O'FALLON, Mo. (KMOV.com) - Members of the O'Fallon, Mo. community surprised members of their police department on Sunday with food donations and gift cards, while offering support and appreciation.
The event was organized by Candace Moore. O'Fallon, Mo. PD is the first of many departments she hopes to surprise.
Moore's brother is a police officer on the east coast and she said she's saddened by the way officers are being portrayed.
“Just on a human level, we’re human and we’re people…that’s not justified," she said. "No matter what, you can’t spit on people and hit people, it’s really sad.”
Moore took to the Nextdoor app to reach out to neighbors and gather donations. Nearly a dozen people came to the department Sunday morning with food, gift cards and donuts in hand.
“I don’t want these protesters in the street, they have a right to protest but they don’t know what they’re talking about, most of them, they never had to deal with life and death situations like these guys have to do," said Keith, whose son is a police officer. "This is a whole different ballgame out there and most people don’t understand what these guys do."
He said he worries about his son returning home safely every day and the current climate is increasingly concerning.
"I've been in public safety for 36 years and I've never seen anything like this," he said.
Sgt. Kristopher Wright was there to collect the donations from community members. He said it's these kinds of acts that serve as affirmation for officers for why they chose to be in law enforcement.
“For me, I’m seeing this as fantastic and people just standing up and saying, no matter how much hatred is floating around in the world, we don’t have to be a part of that and we’re not going to be," Sgt. Wright said.
Many of those who attended said they are a part of the "silent majority" but are growing increasingly tired of remaining silent about their support for law enforcement officers.
“There’s more of us that love the police and are grateful for the police," said Moore. "We’re just not out there kicking and screaming."