A recent police appreciation event in Camas was followed by a banner of support on display in the Camas Days Grand Parade and a standing ovation during a Washougal City Council meeting.
The July 20 dinner at Goot Park involved pizzas donated by Sandy and Ken Calwell, with Papa Murphy’s Corporation, and baked and delivered by firefighters from the Camas-Washougal Fire Department Stations 41 and 43. Bottled water was provided by Greg and Roxanne Shelby, owners of Shelby’s Grille, of Washougal.
The event, hosted by Washougal Mayor Sean Guard and Camas Mayor Scott Higgins, was in response to the recent shootings of police officers in Dallas, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Local residents brought cupcakes, candy, cards and smoked salmon.
Washougal Police Chief Ron Mitchell and Camas Police Chief Mitch Lackey attended, along with officers from both departments.
Former CPD Chief Don Chaney said he felt compelled to join the mayors in recognizing the officers for the work they do.
“Police officers are the most visible and accessible public component of our cities,” he said. “I know, from my years of experience, they are individuals who care and want the safest environment for their families, friends and citizens at-large.
“The breadth of their commitment and responsibilities often times goes unnoticed,” Chaney added. “The job of a police officer is becoming increasingly complex and difficult.”
He spent most of his time at the event thanking the officers, shaking hands and giving them hugs.
Saturday morning, Chaney and other Camas City Council members walked behind a banner that stated “City of Camas Supports Police Officers.”
“Every member of the City Council proudly participated,” Chaney said. “We wanted to make a unanimous statement of supporting our police officers.”
Lackey said the community is very connected to its law enforcement officers.
“The patrol officer’s work room is decorated with cards, flowers, snacks and messages of support,” he said. “The common theme is a strong message — ‘we appreciate what you do for us.'”
Mitchell said local residents have brought in cards, treats and messages of support.
“It is very encouraging to see the support from the community, and it is much appreciated by the officers and staff,” he said.
Monday night, the Washougal councilors unanimously approved a resolution that expressed support for the city’s police department and law enforcement professionals across the nation.
Mitchell was there, along with Sgt. Thad Eakins, and officers Ryan Castro and Francis Reagan.
Guard said during the council meeting service groups have expressed an interest in assisting with a future annual event that would recognize all first responders.