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Appreciation picnic celebrates law enforcement

From one or two encounters with police a movement was born shedding light on supporting our officers, it started with a simple thank you and then evolved into wristbands and now it's become a yearly appreciation event. (Photo Credit: Jasmyn Durham) 

FENTON, Mich. --From one or two encounters with police a movement was born shedding light on supporting our officers, it started with a simple thank you and then evolved into wristbands and now it's become a yearly appreciation event.

Police were shown a bit of gratitude on a hot Saturday afternoon, from the bagpipes to the state trooper fly over and all the good food, founder of C.O.P.S Herman Ferguson just wanted to say thank you.

He says the idea sparked after he said thank you to a state trooper.

“He said I’ve been a state trooper in Indiana for 15 years and I had to come all the way to Michigan to hear my first thank you,” says Ferguson

Ferguson says those simple words sparked the cops movement leading Ferguson to hand out wristbands in support of police.

“I know there’s a lot of people like me, millions of people that are concerned about police safety and it’s just one way just to start with a simple wristband to say you know what I care about you," said Ferguson.

Ferguson hands out those blue wristbands to communities and police departments across the country; hoping to bring about conversation and change in the way police are viewed.

Last year the organization expanded its reach to include the appreciation picnic where officers, their families, and the community can come out to have a good time.

“Police should be connecting with the community because that’s part of our job because we don’t know what the issues are out in the community unless we engage the community and so it's very important for events like this to show the community that we’re just regular people like you,” says Linden Police Chief Scott Sutter.

Ferguson says he just wants to foster stronger relationships between police and the community and he’ll do it one wristband and one event at a time.

“I saw this quote and it said my hero does not wear their name on the back of a jersey, they wear their name on their chest and that’s what police officers mean to me,” says Ferguson.

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