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Oklahomans Turn Out To Show Appreciation For Law Enforcement Officers

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The first National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day took place on Friday, and communities across Green Country made sure police officers know they are appreciated.

People showed their support by wearing blue, some business owners put signs up to thank law enforcement, and others just made a point to say thank you to an officer in uniform, something they don't always hear.

Broken Arrow police officer Chris Chambers said most people aren't happy to see him.

“When I meet people, it usually isn't on the best circumstances,” Chambers said. “I'm usually writing them a citation for violating traffic laws."

Fellow officer Kevin Hunsperger said he didn't join the force to be the most popular guy in town.

"Every day poses its own challenges, and we accept those with our jobs,” Hunsperger said. “I wouldn't trade that for the world."

Over the past few months, law enforcement has come under fire accused of brutality which has led to unrest across the country.

"Unfortunately, there are some people who make the badge look bad,” Chambers said. “But 99.9 percent of the people in uniform are here for the right reasons."

From violent protests in Ferguson, Mo., to two New York police officers being shot and killed sitting in their patrol car, unrest against alleged police brutality has sparked across the country.

On Friday, businesses across Green Country wanted to show officers they stand behind them.

A sign in Skiatook, outside Stem's, donned blue ribbons tied outside. Manager Rose Anne Johnson said it was her way of giving praise to police.

“They go to the schools and get involved with the kids in sports activities,” Johnson said. “They do a lot, and sometimes it's nice to just give them an extra pat on the back."

Second graders even wrote handwritten letters to officers thanking them for the little things like keeping robbers from stealing cash.

It's moments like these that officer's don't forget.

“[When] somebody comes up to me and thanks for me for my service -- there's times I've been out to lunch and someone has come up to me and paid for my lunch without me knowing it," Chambers said.

Hunsperger added, "It's nice to hear someone say thank you."

And if you haven't done so yet, it's not too late to thank a police officer.

It'll likely brighten their day.

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