Community members gather to give support and thanks to the MPD Officers who continue to serve and protect Mesquite citizens despite the dangers and the family members who support them. Photo by Teri Nehrenz

On Saturday, Jan. 25, Molly Gomes, several police officers, their wives and children and citizens gathered at the Mesquite Police Station on Hardy Way for a moment of prayer.

The event was organized by Gomes who is a private citizen with no police affiliation other than being grateful that we have them to serve and protect and wants others to realize that hateful rhetoric toward our officers is wrong and those who spread it need an attitude adjustment; the police aren’t the enemy.

Gomes wants to help bring the community together in support and thanks for the lives that are put on the line daily to serve and protect communities across the country. She wants Mesquite Police Officers to know that their community stands behind and thanks them for their services.

Jack Rochford is another community member; he was asked to lead a prayer for the police officers. Rochford was an Armed Forces MP; he knows the, physical, danger, emotional and traumatic stress along with severe depression the job can cause. He prayed for their safety, community understanding of the difficulties of police work and a community who stands behind their force.

Officers’ wives gave tearful speeches of what it’s like every day their husband’s put on the vest, uniform, duty belt and badge then 35 pounds heavier walk out the door for a shift that is uncertain. They said that being an officer or married to one isn’t a job, it’s a calling and they support their men with all their hearts but sometimes it’s not that easy.

Dinners are often eaten long after they’ve been prepared and eaten by the rest of the family members; no shift is ever a guaranteed 8 hours and often lasts hours longer.

Every car stopped for a minor violation has the potential to end the lives of those whose job is to keep our roads safe.

Criminals retaliate, try not to get caught, and some will go to great lengths to escape arrest always putting the officers’ lives in direct harm.

The worst cases are those who involve children as victims, especially for those officers who have children of their own.

They never know what’s going to happen when he/she walks out the door or what person is going to walk back in. An average day for a police officer is never easy, you never know what situation you’ll be walking into when a call comes in.

Time spent with family is never guaranteed but always cherished when it’s available. Many families of police officers don’t succeed due to the stress of the job for the officer and the stress of not knowing for the spouses.

This will not be the end of community thanks and support, Gomes wants to hold more gatherings, she wants this to grow so the whole country adjusts their attitudes for those who risk their lives for our safety every single day around the clock; she doesn’t understand the hate.

The members who showed up this time want Mesquite Police officers and their families to know that they support, appreciate and respect the sacrifices you all make to serve and protect. They think Mesquite has an outstanding force and want you to know you have support from your citizens.