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Posted: Jul 22, 2016 12:46 PM

A group of men, women and children came to the Bossier Sheriff's Viking Substation, Bossier City, today to hand out gifts of appreciation to the entire night shift of patrol deputies.

Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington said, "It really touches our hearts to see such an outpouring of appreciation from the residents of our parish, especially in times like this, when relations in some areas have become strained, sometimes to the breaking point. We'll show our gratitude by continuing to work as hard as we can to keep Bossier safe."

Residents and businesses in the Princeton area contributed dozens of paper bags filled with snacks, Bible verses, and cards made by local daycare centers. The project is called Prayers and Support for Local Law Officers.

The project resulted from an inspiration of a schoolgirl, Haylee Thomas, who started the project, then was pleasantly surprised that a single Facebook posting quickly grew into a robust social movement.

"I was coming home one day, Thomas said, "and I saw a group of police officers. I was able to grab some candy [to give them], and I was able to speak with the officers and pray with them. Mom took it to Facebook. People just grabbed ahold of it, and it's just grown so much."
Bossier Sheriff's Patrol Capt. Corky Bridges said, "We're fortunate here in Bossier to have a community that supports us. Gestures of appreciation like this really hit home with us."