my way of using my platform to give back to the police departments," said Solutions Printing General Manager John Tipton.
Tipton has already handed out hundreds of stickers for free. He's telling anyone who wants one to stick it on their car to back the blue.
"It's a thin blue line for fallen soldiers and we want to put on there to protect and to serve and back the blue," Tipton said, "I hope they think that when they see this that they're not alone."
Just down the road a Hixson daycare center wanted to help in their own way. Best Beginnings will be collecting donations through Friday, then inviting members of the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office over to accept the donations and visit with the kids.
"There's just so much bad news that it's easy to be consumed by it so I just hope that they can see the community is standing behind them and supporting," said mother Alexandra Kemmet.
Kemmet reached out to local agencies who said water and snacks can go a long way for officers patrolling in this heat. She's already made one drop off for officers with the Chattanooga Police Department.
"All it takes is a Facebook post, an email and here you have it we have a lot of donations already," she said.
Both Kemmet and Tipton hope these small acts of kindness show law enforcement they're protected and appreciated.
"What we need to do is see these positives and we are seeing those positives in light of what's been happening lately," Sheriff Jim Hammond said.
Sheriff Hammond said he sees it boost his officer's morale during these tough times.
"I very rarely go out anymore in public that I don't have one or two people coming over and thanking me for the work we do in law enforcement," Sheriff Hammond said.
And Sheriff Hammond said while most of the good deeds go unreported, they certainly do not go unnoticed by his department.
"It makes them feel like the job they're doing is worthwhile," Hammond said.
And Kemmet said the benefits are two-fold. She sees this as an opportunity for the young kids at daycare, including her own daughter, to start a positive relationship with police.
"I just want her to know that they're here to protect us, and not to be scared of them," Kemmet said.
The Channel 3 newsroom has had several others contact the newsroom with ways they're helping support local police. Some people are replacing their porch lights with blue light bulbs to show that support.
There's also a community prayer vigil being held Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Chattanooga Police Department.