By Sarrah Peters, News Editor
On Friday, January 26, students and staff at Westbrook Christian School took time out of their day to welcome members of the Rainbow City Police Department to a Law Enforcement Appreciation Day assembly.
Students opened the assembly by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States, the Christian flag and the Bible, followed by worship songs.
Every Westbrook Christian class was assigned an individual police officer for whom the students wrote thank-you notes. Two students, third grader Madelyn Phillips and sixth grader Mason Miller, read the thank-you letters they wrote at the assembly.
“We love you very much,” read Phillips from her letter. “I hope you stay safe and warm. God is always by your side and He loves you very much.”
“I can’t begin to thank you for all that you do,” read Miller from his letter. “You put your life on the front line every day so I can live a regular life. May God bless you and go with you for all your days.”
The readings were followed by another student performance of worship music. The officers were recognized individually, with huge rounds of applause from the students for each one. Police officers from other districts and other first responders with a connection to staff or students were recognized.
Rainbow City Police Chief Jonathon Horton was the assembly’s guest speaker. Before his career in law enforcement, Horton served in the U.S. Army and National Guard and received several medals during his service.
This is the second year Horton has attended Westbrook’s Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, and he said that the event leaves him “in awe at how your heart poured out for our police department and all of law enforcement across Etowah County.”
Horton continued by reading several Bible verses that related to law enforcement, and thanked the law enforcement officers that had “given the ultimate sacrifice on the job.” He went on to thank the families of officers, who worry when they leave and support them. He also thanked soldiers for serving.
“What we have chosen to do, as law enforcement officers, is a mission, a calling as guardians of the public safety,” said Horton.
Despite being called law enforcement, Horton said that enforcing the law is the least of what officers do, as they are often the first on scene in emergency situations.
“Sometimes during our careers, we will save a life or many lives by putting our own on the line,” said Horton.
Horton went on to highlight some of the things the Rainbow City Police Department has been doing, including bringing back the DARE program and additional training.
Each officer received a gift bag. Following the assembly, students went to the assigned officer to deliver the letters they had written.