WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- As many members of the American public watched what unfolded in Dallas last Thursday, police officers around the world did the same. But, as details unfolded, revealing that five officers of the law had lost their lives, the badges on their chests began to feel more like targets.
“We were all on edge, certainly on Friday,” said Winston-Salem Police Officer Jenny Britter.
Britter works at the front desk at the Public Safety Center in Winston-Salem, home to the police department. It was there that she and her comrades realized, the people whose backs the officers swore to protect had their backs as well.
“As soon as they see us, tears come to their eyes, just letting me know that we’re here, we support you,” Britter said.
In the days since the tragedy, the department has been flooded by snacks, cards, balloons, posters; anything to help them cope with the tragedy.
“The community is here, coming in droves, I mean, it was unbelievable,” Britter said.
Today, there is a wall on the second floor of the police department covered with letters letting the officers know they are appreciated.
“Even right now, it’s an emotional thing because we don’t hear it necessarily all the time,” Britter said, while displaying the wall.
She continued to say, “Each individual note, and words, whether it’s a prayer or encouragement, thank yous, is felt by each and every one of us. I mean, truly, to the core.”
That way, officers are reminded of their community’s support every time they walk by.
“We are a family, and it shows our community is part of that family too,” Britter said. “So, it means a lot. It means a lot.”