LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Law enforcement in Lawton are thankful that the community has spent time and money to show their support for the work they do.
Police relations around the country have been strained recently, but several citizens in Lawton recognize the hard work of officers. Four officers reported having half of their lunch paid for by a woman. One even said he was flagged down by a pastor who is giving out gift cards to every officer he sees to show his appreciation.
Thank you cards have begun pouring into the police station. Officers say they are encouraged by the cards, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.
"A lady came up to us with a receipt that she had written a little note on it, she said I couldn't pay for it all but I wanted to pay at least half of your meal and just let you know that I really appreciate you guys," said Detective Lindsey Adamson of the Lawton Police Department.
Det. Adamson says this was the first time in her eight-year career that anything like this has happened.
"Today, with everything going on with law enforcement and police officers, it was really, really nice because all you hear in the news right now is how people are wanting to kill us and wanting to harm us and not let us go home at night just for doing our jobs. So it was a nice gesture and really gives you a pick-me-up," said Adamson.
While the good deeds have been plentiful in Lawton, they are not restricted to just the Lawton Police Department
"We have a lot of people come up to us and say y'all are doing a good job. Please be careful. We're sorry for what's going on in the world and everything. We have a lot of people come up and talk to us and we really appreciate that. It's trying times right now for everybody," said Comanche County Sheriff Kenny Stradley.
Sheriff Stradley says everyone in his department strives to make a difference in the community, and when people show support it makes them want to work even harder.
"When you send us a card, call us, see us on the street and tell us you appreciate us, that's a whole new meaning for us. And we thank them for that and appreciate them for it. We love protecting people, we believe it what we do and we're also tickled when people believe in us," Sheriff Stradley said.
Officers naturally have their guard up and hope people will use caution when they want to approach an officer to thank them.
"First, say something, like introduce yourself, say I'd really like to shake your hand or give you a side-hug, you know whatever the case may be. Because our alert level is really high right now and you may come up on us to give us a hug and we're just now sure what your intentions are and it might turn out kind of badly, you know, for us all," said Det. Adamson.
Det. Adamson said it isn't all about buying food for officers, but that a simple handshake and a thank you to an officer you see on the streets can mean the world to them.
There will be a "Back the Blue" event in Lawton Friday, July 22, at 7 p.m. at Shepler Park.