Local businesses show police appreciation

Published: Jul. 22, 2016 at 9:59 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 22, 2016 at 10:27 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - As the first fallen Baton Rouge officer is laid to rest after a July 17 ambush, some regional businesses offer thanks to law enforcement.

Zeros dot registers at Rouse's Supermarkets across the region as police like NOPD officer Janssen Valencia and his partner enjoyed lunch on the company.

"As we were walking here, as we were getting out of the vehicle, a lot of people would approach us and go, 'hey stay safe' or 'thanks for coming' or 'we appreciate what you do for us,'" Valencia said. "It's not only coming to get the food, but knowing that people welcome you."

Earlier in the day Diaz markets announced that their company would give officers free car washes.

"It is a small token of appreciation for the police, and we hope that encourages others to do something no matter how small it may be to show support," Giselle Diaz-Eastlack said.

The idea began when the Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association approached the convenience store about offering car washes to NOPD's First District. The company decided to expand the offer throughout the area.

"We feel better knowing that our customers and our employees are protected by such hardworking professionals as the New Orleans Police Department and other police departments across the state," Diaz-Eastlack said.

As the law enforcement community deals with tragedy, these small tokens of appreciation mean a lot.

"This is such a critical time in America, especially in New Orleans, that we would have private-public partnerships. We would have community engagement," NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison said. "Citizens and police joined together to help one another and that citizens would show support for the hard work that men and women in this department and all departments do every single day."

"We are very thankful, and we feel bad for the losses the near communities have gone through recently, and we want to try to bring people back together and remember law enforcement and their purpose," said Cary Robinson, store director for Rouse's Supermarkets.

Robinson said food is a great vehicle.

"Especially in New Orleans, the culture - everybody likes to eat and enjoy good food and just get together and sit down and talk," she said.

"This work is hard," Harrison said. "This work is dangerous, and these men and women you see behind me have made a life commitment to serving this community, and it means a great deal to have partners like Faubourg St. John and the Diaz family. Small thank yous that mean so much."

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