ATLANTA, Texas — Golden Villa Nursing and Rehab held a law enforcement appreciation lunch Wednesday.
Members of local law enforcement, from local to state, were invited to come by between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and grab a plate of their choice of hamburger or hot dog along with chips, cookies, and tea.
“We appreciate any time that we have the citizens here in Atlanta or anywhere else that want to show appreciation to the police department,” said Atlanta Chief of Police Jay Womack. “It means a lot to us. It means a lot to our officers. And we come out to say thank you and it means a lot.”
Golden Villa Administrator L.M. Jester organized the event “just to show our appreciation” for local law enforcement.
Said Jester: “We go about our business every day. We really don’t have most of the time think about law enforcement and what they do until something happens when you need them. Or else you see something happen on the news and you realize they’re out there putting their lives on the line most every day. If they don’t do it every day, they were there available to do it every day. And we just wanted to say thank you from the staff and residents of Golden Villa.”
The appreciation was welcoming for Cass County Sheriff Larry Rowe. Even though the ArkLaTex and its rural areas have a firm backing of the blue, the support is not superfluous, but rather significant.
“Cass County people are very supportive of law enforcement,” said Rowe. “I’m overwhelmed what the people do for us; the churches, the schools, everybody tries to help and shows appreciation. Little kids make things with their hand prints on them and bring them to our office. We have a tremendous amount of support in Cass County. They’re good folks.”
Perhaps the biggest appreciation came for the Texas Department of Public Safety officers. Rather than having an impression that Texas DPS officers simply pull people over, the community was given a chance to engage the officer and discover more about their duties to enforce Texas traffic and criminal laws.
“It’s good for the community and community relations where people can see us come out here and they can interact with us with the ladies that work here at the nursing home and things like that,” said Corporal David Stewart. “And they can see us in a different light other than just stopping cars.”
Chief Womack echoed the sentiments of all Cass County law enforcement.
“It’s a great privilege,” said Womack. “It’s a great honor to be here. It’s an honor to work for the citizens of Atlanta here and try to keep them safe and do the job as the chief of police.”